Join us for an intensive in-country learning experience. Let us help you lower your startup expenditures and take the guesswork out of the way. Utilize our 35 years combined experience in the coffee trade. Working together, we can help you define your vision and focus your creative passion into practical steps to realize your dream of owning and successfully operating your own truly world class cafe


  • Agricultural background
  • Green bean selection and quality control
  • Roasting (all aspects and roast levels)
  • Choosing your first roaster
  • Custom blending (house and signature blends)
  • Espresso (blending keys that produce great espresso)
  • Branding and marketing
  • Making retail result in wholesale sales
  • Visit to a volcanic coffee farm on the lake


Cost for a six day course: $1,200 (includes lunch every day with us at Mooibos)

NEW option – Cost for a three day course including 4 nights and all meals at Mooibos: $750


No Compete – Confidentiality Clause

Apprentice will maintain honorable intent and confidentiality in regards to the following:

  • Proprietary information and processes
  • Sourcing of green beans
  • Will not roast or market, nor re-train another knowing they will roast or market (beans, grounds or coffee by the cup) within 200 miles of Crossroads Café, Panajachel, as long as Crossroads Café operates in Panajachel by the Roberts family


Interested: Contact us


Reference: Oliver Ray

Had a great experience as a roasting apprentice with the Robert’s family. Crossroads is one of my favorite cafes in the whole world. It has spirit, great, fresh roasted coffee, Adele’s amazing pastries, and lively atmosphere. Michael taught me the subtle art of roasting coffee; he explained clearly its technical aspects (including the mechanics of the roaster and roaster maintenance); but he also transmitted that part of roasting that comes from the heart and has nothing to do with watching a timer. All of this came to pass in real time, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the cafe. He loves coffee. He knows coffee. We took a buying trip to Tajamulco, in the mountains of north western Guatemala. I can still see him with his face buried in a handful of green coffee and the old senor whose coffee it was looking at him with a smile. On this journey I learned how to find and buy hard bean coffee and gained insights into this process that I don’t think I could have gotten any other way.

The location of Crossroads in Panajachel on beautiful lake Atitlan is an ideal place to be. The local culture is colorful and friendly and there is a large international community. Many opportunities to learn Spanish. Many opportunities to see how coffee is grown and harvested. Overall, it is a wonderful place to learn about coffee, from the people who grow it and harvest it, all the way to the cup. All of this makes for a great place to learn the art of roasting.

Oliver Ray, owner, Cafe Aqui , Tuscon, AZ

Reference: Russ Norris

Mike and Adele flexibly tailored the apprenticeship program to inform a research project through my university in the United States. I was impressed by their willingness to individualize the program based upon my limited time in Panajachel, my academic purpose as a student, and my personal goals. The program provides a broad roasting education that can be supplemented by farm visits, barista skills, and supporting readings. An apprentice, therefore, will leave with a richer understanding of the entire production process.

While the apprenticeship was my first trip to Central America and my Spanish was minimal, Mike and Adele were knowledgeable local informants who provided a support structure — and great hospitality — during my stay. Above all, their entire family is authentically passionate about coffee, Panajachel, and life. I excitedly returned to Panajachel a year later for a seperate academic project and will likely visit again in the coming years. I unconditionally recommend this program to anyone entering the coffee business or persons who simply want to learn a new trade.

Reference: James Spano

My time at Crossroads was extraordinary! I can think of no other opportunity that would allow me to experience what I did with Mike. The time and effort he put into teaching me is unmatched. I learned not just about coffee brewing, roasting, and growing, Mike taught me about community, dedication, compassion, honesty, passion for the job and how to share it with those I come across. I would not trade the experience for anything!

James Spano Owner, Cup to Cup Coffee Roasters Savannah, GA