CONTACT EMAIL: Todd@AcademyOfCoffee.NET
CONTACT EMAIL: Todd@AcademyOfCoffee.NET
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Understanding Cupping and Sensory Analysis
Understanding Cupping and Sensory Analysis
Academy of Coffee Excellence

Understanding Cupping and Sensory Analysis

Regular price $ 200.00 $ 0.00 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 Sensory Foundation Certificate. The optional SCA Exams will be available during Day 4.

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 - Necessary Skills, is a 4 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:  

  • 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

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 - Academy of Coffee Excellence Cupping Spoon - Morning fruit, coffee, baked goods, snacks and lunch each day.

This 4 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 each day. Lunch is provided. Dietary requests are respected.

Early Registration = $1,600.00 usd

Standard registration = $1,800.00 usd  

Early Registration closes 14 days prior to the beginning of this course. 


Course Detail



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.



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 for 4 Day attendees 

Day 1 

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

Introduction to Sensory Analysis: Sensory Analysis is a field that traverses industries. Individuals in the field of coffee tasting or cupping must employ techniques of the field of sensory analysis by nature, since any coffee must first undergo sensory analysis to be defined as “specialty”. The quality of the sensory information can affect the quality of business decisions.  Understanding the broader scope of Sensory Analysis, cuppers will be challenged to develop widely used guidelines, prepare scientific tests, and approach analyzing coffee in commonly accepted formats. Individual differences and bias are touched on in this class, but covered more in depth in advanced grading and evaluation classes.

Taste and Texture in the Context of Coffee: This segment focuses on how we experience how we experience: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter and Umami. We will connect these sensations with olfactory impressions. Context comes from taking these experiences to coffees of known and varied intensities and qualities of Mouthfeel, Acidity and Bitterness.

Le Nez du Cafe and ScentONE Olfactory Training: This segment provides experiences for participants to gain familiarity with the thirty-six (36) common aromas chosen for the standardized industry tool, the Le Nez du Café kit, which represent an array of scents found in coffee’s fragrance & aroma. You will also gain familiarity with the 100 Aroma ScentONE Aroma Master kit. Using the Le Nez Du Café aroma kit for coffee and the ScontONE Aroma kit, cuppers will self-asses their ability to recognize and categorize aromas found in coffee.

SCA Cupping Form: This segment is for the attendees joining the course in progress. The SCA Cupping Form was developed specifically to score and reward quality coffees and appropriately punish defects. You will be instructed on the proper usage of this form. This knowledge is applied to tomorrow's cupping. If you have enrolled in the Intermediate Advanced 4 Day course this segment will not be repeated for you. Attendees of the 4 Day course will have the next segment instead.

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





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 will be issued directly from the SCA. You will not need to decide about taking the SCA exams until Day 4. 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 = $1,600.00 usd

Standard registration = $1,800.00 usd  

Early Registration closes 14 days before the beginning of this course.