Quality Evaluation

Introduction to CQI Cupping (100)

This class teaches all new coffee people how to set up a cupping and evaluate coffee consistent with the CQI's best practices and protocols for Q Graders.​

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Description: In this 2-day class, attendees will learn the fundamental mechanics of olfaction (fragrance & aroma), gustation (flavor & aftertaste), texture (body & mouthfeel) and aroma memory recall. They will apply these mechanics while learning how to compare and describe coffee attributes found in both Arabica and Robusta species of coffee.. Attendees will be taught how to determine proper dosing for cupping bowls and set up a table. They will cup multiple flights of coffee and calibration their evaluations. Attendees will begin to learn the common language of coffee quality and explore ways to continue their professional cupping and coffee education.

Who is it for: New coffee people, novice cuppers, or even coffee enthusiasts looking to better understand coffee flavor and how quality is professionally evaluated.

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Understanding Tastes and Flavors (100)

This class teaches people new to sensory analysis how taste, smell, mouthfeel are used in the context of evaluating coffee.

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Description: This hands-on class begins with fundamental learning activities for the three key elements of flavor (taste, aroma, and mouthfeel). The class builds by introducing the standard sensory analysis tools of aroma and flavor references and uses them the context of coffee quality evaluation. The class concludes by conducting quality testing of coffee and simulating an individual calibration with flavor standards.

Who is it for: People interested in an entry level class that builds the foundation for the sensory analysis of food and beverage.

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Q Cupping Essentials Course - Arabica or Robusta (200)

In this course, learners will gain a thorough understanding of how to accurately and comprehensively cup coffee samples for the purpose of scoring, identifying, and differentiating quality coffees

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Description: In QCE, novice cuppers will expand the depth of their knowledge of the cupping form. The course goes into detail on each section exploring the how and why of the cupping form. Each box on the cupping form will be explored theoretically and experienced practically via multiple methodologies using coffee as well as other sensory tools. Cuppers earning their Q Cupping Essential certificate will be able to cup consistent with the CQI protocols and procedures and demonstrate a working understanding of the cupping form.

Who is it for? QCE is a great course for someone looking to advance their understanding of cupping, a vital skill in the coffee industry. It is ideal for people who need to build the skills necessary to become professional cuppers. This includes Q Grader candidates, quality control staff and coffee product developers, prospective coffee buyers and roasters working with coffee producing partners in the value chain.

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Sensory Evaluation in Quality Control (200)

This class continues the development of coffee-centric quality evaluation skills by introducing the main sensory tools and testing methods used by large food & beverage companies around the world to standardize and unify their production.

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Description: Flavor and quality context is a trained, practiced, and continually evaluated skill. This class works to build this context using sensory reference standards and sensory evaluation techniques. Participants will develop skills to define what quality means in their company and recognize acceptable and unacceptable flavors. They will be introduced to the main sensory testing techniques utilized by food and sensory professionals in academic and industry settings. In this interactive class, learning is facilitated through practice and professional feedback, and builds on basic sensory understanding to establish working knowledge of systematic quality control practices using the most up-to-date tools of the trade.

Who is it for? Coffee people working in procurement, green coffee buying and quality assurance, product development and inventory management. Anyone who need to understand how to apply professional quality control testing to coffee.  

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Q Arabica Combo Course (300)

Q Arabica was the first component of the Q system, launched by CQI over 15 years ago. The concept was simple: train everyone in the supply chain to speak a common language of quality. In this way, aiming to elevate quality coffee worldwide and ultimately rewarding producers for higher quality while opening market opportunities.

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Description: This course consists of two corresponding parts over six days. In the first part, over 3 days, learners review assumed knowledge and theoretical principles, including practice of all activities. The second part is a 3-day series of exams regarding the material presented. The course includes 19 exams over 9 Modules to test the learners’ job-relevant skills including cupping protocols, olfactory senses, gustatory sensory

Who is it for? Practicing coffee tasters and quality assurance/control professionals looking to gain familiarity with international standards and be recognized with a professional certificate.

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Q Robusta Combo Course (300)

This course was developed in cooperation with the Ugandan Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) and launched by CQI globally to improve the quality of Robusta, including training of coffee professionals in the standards for Fine Robusta. This course combines training and testing to reinforce learners’ understanding of the Q Robusta Grading process while measuring their ability to evaluate Robusta coffee according to the established CQI Fine Robusta standards and cupping form.

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Description: This course consists of two corresponding parts over six days. In the first part, over 3 days, learners review assumed knowledge and theoretical principles, including practice of all activities. The second part is a 3-day series of exams regarding the material presented. The course includes 19 exams over 9 Modules to test the learners’ job-relevant skills including upping protocols, olfactory senses, gustatory sensory skills, green and roasted grading, organic acid identification, triangulation skills, roasted sample identification, coffee processing evaluation, and general coffee value chain knowledge. Those successfully completing this course will be able to objectively evaluate Robusta coffees based on cup quality and origin and provide feedback on cup nuances, defects and flavors. Participants who pass all exams earn a Q Robusta Grader certificate.

Who is it for? Practicing Robusta tasters and quality assurance/control professionals looking to gain familiarity with international standards and be recognized with a professional certificate.

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Q Arabica or Robusta Calibration Courses - Arabica or Robusta (300)

Q Graders must calibrate their skills every three years. However, many chose to do so every other year. Calibration verifies their abilities to accurately evaluate coffee quality based upon the globally accepted standards for Fine Robusta and/or Specialty Arabica. Calibration validates a Grader’s commitment to quality.

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Description: The calibration consists of three cupping flights with distinct attributes. All Q Graders must demonstrate calibration by passing at least two of the three flights. Upon passing, the Q Grader certificate will remain valid for an additional 36 months, starting from the first day of the calibration course.

Who is it for? Any Q grader wishing to renew their Q certificate and remain an active Q grader.

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