Coffee Buyer Pathway Level 1


Importers, exporters, buyers, and traders alike will benefit from a curriculum built around the economic realities of the global coffee system. With instruction from leading professionals in every stage of the process, students will gain experience that will immediately carry over to their own work.

Duration: 20 Hours


Foundations of Coffee

Laying the groundwork for a life in coffee, Foundations of Coffee serves as the introduction to all of the Pathways and builds a vocabulary, both spoken and sensed, that will serve each subsequent class in any chosen course of study. Lectures touching on varied subjects that impact coffee such as agronomy, earth sciences, economics, and sociology will bring to life the seed to cup journey as students explore the many steps along the global supply chain.

Foundations of Coffee coursework will shift to a closer inspection of how the senses and chemistry collide, examining how coffees are evaluated through tasting exercises, cupping protocol, and a thorough introduction to flavor perception, as well as the theoretical and practical workings of brewing and extraction. By launching coffee careers with the right tools, Foundations of Coffee will prepare students for their chosen Pathway with a comprehensive overview in the macro and micro forces key to the craft and global industry.

View Requirements

Mill to Roaster: Green Coffee Price & Contract Impacts

This class introduces students to the definition, history & professional concepts behind managing the flow of coffee from seed to cup. This class is an online prerequisite for all CB200 level classes. This class picks up where farming and processing leave off and where arrival at the roasting facility begins. CB200 explores in detail the financial, time, and quality implications at each stage in the green coffee supply chain from the time coffee might be contracted: coffee cherry to consuming country warehouse.

Required Prerequisites: CB100

Green Coffee Buying Essentials

Green coffee buyers need to use accepted terminology of the green coffee market, have tools for negotiating and purchasing effectively, and buy green coffee through spot, forward, and direct purchases successfully. This class provides instruction and activities to help gain competency in those areas.  Students should attend the prerequisite online classes, which cover 4 hours of material that provide a solid foundation for understanding green coffee contracts.

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CB200

Green Coffee Market Dynamics Explained

Green coffee buyers need to make sound purchasing and planning decisions. These decisions are critical for the financial well-being and profitability of any coffee operation. Every roaster has different needs and approaches to risk management, and roasters may not be aware of the financial tools available to them through their importers. This class provides foundation information about the ‘C’-Market that is the basis for most green coffee buying in the world. It covers important concepts for the classroom-based workshop Buying on Green Coffee Market Principles – CB236, in which participants practice purchasing calculations and strategies.
This class covers:

  • Cash vs. Futures Markets
  • Distinctions between Forward and Futures Contracts
  • ‘C’ Market Overview and Primer
  • Brief History of ‘C’
  • ICE Exchange
  • Other International Markets
  • Factors that impacts the ‘C’ price

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CB200

Production and Inventory Control Practices

Properly managing raw materials from source to customer is an essential part of manufacturing process. Understanding and utilizing formal methods can help improve quality and profitability. This class lays the foundation of common practices of efficiency in the recognized field of production and inventory control (PIC). This class provides an overview of Supply Chain Management for the first hour of the class, then proceeds to go into more depth on production and inventory control (PIC).  The instructor covers  essential components, such as process design, bills of materials, process information, controls, manpower, inventory tracking, and others. Advice on information systems (software) will be included, as well as helpful information for integrating a PIC system into an organization.

Recommended Prerequisites: RP208, CB205

Buying on Green Coffee Market Principles

Understanding the ‘C’ market is critical for physical coffee buyers and sellers.  This class will explore differentials in depth and demystify Open to Be Fixed Contracts.  After going over tools and vocabulary for open to be fixed contract buying, students will use case studies and role play as an avenue for transferring knowledge and skills to their workplaces.  Please attend the online prerequisite class, CB206, which is essential knowledge to understand CB236 content.  Other prerequisites (also online) are required to understand the layered information of this class.

Recommended Prerequisites: RP206, RP207, RP219

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CB200, CB205, CB206

Green Coffee Purchasing Strategies

This class is a primer for roasters and importers to determine a purchasing strategy.  It covers:  usage, planning, buying, blending, bag sizes, shrink, spreads, carrying charges, fixing prices, different types of contracts for different purchases and the pros and cons of each. This is the final class of the Coffee Buyer Level 1 program and CB100-CB236 must be taken prior to taking CB237.

Recommended Prerequisites: RP206, RP207, RP219
Required Prerequisites: CB100, CB200, CB205, CB206, CB230, CB236

Coffee Buyer Level 1 Written Exam

This exam will cover the information covered throughout the Coffee Buyer Pathway.