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ICP Spotlight: The Specialty Coffee Institute of Thailand

August 29, 2023
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At Coffee Quality Institute our different certifications and benefits can apply to people, coffee, and places, such as In-Country Partners (ICPs). CQI works directly with ICPs to ensure that learners, educators, and local coffee communities are experiencing CQI education in a consistent and reliable environment. Additionally, ICPs are the infrastructure of the Q Coffee System and function as a hub where Q Graders evaluate coffee quality using industry standards for both arabica (specialty) and robusta (fine).

In this ICP spotlight, we would like to focus on the Specialty Coffee Institute of Thailand (SCITH) and their recent events and contributions to the Q Coffee System.

SCITH was established in 2018 with the aim of providing coffee education to producers, coffee professionals and the general public. SCITH became a CQI In-Country Partner (ICP) and certified Q Venue in 2021. The organization’s objective for participating in the ICP program is to contribute to the establishment of a fair and sustainable coffee sector in Thailand. One of the duties of an ICP is to provide the local CQI community with an opportunity to come together to discuss new initiatives, explore new CQI classes and provide Q Graders with the chance to evaluate different coffees.

Last July, SCITH was one of the first ICPs to host a new CQI event – Exploring Flavor Standards. At this event, local Q Graders in Thailand had the opportunity to interact with these flavor standards and gain first-hand knowledge on how this new tool is used in CQI Quality Evaluation training to continue improving the global language of coffee, specifically for flavors. Most attendees were Q Graders, and they were excited to be a part of the event. Click here to view a video recap for this event!

Another service carried out by CQI ICPs is the green coffee evaluation process – which calls upon three active Q Graders to evaluate samples, and based on results, producers can either receive a Q Certificate (if sample scores as specialty and passes the green evaluation), or a technical report (if the samples scores below specialty or fails the green grading). SCITH has been actively involved in the Q Coffee System utilizing these Q Certificates to provide producers with knowledge and information about their coffees – while also applying this evaluation as a baseline for quality assurance, seeking continued improvement of quality year after year.

This past month, SCITH hosted the 2023 Thai Green Coffee Evaluation Initiative in Chiangmai– an event focused on evaluating the quality of coffee produced by Thai farmers, at no cost to the producers. This event was sponsored by CQI, and lead by Q Instructor Rocky Rhodes. Rocky, along with local Q Graders and Q Processing professionals, joined together for a week of activities, such as:

  • An optional Q Calibration course for Q Graders who were attending and needed to renew their certification.
  • The green coffee evaluation event itself, where both Arabica and Robusta samples were cupped.
  • A sample roasting class, taught by Rocky as well.

Click here to hear a few words from Rocky about the importance of this event!

The goal of this event was to evaluate the submitted samples based on international standards and apply the information gathered to the development of farmers and sustainable Thai coffee quality. Specialty Arabica samples that received a score of 85+, and Fine Robusta samples that received an 82+ would receive a Q Certificate, which producers can use to promote their coffee on an international level, since these samples would be published in the CQI coffee database. Samples below these scores would still receive reports detailing the quality of their coffee, so that they may improve their processing practices, thus improving quality over time.

Below is a summary of the samples evaluated in each category, with results and producer information:

Top scoring lots, receiving their certificates and global recognition.


SCITH has proven to be a knowledge hub where Q Graders, local coffee professionals and educators can come together to exchange knowledge and contribute to our shared mission of improving the quality of coffee and the lives of those who produce it. This year alone, they have already hosted several events and courses that bring the coffee community together for continuous learning opportunities. As busy as they have been – SCITH is now getting ready to host the next CQI Instructor Community of Practice Events this upcoming September, where CQI Quality Evaluation Instructors from around the world will come together to calibrate, discuss program updates, and exchange knowledge.

To learn more about SCITH and their upcoming courses and events, click here.