New Assistant Q Instructor Jan Komarek

During the 2018 Q Assistant Instructor course, we had 13 students from 10 different nationalities. One student, Jan Komarek had a particularly intriguing journey. He recounts his story below:

I started my coffee career as a Barista. I grew up in Czech Republic, where my father was a successful computer programmer, so throughout my childhood it was thought I would follow in his footsteps. But during high school and college I was working as a barback and later a barista.

I took the coffee-making responsibility seriously and paid for myself to do good barista courses. I always liked coffee, but after seeing how complex the process and the product really is I got fascinated by it and started spending all of my free time learning about coffee and tasting it. I slowly grew better, started working in specialty coffee, became a head barista and later managed several cafes. I started competing in Cup Tasters Competition and the second year I competed, I managed to place 3rd in the world championship. That gave me confidence that, with proper training, I might have chance of completing CQI’s Q Grader training one day.

At this point I left university and started preparing for CQI’s Arabica Q course, which after a few months I managed to successfully pass. Since then I started helping roasters around me part time with quality control and green coffee purchasing. After a few months, I was offered my current position as Quality Control and Green Coffee Buyer for Bailies Coffee Roasters in Belfast, Ireland. Which was pretty much my dream coming true at the young age of 24. I moved over to Northern Ireland and since then I've used my Q Grader training almost every day. It allowed me to speak unambiguously with importers, exporters and producers in the same language. It helped me to define the way in which we communicate quality control within our company as well.

Coming from a technical background I enjoy the precision and efficiency of calibrated cuppers and a uniform language. It helps to reduce noise and buzzwords. I quickly realized how misinformation and confusion of decision makers can impact the livelihoods of producers. That is why I want to become CQI Q Arabica Instructor  - to be able to teach, train and educate more people in the coffee world so that we all benefit from being on the same page.

Interested in understanding what it takes to become a CQI Q Instructor? Click here to find out more or read below.

Please note the process to become an Assistant Instructor includes being Q Grader for three years, ensuring expertise in our system, and successfully passing a Q Grader Calibration in order to be eligible to become an Assistant Instructor. Then you must take the Assistant Instructor Course, offered once a year by CQI only and from there proceed with additional steps for becoming an Instructor.

If you qualify to register as a Q Assistant Instructor please log in to your database profile and fill out the Assistant Instructor form: https://database.coffeeinstitute.org/asstInstructor/application. You must be logged in to the database and complete a brief questionnaire to determine eligibility in order to complete an application. This would be the initial step toward becoming a Q Instructor.

You may also sign up as a Coffee Corps Volunteer to be considered for specific grant funded assignments that can help you move forward as instructor.

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