Earlier this year, CQI announced the 2023 Distinguished Instructors recipients, a recognition honoring instructors who have achieved certain milestones. The recipients of this designation have met a set of criteria – for both Quality Evaluation and Post-Harvest Processing programs. To view additional information on these criteria, click here.
CQI cannot accomplish any goals without our instructors, they are ambassadors for CQI in their local coffee communities and even globally. Throughout the rest of 2023, we will release profiles for each distinguished instructor, highlighting their coffee and education experiences. In the first spotlight – we caught up with Luz Stella Artajo Medina – Q Arabica & Q Processing Level 1 Instructor, continue reading below to learn more about Luz!
What was your first job?
Junior Researcher studying antioxidants in Olive Oil at Universidad de Lleida (Catalonia, Spain).
Outside of coffee, what is your favorite hobby?
Not really outside, discovering small coffee shops in big cities around the world. Also, visiting museums and spend hours discerning a painting like Sunflowers and Potato Eaters by Van Gogh or one of the Compositions by Kandinsky.
What do you wish someone would’ve told you when you were first starting out in coffee?
It’s for good, once you are in the industry you cannot leave it!
What is the characteristic you like best about coffee? And why?
It is the most unique social drink, best way to meet people and the perfect excuse to start a conversation. As a coffee beverage I like especially fragrance (more than aroma), acidity and balance. The equilibrium and consistency during different temperatures is the value of a coffee because this demonstrates the harmony and quality itself, not hiding off flavors or defects.
What is your teaching style?
I don't think there are styles for teaching, if you are professionally prepared and knowledgeable you will meet the three views of teaching, which I believe in: transmission, transaction, and transformation. Tome the last one is the most important, from this perspective, teaching is creating conditions that have the potential to transform the learner on many different levels (cognitive, emotional, social, intuitive, creative, spiritual, and other), and this is exactly what coffee does! I am a privileged person because only 13% of the population love what they do.
What is the thing you enjoy the most about teaching CQI education?
Meeting new people and understanding how different cultures live the coffee industry.
What type of industry books, resources or materials are you currently reading?
Scientific articles about fermentation in coffee
Can you tell a story of an experience where a common language of quality helped create/capture value for a producer?
The opportunity of introducing a roaster to a producer in origin (the roaster already buying and roasting the producer's coffee), both Q Graders. Those moments are unforgettable.
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