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CQI Community Chat: Pierre De Chanterac

February 14, 2024
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The CQI community is a vast, diverse, and impactful group of individuals – all with a similar goal or interest of improving and identifying coffee quality to the benefit of the livelihood of those directly involved. In this community chat we had the opportunity to speak with Q Arabica Grader, Pierre De Chanterac – who took the title of 2023 World Cezve/Ibrik Champion at World of Coffee Athens

Pierre is from France, where he works as the Head of Coffee at Terres de Café in Paris – focusing on quality coffee sourcing and education. He has worked for this café for about seven years. In this role, his duties consist of quality control work, origin travel to purchase coffees, and a ton of cuppings and education. This specialty coffee roastery and café brings the local coffee community together for different trainings, meetings, and events. Pierre fell in love with coffee after having a cup that had a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. He notes that sensory pleasure led him to work in coffee – but the community aspect convinced him to stay. 

Terres de Café has eight coffee shops throughout Paris. They just opened a third shop in Seoul, South Korea. Pierre travels to all locations to train staff – but he admits they make it easy as they are all experienced baristas. Traveling to the different locations to train staff also helps him calibrate with each team, providing him with feedback and criteria that he incorporates into his green buying process. 

Pierre first came across CQI in 2019. He was doing a ton of quality control work at Terre de Café and on average they usually have a portfolio of about a hundred different coffees throughout the year. Since he was cupping regularly, he felt that he needed some guidance, and a boost in confidence. He knew that they were all doing a great job, but he wanted some validation and recognition for his sensory skills. Pierre knew that he wanted to become a Q Grader and he began his research to prepare for the course and find opportunities near him. 

Pierre decided to take his course with Q Instructor, Gloria Pedroza. Throughout the course he noticed her precision and exceptional ability to identify quality – encouraging students to connect taste and memory with scores. He felt that this course “puts everything and everyone on the same page.” At the café, Pierre had the task of selecting the best roast profiles to highlight the attributes of each coffee, which made the sample roast ID exam portion of the Q course a bit easier for him. However, he admits that, for him, the hardest part of the Q was isolating defects. This was not something he did often – but after the Q he has a better understanding of green coffee, and it has helped him tremendously when it comes to green buying. He can now provide producers with accurate feedback, not just on the cup score but on the physical appearance of the beans as well – all while speaking a common language of coffee. Pierre has been competing since 2019, taking the winning title in the following competitions: 

• 2019 – Brewers Cup 

• 2021 – Brewers Cup 

• 2022 – AeroPress in France (placed in semifinals in Vancouver)

• 2023 – Cezve/Ibrik 

In addition to these achievements, he has won smaller barista competitions in France as well. He views competitions as an opportunity to challenge himself, face his fears and sharpen his skills. He enjoys meeting other like-minded people, learning from them while also sharing his techniques. He says that preparing for these competitions takes much effort, time, energy, and resources. There are many variables and recipes to be tasted to ensure that you are really putting your best out there for the world to see -and taste. 

We asked Pierre to describe the cezve/ibrik brewing method – and what to expect from it. He highly recommends Q Graders taste their coffee with this brewing method, for many reasons. This method produces a coffee that is highly extracted due to the super fine grind. It can be very sweet and acidic, with low to non-existent bitterness. He feels that it can help one become a better cupper because the initial tasting round for this brewing method in competitions is at about 70 degrees Celsius – which he says can train a cupper to taste coffee at higher temperatures and enhance accuracy during an actual cupping session. He also encourages people to simply enjoy the process itself as he finds it to be hypnotic, treating it as a ritual or ceremonial experience. 

Pierre is not exactly sure what the future holds, but he plans to continue his career in the coffee industry – building and nurturing relationships with producers, baristas, and anyone who is passionate about coffee. He encourages anyone in Paris or Seoul to visit one of the Terres de Café shops and indulge in some coffee, while connecting with the local community.