Food Safety Training

Advanced Sensory Training

This 2-Day course is taught by a licensed Q Grader Instructor. 

  • To register for the 4-Day course that includes this Advanced Sensory Course + the SCA Sensory Intermediate Course please CLICK HERE.

When cupping the Comparative Cuppings, World Regions, Triangulations, Sample Roast Identifciactions and Organic Acids portions of this certificate, we will cup, discuss and calibrate in the style that I teach my Q Courses. You will have access to a wide variety of coffee of varying degrees of quality and score.

  • The  Coffee Quality Institute's Q Grader Training and Exam Course is  LINKED HERE

Course Dates:

  • Apr 3 & 4 2019 

From acids to extraction, the SCA flavor wheel to triangulations, the Academy of Coffee Excellence's Advanced Sensory Training presents the tools required to dissect coffees for flavor and evaluate them in a nuanced, careful manner, ensuring the best product makes its way to the consumer. Building a vocabulary of taste descriptors and adhering to cupping protocols, Tasters will quickly build world-class sensory skills alongside a knowledgeable and licensed Q Grader Instructor. Sensory Graduates will be prepared to contribute to quality control departments and programs, working alongside roasters, green coffee buyers and producers to evaluate and critique quality. 

Classes at the Academy of Coffee Excellence generally run from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm unless otherwise noted.

Coursework Includes: 

  • Our customized and extensive workbook and study guide
  • Academy of Coffee Excellence Coffee Passport
  • SCA Arabica Green Grading Handbook
  • Academy of Coffee Excellence Flashdrive with additional and supplemental materials
  • Coffee, baked goods, fruit, snacks and lunch each day
  • Academy of Coffee Excellence engraved cupping spoon  

Day 1 

SCA Cupping Form and Peer Evaluation: The SCA Cupping Form was developed specifically to score and reward quality coffees and appropriately punish defects. This segment demystifies this seemingly complex form and prepares students to embrace its regular use. After an instructive lecture, students cup six coffees, score them, and calibrate with an experienced Q Instructor. Defects in coffee have known and predictable causes as well as distinct impacts on cup quality. In addition to aligning to a group, cuppers will be able to identify the defects by taste and understand where in the supply chain these defects most probably originated. This is a critical skill set for communicating and problem solving within the coffee supply chain. Open discussion and active participation is the driving force as students align on the methods and concepts used to evaluate coffee.

Triangulation Cupping: Triangulation is a specialized skill in cupping that sharpens a cupper’s ability to differentiate coffees blindly. Triangulation is an essential skill for developing consistent and objective palate memory. We will triangle cup the six coffees from the cupping exercise.

Green Coffee Grading: Evaluating green coffee is critical for numerous sectors of the coffee industry. This class combines studying and using the SCA Arabica Green Coffee Defect Handbook with hands-on exercises, to introduce coffee professionals to SCA Specialty Coffee Grading Standards. Focusing on the physical evaluation of green coffees, you will learn to use the handbook, discuss cause and effect of the identified defects, and what necessitates testing and remedies.

Organic Acids in Coffee: Organic Acids are some of the most important flavor compounds in coffee and this class introduces Tasters to four of the most prevalent organic acids found in coffee. By deepening the knowledge of the chemistry behind taste, coffee professionals can increase their repertoire of terms and descriptions when evaluating coffee. This skill will assist producers, mill staff, importers, roasters and baristas focusing their own quality-producing efforts by making the connection between organic acids and their role in the chain of quality.

Homework: There will be a brief homework assignment that you can do alone or as a group. The homework provides a recap of the days activities and sets up learning objectives for the next day. 

Lunch will be provided. 

Day 2

Review / Preview: We start each day with a review of the homework as a means of clarifying the concepts taught in the previous day.

Sensory Skills: Discriminating the basic components of taste is the first step towards successful cupping. This series of tests evaluates a taster’s ability to identify and discern 4 different taste modalities (Sweet, Sour, Salt & Bitter) and 4 different intensities (Perceptible Threshold Level, Barely Perceptible, Perceptible, Very Perceptible). Tasters are presented with sets of aqueous solutions, each containing varying levels of salt, sweet and sour and they train their palate to recognize them and to discern them in blended solutions.

Comparative Cupping World Regions: A primary goal of this is to advance the skill of calibration among coffee tasters. Through small group cupping, discussion and a brief lecture, cuppers become familiar with several different coffees from the various growing regions. This class is essential for developing skills necessary to cup coffee objectively and consistently.

Triangulation Cupping: Triangulation is a specialized skill in cupping that sharpens a cupper’s ability to differentiate coffees blindly. Triangulation is an essential skill for developing consistent and objective palate memory. We will triangle cup the six coffees from the cupping exercise.

Sample Roast Identification: Significant price and quality decisions are made based upon a coffee's sample roast. A cupper's ability to discern and know by taste if a coffee is roasted to SCA Sample Roast specifications is a critical skill. Subtle variations in the roast profile could result in an under-developed, over-developed or baked sample. This segment will help you know by taste SCA specification, under-developed, over-developed and baked.

Lunch will be provided.  



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