Entrance into the hallowed world of roasting coffee is generally guarded by two ferocious beasts: money and knowledge. Buying a roaster (or just buying time on a roaster) is prohibitively expensive, especially for the working coffee professional without a boatload of expendable income; we won’t even get into the buying green coffee. And even when you finally get to jump behind the blue flame, armed only with as much information about Milliard reactions and rate of rise curves as you could glean from the internet and Scott Rao books, your first batches are going to suck; learning to roast takes practice, and hands-on training is a pretty big help.

But these barriers of entry are going to be removed for one lucky soul thanks to the Pulley Collective in Oakland. The collaborative, membership-based roasting space has just announced the creation of the Golden Pulley: a one-year scholarship program entitling the recipient to “free roasting time, mentorship, and financing to procure green coffee.”

The Pulley Collective is looking for a “passionate, focused, goal-driven, working barista or other coffee pro with or without roasting experience, who dreams of creating or developing your own coffee brand or roasting business,” one who “ideally already work in coffee, in a cafe (your own or someone else’s) where you’ll be able to feature your roasted coffee once you’ve got the chops.”

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If this sounds like you, consideration for the scholarship program is simple:

Applicants should submit a video essay no longer than four minutes demonstrating why they think they are the best candidate for this roasting scholarship. Entrants should consider the following points:
  • Who will buy your roasted coffee?
  • What will make you a successful small business?
  • Where do you work and what do you enjoy most about it and your coffee experiences?
  • Why will you be the best candidate?

The winning candidate will be the best in showing and telling about their passion for coffee, desire to roast, and why they are ready to start a business.

All entries need to be emailed to with the subject line, “Golden Pulley Video” and are due by March 1st. The winner will be notified on March 10th.

On Thursday, Pulley Collective founder Steven Mierisch is hosting a Q&A on the scholarship program at the Pulley Collective’s Oakland location from 2:00-3:00pm. For more information about the Pulley Collective or the Golden Pulley Award, visit their website here.

Good luck to all entrants! Maybe winning the Golden Pulley will be your first step towards taking home a Sprudgie. That’s like coffee’s EGOT, just a little shorter.

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network.

*top image via the Pulley Collective

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