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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.


CB200  |  The Green Coffee Journey from Mill to Roaster

This class introduces roasters to the definition, history & professional concepts behind managing the flow of coffee from seed to cup. This class is an online prerequisite for all CB200 level classes. This class picks up where farming and processing leave off and where arrival at the roasting facility begins. CB200 explores in detail the financial, time, and quality implications at each stage in the green coffee supply chain from the time coffee might be contracted: coffee cherry to consuming country warehouse.

Required Prerequisites: CB100

CB205  |  Green Coffee Buying Essentials

Green coffee buyers need to use accepted terminology of the green coffee market, have tools for negotiating and purchasing effectively, and buy green coffee through spot, forward, and direct purchases successfully. This class provides instruction and activities to help gain competency in those areas. Please attend online the prerequisite classes, which cover 4 hours of material that provide a solid foundation for understanding green coffee contracts.

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CB200

CB206  |  Green Coffee Market Dynamics Explained

Green coffee buyers (roasters and other coffee professionals) need to make sound green coffee purchasing and planning decisions. These decisions are critical for the financial well-being and profitability of any coffee operation. Every roaster has different needs and approaches to risk management, and roasters may not be aware of the financial tools available to them through their importers. This class, CB206, provides foundational information about the 'C'-Market that is the basis for most green coffee buying in the world. It covers important concepts for the classroom-based workshop Buying on Green Coffee Market Principles - CB236, in which participants practice purchasing calculations and strategies. This CB206 eLearning class content covers:
  • Cash vs. Futures Markets
  • Distinctions between Forward and Futures Contracts
  • 'C' Market Overview and Primer
  • Brief History of 'C'
  • ICE Exchange
  • Other International Markets
  • Factors that impacts the 'C' price

CB236  |  Buying on Green Coffee Market Principles

Understanding the 'C' market is critical for physical coffee buyers and sellers. This class will explore differentials in depth and demystify Open to Be Fixed Contracts. After going over tools and vocabulary for open to be fixed contract buying, participants use case studies and role play as an avenue for transferring knowledge and skills to their workplaces. Please attend the online prerequisite class, CB206, which is essential knowledge to understand CB236 content. Other prerequisites (also online) are required to understand the layered information of this class

Recommended Prerequisites: RP206, RP207, RP219.

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CB200, CB205

CB237  |  Green Coffee Purchasing Strategies

This class is a primer for roasters and importers to determine a purchasing strategy. It covers: usage, planning, buying, blending, bag sizes, shrink, spreads, carrying charges, fixing prices, different types of contracts for different purchases and the pros and cons of each. This is the final class of the Coffee Buyer Level 1 program and CB100-CB236 must be taken prior to taking CB237.

CB230  |  Production and Inventory Control Practices

Properly managing raw materials from source to customer is an essential part of manufacturing process. Understanding and utilizing formal methods can help improve quality and profitability. This class lays the foundation of common practices of efficiency in the recognized field of production and inventory control (PIC). This class provides an overview of Supply Chain Management for the first hour of the class, then proceeds to go into more depth on production and inventory control (PIC). The instructor covers essential components, such as process design, bills of materials, process information, controls, manpower, inventory tracking, and others. Advice on information systems (software) will be included, as well as helpful information for integrating a PIC system into an organization.

Recommended Prerequisites: RP208, CB205

CP200  |  Intensive Exam Preparation for Barista Level 1

The Barista Level 1 Certificate has quickly become the standard that acknowledges that certificate holders have essential proficiencies in coffee preparation, customer service, and general coffee knowledge. The Certificate requires students pass two exams, a practical skills exam and a written exam. This class is highly recommended for people who will be attempting the exam for the first time, as well as those who will be testing out of CP101-CP102. This is primarily an online class designed to review the materials an examinee will be tested on for the Barista Level 1 practical and written exams. During the first hour, instructors review the written exam and the practical exam material from CP101-CP102 , and during the second hour instructors review the written exam elements of CP151 and GE103. Participants are expected to have attended CB100 and CP103 online prior to attempting the Barista Level 1 Written Exam-- EXM-BW1.

CP201  |  Grind, Dose, Tamp, Extract

Intermediate-level baristas study in-depth techniques for use of two different types of espresso grinder, with additional practice in dosing, tamping and evaluating extraction. SCAA Instructors guide and coach baristas through class activities, testing and tasting the impact and effect on espresso shots of dosing weight, distribution, and settling. This is a required class for the Barista Level 2 Certificate. Only those with the full Barista Level 1 Certificate are permitted to register for this class.

Required Prerequisites: Barista Level 1 Certificate

CP202  |  Espresso Bar Efficiency & Workflow

Efficiency is a critical component of balancing customer service with excellence in quality. This class is designed to leverage barista skills to improve efficiency while maintaining quality of beverages and service. Participants learn techniques under the guidance and coaching of SCAA instructors, to increase drink production speed, ensure quality control through increased attention to detail , and manage a busy/clean station. This is a required class for the Barista Level 2 Certificate. Only those with the full Barista Level 1 Certificate are permitted to register for this class.

Required Prerequisites: Barista Level 1 Certificate

CP203  |  Milk Essentials & Latte Art Practices

Latte art is an extremely effective technique for drawing customers' attention and simultaneously preparing a beverage of high quality. After a short lecture on milk elements and milk substitutes, SCAA Instructors provide hands-on training and coaching on basic latte art designs, and give practice strategies for perfecting latte art techniques. This is a required class for the Barista Level 2 Certificate. Only those with the full Barista Level 1 Certificate are permitted to register for this class.

Required Prerequisites: Barista Level 1 Certificate

CP204  |  Espresso Machine Preventative Maintenance

This class covers basic handling of equipment maintenance, troubleshooting, and recognizing when service calls are warranted. Participants recognize essential tools and normal replacement items on common espresso machines. This is a required class for the Barista Level 2 Certificate. Only those with the full Barista Level 1 Certificate are permitted to register for this class.

Required Prerequisites: Barista Level 1 Certificate

CP255  |  Brewing Approaches and Variations

This class provides industry professionals with experience that can add value back at work by clarifying equipment choices or results of brewing from different equipment. It is designed to enable participants to analyze and adjust brews to meet the Golden Cup standard on several different methods, both mechanical and manual. Instruction focuses on how to produce optimum results with the different equipment. Participants systematically brew coffee with various spray head configurations, by-pass settings, pre-infusion settings, pulse brewing and/or manual brewing. The process includes recording details on the official brew analysis worksheet, tasting the coffee and discussing the brewing method's impact on extraction and what conclusions might be drawn from the experiments.

Recommended Prerequisites: SCAA Water Standard eLearning presentation

Required Prerequisites: CP151 - CP152 Introduction to Coffee Brewing & Extraction CP158 - Golden Cup Fundamentals

EXM-BP2, EXM-BW2 (formerlyCP290)  |  Barista Level 2 Practical Exam; and Barista Level 2 Written Exam (Formerly: CP290 BGA Level 2 Certificate Test)

The Barista Level 2 Practical Exam validates practical knowledge and skills of professional baristas who have been on the job for several months or years. The exam evaluates the level to which the objectives of the Barista Certificate Level 2 curriculum have been met by the candidate. For this reason, there is a 3-month required practice period after all classes are completed before candidates may register for this test. (this rule may be appealed in very special cases under special circumstances no less than 6 weeks prior to the event without exception, and approval is NOT guaranteed).

Required Prerequisites: Barista Level 1 Certificate; CP201, CP202, CP203, CP204

EXM-GP1, EXM-GW1 (Formerly CP291)  |  Golden Cup Technician Practical Exam; and Golden Cup Technician Written Exam (Formerly: Golden Cup Technician Certificate Test)

This exam credentials SCAA Golden Cup Technicians. This is a two-part exam consisting of a written test and a practical evaluation. The 40 minute practical evaluation measures the skills of an SCAA Golden Cup Technician in the following areas:1. Performing a Golden Cup evaluation2. Making adjustments3. Reporting Upon passing the practical and written exam, the final step to achieve the full Golden Cup Technician Certificate involves performing an on-site brewing assignment to submit to the Brewing Certificate Committee and SCAA Education Manager. After 1 January 2015 the Foundations Course (CB100, CP103, CP151, CP152, GE103) should be completed prior to beginning the Golden Cup Technician Certificate (GCTC) program, and all candidates must have those class credits to achieve the complete GCTC. Candidates who have taken CP158 and CP255 prior to 31 December 2014 may complete the program under former requirements.

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP103, GE103, CP151, CP152, CP158, CP255

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.

RP206  |  Coffee Farming: Digging Deeper than Seed to Cup

In order to communicate quality throughout the coffee chain (producer through consumer), having a basic knowledge of the production of coffee is essential. RP206 Coffee Farming and RP207 Coffee Processing are designed to enable Roasters, Baristas and Cuppers to discuss coffee (green, roasted, and brewed) from an agricultural, horticultural and milling perspective. The classes aim to introduce basic farming information to help enhance purchasing decisions and promote specialty coffee to consumers. Participants will learn vocabulary, concepts and mental models to support communication and understanding between all members of the supply chain. Material for this class can alternatively be presented in a coffee-producing country with on-site examples as part of a Roasters Guild Origin Trip. RP206 should be given first and in conjunction with RP207.

Recommended Prerequisites: This class is for Cuppers, Roasters and Baristas and is not intended as a preparatory class for farmers. Basic middle-school level botany is sufficient prerequisite for this class.

RP207  |  Coffee Processing Methods

This class follows CB100 or RP206. It introduce basic and processing information to help enhance purchasing decisions and promote specialty coffee to consumers. Videos and diagrams are used to demystify processing methods and allow for competence in explaining washed, semi-washed and dry processes simply to others.

Required Prerequisites: CB100 or RP206

RP208  |  Roaster Plant Safety Essentials

This class introduces working roasters to concepts in warehouse safety in all areas including Personnel, Product, and Equipment safety, to increase awareness of common safety issues and proactively work to effectively address safety issues. Also covered are ways to develop protocols for roaster fire safety and roaster preventative maintenance. Hands-on portions of the class include investigating coffee roasters and pinpointing critical areas of cleaning and maintenance.

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103, RP112

RP216  |  Identifying Defects in Roasting

Roasting is all about applying heat to green beans to produce a quality roasted coffee. A general understanding of the types of heat and how they apply to roasting is essential for any coffee roaster. The relationship of energy conversion between heat and mechanical systems, is extremely relevant for operators of roasting equipment, for purposes of safety and for managing variables to produce predictable results. This class presents the fundamentals and encourages learners to apply concepts to their own roasting operations. Learners participate in heat transfer demonstrations and taste the same coffee roasted to the same profile from 3 roasters of different materials and drum thicknesses.

Recommended Prerequisites: GE304

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103, RP112, RP120

RP218  |  Heat and the Roasting Machine

This class helps Professional Roasters develop deeper holistic knowledge of the field-to-cup process. Information presented will lead to better evaluation of green coffee purchases and prepare roasters for direct-trade activities. Specifically, the purpose of the class is to deepen professional roasters knowledge of the field-to-cup process using an economic lens, and provide information that will augment evaluation of green coffee purchasing for quality and marketing.

Recommended Prerequisites: CB205; CB206

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103, RP112, RP120

RP219  |  Exploring the Cost of Quality Coffee: Economies of Scale

A central part of a professional roaster's job is to be able to evaluate green coffee for buying decisions. In order to do the evaluation, a roaster must be able to consistently roast samples each time, using typical sample roasting equipment and cupping with SCAA protocol as the recommended guide. This class helps participants begin the process of creating a consistent sample roasting program, including checking green grade, recording information, storing samples, making conscious buying decisions, having a roasting log and maintaining equipment. All attendees will get hands on time with the roasters in small groups. Participants must be working cuppers and/or roasters who have attended the pre-requisite classes

Recommended Prerequisites: RP112, RP223

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103, CB200

RP223  |  Sample Roasting

A central part of a professional roaster's job is to be able to evaluate green coffee for buying decisions. In order to do the evaluation, a roaster must be able to consistently roast samples each time, using typical sample roasting equipment and cupping with SCAA protocol as the recommended guide. This class helps participants begin the process of creating a consistent sample roasting program, including checking green grade, recording information, storing samples, making conscious buying decisions, having a roasting log and maintaining equipment. All attendees will get hands on time with the roasters in small groups.

Recommended Prerequisites: CB200

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103, RP112

RP225  |  Espresso Roasting and Blending

Roasting espresso involves different techniques and approaches than roasting for other brew methods. Participants will produce three different espresso roasts and evaluate them both within the class (which is necessary for learning purposes, albeit by industry standards is not ideal for espresso) and when they return to their workplaces.

Recommended Prerequisites: CP101-CP102

RP237  |  Coffee Packaging Fundamentals

This class will outline and detail the various types of packaging equipment used for roasted coffee, as well and the dynamics of packaging materials. The class is organized to address three main factors of packaging: product conveyance, consumer convenience and preservation of freshness. Specifically, class objective are to:
  • List the main types of barrier materials used for coffee packaging.
  • Discuss staling factors in coffee and factors when choosing packaging materials.
  • Describe the various valves and seals on the market.