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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  |  GE103 Introduction to Cupping

Cupping is the Specialty Coffee Industry's standard for coffee evaluation. Using the SCAA Cupping Protocols and evaluating three flights of coffee, students are introduced to the methods and language of objective professional coffee evaluation.

Required Prerequisites: CB100 - Seed to Cup

GE151  |  GE151 Introduction to Green Coffee Grading

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.

GE153  |  GE153 Le Nez du Café: Aroma of Coffee

This class uses the Le Nez Du Café aroma kit for coffee to examine a student's ability to recognize and categorize common aromas found in coffee. This class is limited to 25 students, so sign up early! This class can be applied for credit in the Roasters Guild Certificate Program. This class is also recommended as a training class for coffee professionals interested in preparing for the SCAA/CQI Q-Grader Test.

GE154  |  GE154: The Sensory Skills Test: Parts 1, 2, and 3

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 can be applied for the Sensory Skills test requirement of SCAA/CQI Q-Grader (must pass all three tests). *This is one of 22 tests in the SCAA/CQI Q-Grader Certification.

GE201  |  GE201 The 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: CP151 - Introduction to Coffee Brewing and Extraction, GE103 - Introduction to Cupping

GE202  |  GE202 Comparative Cupping

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 or the equivalent, GE103 - Introduction to Cupping, GE201 – The SCAA Cupping Form and Peer Calibration

GE204  |  GE204 Defect Cupping

Experienced cuppers taste various green coffee defects in this class. They also learn how common defects are developed and, when possible, avoided. Using the SCAA Cupping Protocols and alternating between direct, small group cuppings and brief lectures, students evaluate five flights of coffee and identify defects and their causes: Musty/Earthy, Ferment, Phenolic, Unripe & Faded/Baggy. This is not a green grading class. S This class is also recommended as a training class for coffee professionals interested in preparing for the SCAA/CQI Q-Grader Test.

Required Prerequisites: GE151 - Basics of Green Coffee Grading, CB100 or the equivalent, GE103 - Introduction to Cupping, GE202 - Comparative Cupping

GE206  |  GE206 Grinding and Particle Size 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.

Recommended Prerequisites: CP158 - Golden Cup Fundamentals

Required Prerequisites: CP151 - Introduction to Coffee Brewing and Extraction

GE217  |  GE217 Coffee Lab Equipment and Calibration

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.

GE255  |  GE255 Organic Acids and the Chemistry of 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.

GE261  |  GE261 Le Nez du Café Olfactory Identification and Matching

This class uses the Le Nez Du Café aroma kit for coffee to examine a student's ability to detect, identify and match common aromas found in coffee. The class is designed to enable students to: Recognize thirty-six (36) common aromatic scents often found in coffee's fragrance, aroma, and nose used in the Le Nez du Café kit; List the four groups into which the scents are categorized: Enzymatic, Sugar Browning, Dry Distillation, and Aromatic Taints; Locate and recognize matching scents, using blind samples or memory reference; and Prepare for the Olfactory Skills section of the Q-Grader Test

Recommended Prerequisites: GE153 Le Nez du Café: Aroma of Coffee

GE303  |  GE303 Triangulation

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, students 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: GE202 Comparative Cupping

GE308  |  GE308 Advanced Sensory Analysis

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.

GE353  |  GE353 Flavor Wheel's Taxonomy: In Depth Study of Flavor Classification

The SCAA 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 culminates with a hypothesizing activity concerning flavors of coffee.

Recommended Prerequisites: GE201 - SCAA Cupping Form and Peer Calibration; GE204 - Defect Cupping; RP112 - Intro to Roasting Concepts; CP201 - Grind Dose Tamp

Required Prerequisites: GE153 - Le Nez du Café OR GE261 Le Nez du Café Exam; GE103 - Introduction to Cupping