Roaster - Level 1 Necessary Skills (SCA Intermediate Plus)

The Academy of Coffee Excellence's Roaster - Level 1 Necessary Skills is a 4-day comprehensive roaster training course that greatly exceeds the scope of and requirements for the SCA Foundation & Intermediate Certificates. The Roaster - Level 1 Necessary Skills Course establishes the craft of roasting with 4 days of in-depth coursework in the areas of coffee analysis and evaluation via cupping and triangulation, sample roasting and production roasting, production management, green coffee contracts and roastery safety.

You will:

  • Roast a minimum of 5 sample roasts

  • Roast a minimum of 12 production roasts

  • Cup a minimum of 8 flights of coffee

  • Triangle cup a minimum of 4 flights of coffee

Course Dates:

Academy of Coffee Excellence 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.

Your registration includes:

  • Tuition for the training and education

  • Academy of Coffee Excellence 130+ page interactive workbook

  • Academy of Coffee Excellence Coffee Passport

  • 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 5:30pm (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. We also explore critical points within the supply chain that can impact the price or cup quality. 


Working with Importers: We spend some time discussing how you can best benefit by calibrating with your importers and providing timely and useful feedback.


Cupping: Cupping is the Specialty Coffee Industry’s standard for evaluating green coffee. Using the SCA Cupping Protocol while exploring multiple 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. 


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

Cupping. More in-depth cupping.


Triangulation: Triangulation Cupping and Difference From Control Cupping is an essential part of any quality control process prior to release of roasted coffee. 


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 and roast development.


Applied Roasting Concepts: This segment applies concepts by using any of the 4 drum roasters of the Academy of Coffee Excellence. Attendees conduct several roasting experiments on varying the roast development in order to assess the impact of differing levels of caramelization on final product. Other roast experiments are designed to teach how to manipulation the interior color of the bean. Through class practice, attendees will learn to manipulate/adjust a small batch drum roaster to meet their desired craft roasting goals.

Lunch is provided.


Day 3

Cupping. More in-depth cupping.


Profile Roasting Practices: In this hands on segment we return to the Roasting Room and conduct several more roast experiments to apply and test the concepts taught the previous day. 


Quality Control: Triangulation cupping applied to quality control principles.


Coffee Contracts and Pricing: In this section we learn the basics in writing coffee contracts, understanding Outright Price, calculating Differential Price and working through Carry Charges.


Day 4

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


Quality Assurance meets Food Safety: This segment introduces working roasters to the tasks and tools for establishing a Quality Assurance process. We also discuss the convergence of Quality Assurance with Food Safety. 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 roast profiles to accentuate acidity and profiles to accentuate sweetness. Other skills explored are in color matching roast targets. 


Lunch is provided.


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


    There are membership discounts available for the following affiliations:

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

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