Early Registration Package Special Arabica Q Grader Skills Workshop & Q Grader Course

$ 1,875.00 $ 2,000.00
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Only 2 left

his is the discounted registration for both the Skill Building Workshop and the Q Grader Training and Exam Course. 

Q Arabica Grader Skill Building Workshop

What are the skills that active Q Graders use in the workplace?

Cupping Skills

  • Use a cupping form to clearly communicate the attributes of coffee samples 
  • Correctly record and detail uniformity issues, defects, taints & faults  
  • Score attributes appropriately and consistently with the calibrated Q Grader community 

Sensory Analysis Skills

Olfactory & Gustatory Skills

  • Recall, classify and match fragrances and aromas commonly found in Arabica and Robusta coffee 
  • Identify and recall taste modalities and flavors 
  • Identify common acids that influence a coffee’s acidity 

Discrimination Skills

  • Differentiate coffees by quality level 
  • Differentiate coffees by roast level 
  • Differentiate coffees by acidity 

This 2-Day Workshop was designed to build and practice the skills that are tested in the Q Grader Training and Exam Course. These skills are an integral part of being able to professionally evaluate coffee quality consistent with a global network of calibrated coffee professionals.

It is important to note that this workshop is not a pre-Q. The activities that we use to introduce, practice and evaluate skills are not the same test formats in a Q Grader course. The skills practiced and developed, however, are the skills that you will use in a Q Grader Exam Course. Our testing procedures evaluate your skills via sensory analysis testing that would be used in a quality assurance system.

Our skill building and skill evaluation methodologies are consistent with sensory science best practices and ISO definitions. The skills of identifying, matching, naming, describing and scoring are universal and can be taught and practiced in many ways. The test formats of the Q Grader course are proprietary to CQI

Skills you will practice and develop include:

  • Using the Arabica cupping form correctly 
  • Describing a coffee’s attributes (aroma, flavor, aftertaste, acidity, body & balance) appropriately
  • Differentiating among, and correct reporting of, Off-Flavors and Flavor Defects 
  • Differentiating among coffee quality levels along the Specialty Grade continuum  
  • Recognizing and recalling fragrances and aromas commonly found in coffee 
  • Recognizing and identifying acids found in coffee 
  • Differentiating among, and correct reporting of, properly roasted and improperly roasted cupping samples 

Pre-course knowledge building materials include: 

  • SCA & CQI Cupping Protocols  
  • Sample Roast Protocols 
  • Cupping Form Tutorial 

In-course skill building activities  

In-course skill building activities will introduce and practice Q Grader skills. Each skill building activity will have an assessment and feedback from Q Instructors, Q Assistant Instructors and Calibrated Q Graders. Skill areas include: 

Cupping Tables  

  • One reference cupping table and two Q style cupping tables 
  • Descriptive calibration with assessment and feedback 
  • Statistical calibration with assessment and feedback 
  • Proper detecting and recording of cupping defects 
  • Use of the cupping form assessment and feedback 

Taste Modality 

  • Explore threshold sensitivity to sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami taste modalities 
  • Recall and identify a single taste modality in an aqueous solution 
  • Determine the component taste modalities in a blended aqueous solution 

Fragrance & Aroma 

  • Learn and recall fragrances commonly found in coffee 
  • Match and group similar fragrances 


  • Two Q style triangulation tables 
  • Includes coaching, tips & strategies 

Coffee Acids 

  • Learn and recall coffee acids 
  • Identify coffee acids among cups of control coffee and acidified coffee 

Roast Sample Evaluation 

  • Define flavor profiles of correctly and incorrectly roasted samples 
  • Identify correctly roasted samples among cups of incorrectly roasted samples 


Q Arabica Grader Training And Exam Course 

What is Q Grader License Course and Exam all about?

A Q Grader Course and Exam is a 6 Day course designed to critically evaluate a broad sensory analysis skillset. The first 3 day period involves some teaching of the subject matter, and how we will be evaluating your skills. There will be a practice test version of each of the 20 exams that will be taken over the second 3 day period. The 20 exams are designed to evaluate competency and sensory acuity in a number of areas closely associated with coffee cupping and grading.   

What is an Active Q Grader?

You will become an active Q Grader upon receiving your Q Grader License. Further, an active Q Grader puts in the effort to maintain their calibration to the Q Community by calibrating their skills every 36 months with a 1-Day, 3-Cupping Table and Flavor Standards official exercise. Q Graders are accredited coffee cuppers, licensed by CQI, and are the backbone of the Q Coffee System developed by the Coffee Quality Institute.

Who should pursue the Q?

By itself, the Q Grader License has become a widely successful gold standard of competency among those who cup coffee. Q Graders impact on the Specialty Coffee Industry has been tremendous. The Q Grader curriculum is designed as a certification course for those who routinely taste and evaluate coffee as a part of their profession.

The Q Grader License exams are recommended for any coffee professional who routinely evaluates the quality of coffee: coffee producers (farmers), coffee importers and exporters, green buyers, roasters, quality control personnel and baristas can benefit from what they learn about coffee and themselves from the Q Grader License series of exams. 

What If I Do Not Pass My Q Exams?

Although thousands of coffee professionals pursue the accreditation each year, only about 65% or so pass and obtain their license in their first attempt. It is not uncommon to need a retake for one or more of the exams. If you do not pass the exams on your first attempt, you do not need to repeat the entire course, merely the exam or exams that you need to retake. Since the exam series is offered all over the globe, you may take your retakes at a lab that is conveniently located to where you are currently located. If you require retake exams, you have up to 18 months from the original course date to complete or retake all outstanding exams to earn your Q Grader License. You may join 2 additional Q Courses from your original Q Course while pursuing your retake exams. Each License is valid for 36 months, after which time a calibration course must be taken in order to remain active.