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Service Provider Transparency and Qualifications

As you know, the espresso service industry has no uniform standard of the duties and responsibilities of the commercial espresso service company. Service technicians are not required to have any specific training. Other than being required to obtain a city or state license, anyone is qualified to be in the business of commercial espresso service. Unfortunately, being in the business of espresso repair does not make someone prepared to meet the demands or expectations of equipment owners who depend on their machines for their livelihood. The Espresso Service Network (ESN) does not make service provider recommendations; however, there is a growing need for us to offer more information about the service providers listed on our Espresso Service Directory ( 
Commercial Espresso Repair Requires More Than Technical Abilities
The job of the commercial espresso service technician is not just relegated to component replacement. The professional service technician must always be focused on product quality and consistency. The clear attention to the variations of outcomes is what defines commercial espresso service technicians over other repairmen. Unlike other appliances, commercial espresso equipment holds an important position of responsibility to a business and their clientele. A quality service technician will either have expansve knowledge and experience, or will be under the mentorship of someone else with these qualifications. In addition to safety, troubleshooting and oral/written communication skills, which are common in many technical industries, the commercial espresso field service technician must also have specialized abilities.

Creating an Ethical and Protective Culture
Our Espresso Service Directory lists approximately three hundred U.S. commercial service companies. Many of the service companies listed are limited in knowledge vital to quality espresso service work. 
Nevertheless, these companies can often deliver adequate services for some equipment owners; but at the same time, they can also be unsuitable for many others, including retailers and roasters. When we list a service company as a commercial espresso service provider, you may assume that each service provider has expertise in the field of coffee and commercial espresso repair, as there is no transparency about a service company’s qualifications. The need to define commercial espresso service and evaluate active service companies is necessary to provide a more ethical and protective culture not only for businesses offering espresso beverages but also for those providing services. By certifying service providers in specialized areas, we can accomplish several objectives. 
Empowering Espresso Businesses through Education and Transparency
Highlighting specific credentials emphasizes their importance and provides equipment owners a way to better understand commercial espresso service work and assist them in making more informed choices when selecting or declining services. Furthermore, it provides industry professionals with what they can or cannot reasonably expect from a service company. Featuring qualifications would reduce the need for service companies to compete with others who are untrained in specific skillset(s). At the same time, it can also alleviate the unnecessary pressure of unsolicited expectations on a service company that cannot assist a potential customer in a specific area (e.g. water treatment). By emphasizing the value of coffee and technical education, we hope the results will better consumer awareness and improve satisfaction in U.S. commercial espresso service. Exploring ways to define espresso service and evaluating service companies is an important step to empowering espresso businesses. 
Defining Commercial Espresso Service with Coffee Technicians Guild 
Currently, service companies have little ways of profiting from their expertise because consumers are not provided with much information necessary to differentiate between service providers. It is logical for us to turn to the Coffee Technicians Guild (CTG) for a definition but, it will be up to their members to decide if undertaking technical evaluations will hold any value for the Guild. Even without mandatory education or professional licensing, the CTG has worked diligently to promote the commercial espresso service industry and the importance of a trained and professional service technician. Evaluations would further their efforts and the profession because a CTG endorsement should result in an increased demand for those holding their certifications. For this the CTG can enjoy an increase not only in their memberships but attendance in their educational programs as well. If the CTG moves to provide fair and specific testing for active service companies, the ESN will diligently work to display those credentials on the Espresso Service Directory provider profile pages. Lastly, completing evaluations should not be a requirement to work in the espresso service industry, rather an opportunity for service companies to help industry professionals gain a better understanding of their company’s abilities and areas of proficiency. Currently, the CTG does not provide evaluations however our hope is that they will consider providing them in the future. 
In the meantime, we’d like to know your thoughts about offering better technical transparency to the coffee industry. Kindly take a moment to let us know by completing our survey. If you have comments or suggestions regarding the development of service provider evaluations, please direct them to Ruth Easley at (509) 558-8081 or

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