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CONTACT EMAIL: Todd@AcademyOfCoffee.NET
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Roaster Level 1 Plus Understanding Cupping Skills (SCA Roaster Intermediate)
Roaster Level 1 Plus Understanding Cupping Skills (SCA Roaster Intermediate)
Roaster Level 1 Plus Understanding Cupping Skills (SCA Roaster Intermediate)
Roaster Level 1 Plus Understanding Cupping Skills (SCA Roaster Intermediate)
Roaster Level 1 Plus Understanding Cupping Skills (SCA Roaster Intermediate)
Academy of Coffee Excellence

Roaster Level 1 Plus Understanding Cupping Skills (SCA Roaster Intermediate)

Regular price $ 1,600.00 Sale price $ 1,800.00 Unit price per
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Course Dates

  • No Courses Posted Until Our Q2 COVID Assessment

The Academy of Coffee Excellence has been developing coffee education curricula for more than 20 years. Our coursework greatly exceeds the requirement for the SCA Roasting Intermediate & Green Coffee Foundation Certificates. The optional SCA Exams will be available during Day 5.

Educational offerings can vary widely among coffee educators. Always ask to see the course detail prior to enrolling so that you can compare what type of educational programming you will be receiving. Below we will overview the Course Summary, then an extensive presentation, day by day and module by module, of our Course Detail.   

Course Summary

The Academy of Coffee Excellence's Roaster Level 1 Plus Understanding Green Coffee is a 5 Day comprehensive roaster training course designed to instill the skills necessary for a Roaster to be successful in the first 5 years of their career. It establishes the craft of roasting with in-depth applicable theory and learn by doing exercises in the areas of coffee analysis and evaluation via cupping and triangulation, sample roasting and production roasting, production management, green coffee contracts, roastery safety and FDA FSMA Compliance. 

You will:  

  • Learn the tree to roastery coffee value chain
  • Understand differences among species, varieties & regions and how they intersect with decisions a roaster may make
  • Evaluate green and roasted coffee samples
  • Develop a sample evaluation protocol 
  • Roast a minimum of 5 sample roasts
  • Roast a minimum of 13 production roasts
  • Cup with Q Instructors or Q Graders a minimum of 8 flights of coffee
  • Triangle cup a minimum of 4 flights of coffee
  • Go from receiving an importer's sample to release a production roast to commerce

Academy of Coffee Excellence Roaster Level 1 graduates will demonstrate a proficiency with the scientific and technical elements of coffee roasting. You 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 lays the groundwork for the ongoing development of your career in coffee. 

Your registration includes:  

Tuition for the training and education - Academy of Coffee Excellence detailed course workbook and resource flash drive for continued learning - Morning fruit, coffee, baked goods, snacks and lunch each day.

This 5 Day Course covers a great deal of content. The lab opens at 8:00am for coffee, fruit, baked goods & self directed skills development. Coursework commences promptly at 8:30am continuing through 5:30pm to 6:00pm each day. Lunch is provided.

Dietary requests are respected.

  • Early Registration = $1,800.00usd (closes 21 days prior to the start date)
  • Standard registration = $2,000.00usd  
  • Payment Plan Options detailed below 


Course Detail

DAY 1 

Species and Varieties: You will learn the key differences among species and varieties of coffee. This will include differentiating by sight, smell and flavor Arabica from Robusta. You will also experience an assortment of Arabica varieties and take a close look at common green defects found in Arabica coffee.

Coffee's Origin and Migration: Coffee species have different geographic origins. You will explore the origin myths and facts of coffee and follow its migration around the world.

Factors Impacting Coffee's Growth: Coffee’s production growth is impacted by environmental, geo-political and economic factors. Coffee’s consumption growth is impacted by different factors. You will explore global and regional elements that influence the supply of and the demand for coffee.

Harvesting: The most critical part of a quality cup of coffee starts here. You will explore differing methodologies of harvesting. You will also understand how these methodologies are applied to specialty coffee.. 

Processing Methods: The greatest impact on flavor transformation in green coffee is processing. You will cup and evaluate coffee grown on the same farm and in the same micro-climate but processed in 3 different ways. This exercise will enable you to taste the impact of the processing without varying varietal, origin or climate.  

Milling & Exporting: Once dried, there are many options for making the coffee ready for export and sale. You will see and understand the types of equipment used. Coffee can be in transit over night or over several months. You will continue your exploration of the value chain from producing country to the consuming country.

Traceability & Certifications: Traceability is an important aspect of a Food Safety and Recall Plan. It is also important for properly tracking and rewarding third party certifications. You will learn about third party certifiers like USDA Organic, Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance and others. You will also see how to connect traceability to food safety. 

The Global Coffee Market: No basic understanding of green coffee would be complete without developing a working knowledge of a commodities market and the coffee markets.

Lunch is provided. Dietary requests are respected. 



Seed to Roastery Quality Impact Points: A fundamental skill of any coffee professional is to be able to understand and explain key points in the coffee value chain where quality and costs are impacted. You will understand the implications of quality and cost impact points on decisions that must be made by a professional coffee roaster. 

Working with Importers: A good working relationship with your importer is critical to the success of your coffee business. We will discuss and demonstrate how you can best benefit from their expertise by calibrating with them and creating a feedback loop with them.

Building Cupping Skills: Cupping is how the Specialty Coffee Industry communicates quality and value from farm to café. If you want to be a good roaster, you have to be a good cupper. You will learn by doing, from Q Instructors and / or Q Graders, the globally recognized standards, protocols and tools for evaluating green and roasted coffee. Using the SCA & CQI Cupping Protocols while exploring multiple flights of coffee, you  will be introduced to and practice focusing on basic vocabulary from the Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel for objective, professional coffee quality evaluation.

Sample Roasting and Roasting Samples: A central part of a professional roaster’s job is to be able to evaluate green coffee for purchase and roast profile development decisions. In order to do these evaluations properly, you must be able to consistently roast samples using typical sample roasting equipment and cupping  protocols. This module will help you to begin the process of creating a consistent sample roasting and quality control program, including checking green coffee's grade, recording relevant data, storing samples, making conscious buying decisions, having a roasting log and maintaining equipment. You will get hands on time with any or all of the 5 sample roasters of three different types at the Academy of Coffee Excellence.

Lunch is provided. Dietary requests are respected.



Cupping Skills Development: You will critically evaluate the previous days’ roasts. In the process, you will learn by taste how subtle changes at very specific points in the roast can transform into perceptible differences in quality on the cupping table. This module builds upon Day 1’s cupping module. Your cupping skills development will continue to expand in breadth and depth every day throughout this course.

Triangulation: Triangulation Cupping and Difference From Control Cupping are essential parts of any quality control process prior to release of roasted coffee to commerce. Quality control is also critical for your brand integrity. You will learn and apply fundamental principles of sensory evaluation and begin to create a process for maintaining your production roasting standards.

Introduction to Production Roasting Concepts: This module lays the foundation for successful small batch roasting. Our Instructors introduce and use critical terms and concepts that are the underpinning of the roasting process. You will be guided through initial roast progression, roast development and Industry Best Practices.

Applied Roasting Concepts: This module applies learned concepts by using any of the 4 drum roasters of the Academy of Coffee Excellence. You will conduct several roasting experiments on varying the roast development in order to assess the impact of differing levels of caramelization on the final product. Other roast experiments will demonstrate how subtle manipulations of Rate of Rise impact the inherent acidity quality potential of the bean. Through repeated planning and practice you will learn to manipulate, adjust and modify a small batch drum roaster to meet your desired craft roasting goals.

Lunch is provided. Dietary requests are respected.



Continued Cupping Skills Development: More in-depth cupping with tighter tolerances for variation among the roasts that you have produced.

Profile Roasting Practices: In this hands-on module you will plan roasts designed with specific flavor attributes in mind. You will then conduct these experiments and verify the accuracy of the measurable results of your production roast as compared to your production standard and roast profile plan.

Quality Control Principles: Throughout this course you will have developed a great deal of roasting and cupping experience and data. In this module you will begin to edit and design a process for applying these skills and data points to your specific company needs.

Coffee Contracts and Pricing: You will learn the basics of: writing coffee contracts, understanding Outright Price, calculating Differential Price, using Carry Charges as part of your budget planning and timing contracts with harvest cycles.

Lunch is provided. Dietary requests are respected.



More Cupping and Triangulation Skills Development: Not only will you be developing and using these skills, you will determine the context of how to use them for your specific quality targets.

Quality Assurance meets Food Safety: In the United States, working wholesale roasters are legally accountable to the FDA's FSMA Food Safety Modernization Act. You will learn what is required of you and how it can easily fit into the Quality Assurance process we have been constructing. In addition to Food Safety this module also develops broader safety concepts in the areas of product and personnel safety, roaster maintenance and safety as well as roaster fire prevention best practices.

Profile Roasting Applied: This segment is where you fully integrate all of the skills that you have developed in this course. You will tell me what I will experience in your roast, before you you weigh out the green coffee. The degree of your success will be evaluated with our final blind Difference From Control and Comparative Cuppings. In addition to our olfactory and gustatory evaluations, you will also asses the degree of color variance from your developed control standard and ultimately decide if or how your coffees can be released to commerce.

Lunch is provided. Dietary requests are respected.


Optional SCA Exams   


Optional SCA Exams: There is a separate SCA assessed fee for the SCA Practical and Written Exams. Upon passing, the SCA Roasting Intermediate Certificate and the Green Coffee Foundation Certificate will be issued directly from the SCA. You will not need to decide about taking the SCA exams until Day 4 or 5. The separate SCA Exam and Certificate Fee will be assessed and collected on the exam day. Credit card, check or cash payment are accepted for exam admission.

If you wish to take the SCA Exams, it is important to note that YOU WILL NEED AN SCA LEARNER NUMBER prior to taking the exams – THIS IS NOT YOUR SCAA MEMBER NUMBER.

To find or create your SCA Learner Number you may follow this link to the SCA’s website.


Early Registration = $1,800.00usd (Early Registration closes 21 days prior to the start date)

Standard registration = $2,000.00usd 

Payment Plan Options

  • Payment 1 of $600.00usd made 60 days prior to the course start date
  • Payment 2 of $600.00usd made 30 days prior to the course start date
  • Payment 3 of $600.00usd made 15 days prior to the course start date
  • email for approval
  • Payment Plan payments are non-refundable


Registration Cancellation Policy linked here