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The Coffee Quality Institute recently completed two Q Robusta courses in Scotland and Switzerland, the first of their kind held in Europe. These courses were taught by Q Instructor Clare Rwakatogoro, with assistance from Gloria Pedroza. Both women are involved in quality control, Claire with the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) and Gloria with NKG Quality Services in Switzerland.
In 2010, in cooperation with UCDA and funded in part by several USAID programs, CQI developed the first ever Fine Robusta training program, now known as Q Robusta, resulting in the world’s first licensed Q Robusta graders. 6 years later, these courses are in demand globally with strong interest coming from Europe. This reflects the trending interest in using quality differentiated Robusta in coffee beverages and the need for coffee buyers to know more about Fine Robusta attributes and flavors.
Europe tends to be a bigger consumer of Robusta coffees than other countries. For example, the well known Italian coffees are typically at least 50% Robusta. By training green coffee buyers how to differentiate Robusta coffees based on flavor, profile, and minimal defects, CQI is leading the shift in demand for Fine Robusta coffees. This has the potential to impact millions of households who depend upon Robusta coffee production as differentiation will lead to increased value for these coffees.
As a result of these two courses, there are now 4 licensed Q Robusta Graders in Scotland and 3 in Switzerland. Students traveled from Italy, Poland, and the UK to taste, learn and compare robusta coffees from different origins, an opportunity they’ve never had before. The instructor Clare is one of 3 CQI Q trainers from Africa, and the only Q Robusta trainer.
For these students, the certification is important because Robusta is a significant part of their company’s purchasing programs and they want to learn about the evaluation standards and classification methods for Fine Robusta.
This is an exciting expansion of CQI’s Q Program, which is aimed at training professionals around the world in specialty arabica and fine Robusta quality standards.
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