Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Valuable by-products of the QGrader Exam

Maybe it's this way with every training course, but having just completed my QGrader re-takes, I've now had the opportunity to do 1.5 QGrade courses with two different sets of 10-12 coffee professionals. That experience, whether one passes the test or not, is truly valuable. I'm not saying I'd pay $1000 just to hang out and cup with 1o people for a week -- but there is a truly valuable learning aspect that one probably doesn't anticipate when one signs up for the course. At least I didn't.

What I noticed is that because each roaster and importer has different backgrounds and areas of expertise, all week you are on a learning curve about aspects of the coffee industry that are less familiar to you, given your place "in the supply and service chain". And when it comes to the coffee in the cup, it's fascinating to see how one roaster finds a cup "well rounded and bold" and another finds it "too earthy." Of course, it's great when a room of disparate traders, roasters, importers, cafe-owners all have a unanimous experience, too -- "that one sucks!", for example. Now we can debate how and why.

Keep cupping, everyone!

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