Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Quality is in the cup

Ann Arbor, MI -- good to be back. My nose, mouth and entire body found the week of intensive cupping and the sensory tests nearly overwhelming. The Q Grader course was worth it however -- thanks to great instructors and a uniquely diverse and fun bunch of people who made up the class. Main learnings -- 1. one must rely on the cup, not certifications, grades or descriptions given by others. 2. learning to accurately score what one cups correctly is going to be a challenge. Takes lots of calibration opportunities. I'm pretty good at awarding a coffee when it's good. What's tougher for me is "dinging" a coffee when it's not living up to specialty grade.

My feedback on the course -- there should have been more "drills" on specialty vs. non-specialty coffees, and then the test. Line up 3 cups of Colombians that score 78-79 and 3 more that score 80-81, score them and discuss. Then do the same with Indonesians, East Africans, Centrals, etc.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

4th Day of the Q Grader Exam

Long Beach, CA. SCAA headquarters (also CQI headquarters). Just finished the 4th day of the Q Grader exam. There's 10 of us in the class, an instructor (Kelly Amoroso) and an assistant instructor from Korea, Paul Kim. We're all exhausted at this point in the week. It's as tough as they say -- I'll have to re-take several parts. But well worth it -- I'll be a more educated and confident cupper regardless of whether I get the certificate this time around.