A Founding Premier Training Campus Of The Specialty Coffee Association

Roasting Intermediate Advanced Course

The Academy of Coffee Excellence's Intermediate Advanced Course is a comprehensive roaster training course that greatly exceeds the requirements for the SCA Foundation & Intermediate Certificates and provides the solid knowledge base & skill set that a wholesale or retail roaster requires. The Intermediate Advanced Course is a 4 Day course and you will roast a minimum of 12 production batches and 6 sample roast batches. SCA Foundation & Intermediate Written & Practical Exams will be available at the completion of the course.

  • If you are looking for a comprehensive program, select the 4 Day option with start date below.
  • If you are only looking to fulfill the requirements of the SCA certificates, select the 3 Day option with start dates below and plan on joining the course in progress at the beginning of Day 2.

Course Dates:

  • 12 to 15 DEC 2017 - This course is sold out
  • 15 to 18 JAN 2018
  • 20 to 23 FEB 2018
  • 25 to 28 APR 2018

The Roasting Intermediate Advanced Course establishes the craft of roasting with in-depth coursework in the areas of:

  • coffee analysis and evaluation via cupping and triangulation,
  • green coffee processing, sample roasting and production roasting,
  • production management, green coffee contracts and roastery safety.
  • You will roast a minimum of 5 Sample Roasts and 12 Production Roasts

Intermediate Advanced Course graduates will demonstrate a proficiency with the scientific and technical elements of roasting coffee. They will also demonstrate basic quality control process skills and moving green coffee from an Importer's Sample through Sample Roasting and into Production Roasting. This course will lay the groundwork for the ongoing development of a career in Specialty Coffee.

The registration includes:
  • Tuition for the training and education
  • Academy of Coffee Excellence interactive workbook
  • Academy of Coffee Excellence Coffee Passport
  • Academy of Coffee Excellence engraved cupping spoon
  • Morning coffee, fruit, baked goods, snacks and lunch each day

This 4-Day Course covers a great deal of content. Attendees should plan on being at the Academy of Coffee Excellence from 8:00am (08:00) to 5:00pm (17:00) each day.

  • $1,600.00 usd for Members
  • $1,750.00 usd for Non-Members 

Day 1

Seed to Cup: A fundamental skill of any specialty coffee professional is to be able to identify key points and explain coffee’s journey from seed to cup, having a basic grasp of concepts of coffee’s history, growing conditions and the chain of custody.  This information is an underpinning for purchasing decisions and communication along the chain from farmer to consumer.  Engaging, educating and enriching consumers of specialty coffee are inherent in the work of baristas, roasters and retailers, and this class provides accurate, concise information that surveys the custody of coffee, from farmer to barista. This segment begins where the e:Learning pre-work ends.

Mill to Roaster: Green Coffee Price and Contract Impacts: This segment explores in detail the financial, time, and quality implications at each stage in the green coffee supply chain from the time coffee might be contracted.

Cupping and Triangulation:

Cupping is the Specialty Coffee Industry’s standard for evaluating green coffee. Triangulation Cupping and Difference From Control Cupping is an essential part of any quality control process prior to release of roasted coffee. Using the SCA Cupping Protocol while exploring two flights of coffee, participants are introduced to and practice the SCA protocol, and focus on basic vocabulary from the Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel for objective, professional coffee quality evaluation. Flight 1 focuses on the differences among growing regions. Flight 2 focuses on the differences among 3  processing methods on the same coffee from the same farm.

Sample Roasting: A central part of a professional Roaster’s job is to be able to evaluate green coffee for buying decisions and profile development. In order to do the evaluation, a Roaster must be able to consistently roast samples each time, using typical sample roasting equipment and cupping with SCA protocol as the recommended guide. This class helps students begin the process of creating a consistent sample roasting program, including checking green grade, recording information, storing samples, making conscious buying decisions, having a roasting log and maintaining equipment.  All attendees will get hands on time with any or all of the 5 sample roasters at the Academy of Coffee Excellence. Lunch is provided.

Day 2

Attendees of the Advanced Course:

We will start our day in the expansive 24 person cupping lab of the Academy of Coffee Excellence where we will cup and evaluate the previous day's Sample Roasts.

Attendees joining the Advance Course in process for the 3 Day SCA Intermediate Certificate coursework:

We will start our day in Classroom 1 of the Academy of Coffee Excellence and have a brief review of the pre-work and a short quiz. 

Introduction to Roasting Concepts: This segment lays the foundation for successful small batch roasting. Instructors introduce and use critical terms and concepts that are the underpinning of the roasting process. Students are guided through initial roast progression (everything before first and second crack).

Difference From Control Roast Evaluation: Here we will further explore quality control with a simplified Difference From Control quality test. We will taste the roasts of the previous day to evaluate the coffees. 

Applied Roasting Concepts: This segment applies concepts by using any of the 4 drum roasters of the Academy of Coffee Excellence. Attendees are guided through initial roast progression (everything before first and second crack) and conduct several roasting experiments on varying the roast development in order to assess the impact of differing levels of caramelization on final product. Through class practice, attendees will learn to manipulate/adjust a small batch drum roaster to meet their desired craft roasting goals.

Profile Roasting Concepts: This segment discusses profile definitions, concepts, methodologies and rationales for making subtle changes to roast profiles. Lunch is provided.

Day 3

Profile Roasting Practices: In this hands on segment we return to the Roasting Room and conduct roast experiments to apply and test the concepts taught the previous day. The entire period prior to lunch is at the roaster, recording data and comparing results through sensory analysis.

More Cupping and Triangulation: In this segment we apply the principles of Quality Control discussed earlier through Cupping and Triangulation Cupping. We will also introduce the concepts of roast defects by taste.  Lunch is provided.

Day 4

More Cupping and Triangulation: In this segment we continue to develop Cupping and Triangulation Cupping skills.  

Green Coffee Buying Essentials: Green coffee buyers need to use accepted terminology of the green coffee market, have tools for negotiating and purchasing effectively, and buy green coffee through spot, forward, and direct purchases successfully. This segment provides instruction and activities to help gain competency in those areas.

Decaffeination: Coffee professionals are often asked questions about caffeine, decaffeinated coffee and the process of decaffeination.  This segment is designed to provide a basic knowledge of the decaffeination of green coffee. 

Quality Assurance meets Food Safety: This class introduces working roasters to concepts in warehouse safety in all areas including Personnel, Product, and Equipment safety to increase awareness of common safety issues and proactively work to effectively address safety issues. Also covered are ways to develop protocols for roaster fire safety and roaster preventative maintenance.  Hands-on portions of the class include investigating coffee roasters and pinpointing critical areas of cleaning and maintenance.

Profile Roasting Applied: This segment is where you fully integrate all of the skills developed. Attendees design a roast profile based upon the previous results of cupping analysis and quality control. You final roast will go through a Difference From Control test to validate your roast plan.  Lunch is provided.

Day 4 Afternoon

Practical and Written Exams take place the afternoon of Day 4. There is a separate SCA registration, not included with this course, to take the Practical and Written Exams and upon passing, the Certificate Issuance. To register for this course's exams follow the Exam and Certificate Issuance Link.

There are up to 2 certificates available for this coursework. You may select 1 of the following 3 choices that you will find on the Exam and Certificate Issuance Link.

  • Foundation Only
  • Intermediate Only
  • Foundation + Intermediate


There are membership discounts available for the following affiliations:

SCA - SCAA - SCAE - NCA - NAMA - Roaster's Guild - Barista Guild - Active Q Graders.

To become an SCA Member or to learn more about it follow this link to SCA Membership.

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