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Below you will find a comprehensive list of courses that are offered through the SCAA Professional Development program. Please use the tabs on the right of this page to display only the courses pertaining to your experience level, the subject area you are interested in, or the certificate program that you'd like to pursue.


GE103  |  Orientation to SCAA Cupping

Cupping is the Specialty Coffee Industry's standard for evaluating green coffee. Using the SCAA Cupping Protocol and exploring two flights of coffee, participants are introduced to and practice the SCAA protocol, and focus on basic vocabulary from the Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel for objective, professional coffee quality evaluation. This is one of the Foundations of Coffee classes and is required for other classes in all certificate programs.

Recommended Prerequisites: CP151, CP152

Required Prerequisites: CB100

GE151  |  Green Coffee Grading

Evaluating green coffee is critical for numerous sectors of the coffee industry. This class combines studying and using the SCAA Arabica Green Coffee Defect Handbook with hands-on exercises, to introduce students to SCAA Grading Standards. Focusing on the physical evaluation of green coffees, students learn to use the handbook, discuss cause and effect of the identified defects, and what necessitates testing and evaluation of green coffee. This is NOT a cupping class.

Recommended Prerequisites: CP151, CP152, GE103, GE204

Required Prerequisites: CB100

GE153  |  Le Nez du Cafe: Aroma of Coffee

This class provides experiences for participants to gain familiarity with the thirty-six (36) common aromas chosen for the standardized industry tool, the Le Nez du Cafe kit, which represent an array of scents found in coffee's fragrance & aroma. Using the Le Nez Du Cafe aroma kit for coffee, participants self-asses their ability to recognize and categorize aromas found in coffee. This class is also recommended as a training class for coffee professionals interested in preparing for the SCAA/CQI Q-Grader Test.

Recommended Prerequisites: GE103, GE200

GE154  |  Sensory Skills Test Preparation

Discriminating the basic components of taste is the first step towards successful cupping. This series of tests evaluates a taster's ability to identify and discern different taste thresholds. Participants are presented with a set of aqueous solutions, each containing varying levels of salt, sweet and sour. The class is preparation for the Sensory Skills test of SCAA/CQI Q-Grader. Results from this class do NOT count toward retakes of this portion of the Q-Exams without prior approval by CQI. Those who need the retake to count toward their Q-Grader Certification MUST confirm prior to attending class, whether or not prior approval has been met.

Recommended Prerequisites: GE103, GE200

EXM-CTL1 (Formerly GE191)  |  Coffee Tasters Log Requirement, Level 1 (Formerly: GE191 CTC Tasting Log)

This first installment of the coffee cupping log is to be a checkpoint for candidates who are new to coffee. Candidates must taste120 different coffees, filling out the simplified cupping form and coffee info data sheet for each. However, there is a strict timetable that must be followed. The log must be completed in no LESS than one month and no more than 3 months. Candidates must cup at least once a week. Additional information on the log is available on request from the SCAA Education Manager.

Required Prerequisites: Completion of all class requirements of Coffee Taster Level 1.

EXM-CTP1 (formerly GE190)  |  Coffee Taster Level 1 Practical Exam-Calibration Class (Formerly: GE190 CTC Disciplines Test)

This Coffee Taster Level 1 Practical Exam tests the most critical and frequently-done practical skills of a coffee taster in terms of standard processes and protocols. Candidates set up a cupping from start to finish. They must also correctly perform the SCAA Cupping process on one table according to the protocol, and evaluate coffee to the level indicated throughout the course (GE201-GE205).

Required Prerequisites: Completion of all class requirements of Coffee Taster Level 1.

EXM-CTW1 (Formerly GE192)  |  Coffee Taster Level 1 Written Exam(Formerly: GE192 Module 2 Exam)

This written exam covers of knowledge aspects of the Coffee Taster Level 1 classes.

Required Prerequisites: Completion of all class requirements of Coffee Taster Level 1.

GE200  |  Introduction to Sensory Analysis

Sensory Analysis is a field that traverses industries. Individuals in the field of coffee tasting or cupping must employ techniques of the field of sensory analysis by nature, since any coffee must first undergo sensory analysis to be defined as "specialty". The quality of the sensory information can affect the quality of business decisions. Understanding the broader scope of Sensory Analysis, learners will be challenged to develop widely used guidelines, prepare scientific tests, and approach analyzing coffee in commonly accepted formats. Being offered a window into the larger world of sensory analysis, some learners will be intrigued to go deeper in this tract toward further sensory analysis studies. Individual differences and bias are touched on in this class, but covered more in depth in advanced grading and evaluation classes.

Recommended Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103, GE201

GE201  |  SCAA Cupping Form & Peer Calibration

The SCAA Cupping Form was developed specifically to score quality coffees. This class demystifies this seemingly complex form and prepares students to embrace its regular use. After an instructive lecture, students cup three coffees, score them, and calibrate to experienced instructors. Open discussion and active participation is the driving force as participants align on the methods and concepts used to evaluate coffee. This class is recommended as a training class for coffee professionals interested in preparing for the SCAA/CQI Q-Grader Test.

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103

GE202  |  Comparative Cupping: World Regions

A primary goal of this is to advance the skill of calibration among coffee tasters. Using the SCAA Cupping Protocol including the SCAA Cupping Form, students evaluate four flights of coffee. Through small group cupping and discussion and brief lecture, students cup and discuss coffees from the three global regions; regional variation within the same country and same processing method; and processing differences within the same country. This class is essential for developing skills necessary to cup coffee objectively and consistently. This class is also recommended as a training class for coffee professionals interested in preparing for the SCAA/CQI Q-Grader Test.

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103, GE201

GE203  |  Comparative Cupping: Africa

This class is an even more advanced version of GE202. The focus on coffees of this class are specialty grade African and Asian coffees.

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103, GE201

GE204  |  Defect Cupping

Using the SCAA Cupping Protocols and alternating between direct, small group cuppings, brief lectures and small group discussions, students will evaluate two flights of coffee. Students will identify coffees containing five specific defects & speculate to their causes: Rioy, Ferment, woody/aged, unripe and musty/moldy. This class is recommended for coffee professionals interested in preparing for the CQI Q-Grader Test. Required class for Roaster Level 2 and Coffee Taster Level 1. Q-graders apply this toward their fast-track Coffee Taster Level 1.

Recommended Prerequisites: CB200, RP206, RP207

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103, GE151, GE201

GE205  |  Comparative Cupping: Central and South America

This class is an even more advanced version of GE202. The focus on coffees of this class are specialty grade Central and South American coffees.

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103, GE201

GE206  |  Grinding and Grind Analysis

Correct coffee grinding is an essential function of cup quality in specialty coffee. Participants discuss essential elements of grinding and taste coffee brewed to highlight the importance of proper grinding. Participants use processes and procedures for measuring coffee grinds/particle size and watch a demonstration of grinding analysis equipment. Participants also discuss the business case and essential elements of good grinding practices.

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103

GE217  |  Coffee Lab Equipment

Quality Control starts with cupping, but doesn't end there. Objective physical measurements assist cuppers in determining why a coffee tastes as it does. Testing and record keeping enable you to improve and can be a helpful communication tool to customers. This class is designed to introduce experienced coffee professionals to commonly used lab equipment and quality control procedures in a fully functional coffee testing laboratory. Participants learn various quality control methods, interpretation of test results and action steps based on specific test results. Hands on demonstrations include use of equipment, evaluation of samples, calibration and maintenance.

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103

GE255  |  Organic Acids in Coffee

Organic Acids are some of the most important flavor compounds in coffee and this class introduces participants to four of the most prevalent organic acids found in coffee. By deepening knowledge of chemistry behind taste, coffee professionals can increase their repertoire of terms and descriptions when evaluating coffee. This skill will assist producers, mill staff, importers, roasters and baristas focus their own quality-producing efforts by making the connection between organic acids and their role in the chain of quality.

Recommended Prerequisites: GE200, GE154

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103

GE261  |  Le Nez du Cafe: Mock Q-Test

This class uses the Le Nez Du Cafe aroma kit for coffee to examine a student's ability to detect, identify and match common aromas found in coffee. The class is specifically designed to prepare candidates for the Q-Grader Olfactory Skills section of the Q-exam. Specifically, candidates will practice identifying all thirty-six (36) common aromatic scents often found in coffee's fragrance and aroma that are used in the Le Nez du Cafe kit.

Required Prerequisites: GE153 or practical awareness of the Le Nez kit

EXM-CTP2, EXM-CTW2 (FormerlyGE290)  |  Coffee Taster Level 2 Practical Exam; and Coffee Taster Level 2 Practical Exam (Formerly: GE290 Comparative Cupping Practical and Written Exam)

This is the final exam for Coffee Taster Level 2. This test includes a practical exam that tests the critical performance elements of the Level 2 course, as well as a written test on knowledge objectives from all classes of Level 2. A candidate MUST hold the Level 1 Certificate prior to attempting the Level 2 exam.

Required Prerequisites: Coffee Taster Level 1 Certificate; Completion of all class requirements of Coffee Taster Level 2.

GE303  |  Triangulation Cupping

Triangulation is a specialized skill in cupping that sharpens a cupper's ability to differentiate coffees blindly. Triangulation is an essential skill for developing consistent and objective palate memory. According to the SCAA and CQI protocol for triangulation, participants triangulate three flights of coffee, with discussion in between flights. The correct answers are revealed at the conclusion of the class. This class is also recommended as a training class for coffee professionals interested in preparing for the SCAA/CQI Q-Grader Test.

Required Prerequisites: GE103, GE201, GE202

GE304  |  Taste Testing for Production

Errors occur in production facilities regularly, and this class helps those who work in quality control identify errors and make decisions appropriate to their companies. Inconsistencies in saleable goods may be grounds for losing customer base and this class reviews some of the most prevalent inconsistencies in coffee processing and production, along with options for use of inconsistent product for sale. Focusing on sensory analysis difference testing, learners will evaluate finished goods to determine impact on customer loyalty. This skill will assist coffee processors, producers, roasters, and baristas by increasing their awareness of the consistency of their finished product, using the SCAA standard protocol for evaluating finished product - roasted coffee. This is NOT a cupping class for green coffee evaluation. Rather, participants analyze the sensory impact of three important production issues and decision-making when these occur: incorrect coffee/blend, incorrect grind, incorrect roast level. It is a fast-paced tasting class and NOT for novices or beginning cuppers or roasters.

Recommended Prerequisites: GE153 or GE261, GE200, GE206, GE353, RP216

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151-CP152, GE103, RP112, RP120 or RP223

GE308  |  Consumer Testing Concepts for Coffee

Coffee professionals of different disciplines need to have objective skills in sensory testing: Designing and conducting tests, recording results, generating data and analyzing statistics to make profitable choices for their companies. This class will explore using sensory testing techniques to create a program that addresses product development. Consumers have different preferences and this course is designed to provide participants with tools for weighing customer inclinations. Beverage recipes and coffee choices that include consumer input can lead to a better knowledge of consumers and improved sales. Paired preference, ranking preference, and the hedonic scale are performed and discussed in class. These tests will assist coffee professionals by increasing awareness of customer base.

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151-CP152, GE103, GE200

GE353  |  The Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel

The SCAA Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel is a tool designed for professional coffee cuppers that defines common industry terminology used in the sensory evaluation of coffee. The wheel offers insight into how those characteristics develop and gives specialty coffee professionals the tools to articulate sensory experiences. This class succinctly illuminates the development and theory behind the wheel and delves into the right half of the right wheel. The class begins with distinguishing the aroma categories and culminates with an activity with 9 representative coffee samples that demonstrate tastes on the Flavor Wheel. This is a class for advanced coffee professionals. Required prerequisites will be enforced.

Recommended Prerequisites: GE201-GE206

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151-CP152, GE103, GE153 or GE261, GE200