The path to becoming a Q grader.

January 22, 2007

What was supposed to be a 40 hour rigorous course turned into 60. 17 of us made it through to the end. I believe 8 completed the course and received a certificate of participation, 6 including my wife and I became certified SCAA cupping judges, and 3 received Q grader certification. The part we both failed was 1 out of 5 triangulations… the one on Indonesian coffees. My wife Nina did better than I accross the board with the exception of the knowledge exam, where I beat her by only 2 points.

I’m excited about how the CQI is evolving including their contribution of the Q grader program. I felt this testing was not easy. When I heard the list of those who had taken it and failed, I felt it a challenge to take it and pass. No such luck. I thought is was quite difficult, yet my wife doing as well as she did shows you don’t need to be an experienced cupper to do well. You just need to be a super taster with a great sense of smell. We left with very mixed thoughts realizing that this testing needs to be more refined. There were also very experienced Colombian cuppers from the federation that have cupped for 16 years that did not do as well as they’d hoped. It is new and as with any new project it takes time to iron out the wrinkles. Considering it’s infancy it was a phenomenal week of confirmation on calibration skills… or lack of =). I’ll ask Nina to contribute her first post to this blog and share more of her experience.

Nina Martinez - now officially a certified SCAA cupping judge!

One Response to “The path to becoming a Q grader.”

  1. Jason Haeger Says:

    Congratulations on the certification, and condolences for not having gone all the way through with flying colors.

    I know you were pretty anxious about it.


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