Coffee Taster Pathway Level 2


Advancing sensory skills and building on critical and analytical prowess, Coffee Taster Pathway Level 2 takes students through the complexities of taste and olfactory theory, discriminatory testing, and statistical analysis.

Graduates are thoroughly prepared for lab and quality control leadership roles, possessing skills that serve sensory analysts throughout food and beverage industries.

Duration: 30 hours


Espresso Exploration

This taste testing and experimentation class gives students the opportunity to explore espresso preparation techniques and their effects on the sensory aspects of the beverage. Students will appraise and compare various espresso recipes, relating the affects of recipe changes, and develop a method creating a “best practice extraction recipe”. Specific class objectives include:

1) Appraising and recording sensory qualities of given espresso recipes using WBC sensory evaluation form.

2) Comparing sensory attributes of espresso prepared with different recipes.

3) Relating how changes in recipe affected final sensory experience.

4) Creating and/or revising recipes to achieve “best” espresso extraction recipe.

Recommended Prerequisites: Coffee Taster Level 1 Certificate; Roaster Level 1 Certificate; RP225, GE201, CP101

Required Prerequisites: Barista Level 1 Certificate; CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103; enrolled in Coffee Taster, Golden Cup, or Roaster Pathway

Grinding & Grind Analysis

Correct coffee grinding is an essential function of cup quality in specialty coffee.  Students discuss essential elements of grinding and taste coffee brewed to highlight the importance of proper grinding.  Students use processes and procedures for measuring coffee grinds/particle size and watch a demonstration of grinding analysis equipment.  Students also discuss the business case and essential elements of good grinding practices.

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103

Coffee Lab Equipment

Quality Control starts with cupping, but doesn’t end there. Objective physical measurements assist cuppers in determining why a coffee tastes as it does. Testing and record keeping enable you to improve and can be a helpful communication tool to customers. This class is designed to introduce experienced coffee professionals to commonly used lab equipment and quality control procedures in a fully functional coffee testing laboratory. Students learn various quality control methods, interpretation of test results and action steps based on specific test results. Hands on demonstrations include use of equipment, evaluation of samples, calibration and maintenance.

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103

Taste Testing for Production

Errors occur in production facilities regularly, and this class helps those who work in quality control identify errors and make decisions appropriate to their companies.  Inconsistencies in saleable goods may be grounds for losing customer base and this class reviews some of the most prevalent inconsistencies in coffee processing and production, along with options for use of inconsistent product for sale.  Focusing on sensory analysis difference testing, learners will evaluate finished goods to determine impact on customer loyalty.  This skill will assist coffee processors, producers, roasters, and baristas by increasing their awareness of the consistency of their finished product, using the SCAA standard protocol for evaluating finished product – roasted coffee.  This is not a cupping class for green coffee evaluation.  Rather, students analyze the sensory impact of  three important production issues and decision-making when these occur:  incorrect coffee/blend, incorrect grind, incorrect roast level.  It is a fast-paced tasting class and not for novices or beginning cuppers or roasters.

Required Prerequisites: GE153 or GE261, GE200, GE206, GE353, RP216, GE303

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151-CP152, GE103, RP112, RP120 or RP223

Consumer Product Taste Testing: Coffee

Coffee professionals of different disciplines need to have objective skills in sensory testing: Designing and conducting tests, recording results, generating data and analyzing statistics to make profitable choices for their companies. This class will explore using sensory testing techniques to create a program that addresses product development.  Consumers have different preferences and this course is designed to provide participants with tools for weighing customer inclinations.  Beverage recipes and coffee choices that include consumer input can lead to a better knowledge of consumers and improved sales.  Paired preference, ranking preference, and the hedonic scale are performed and discussed in class.  These tests will assist coffee professionals by increasing awareness of customer base.

Recommended Prerequisites: GE303, GE353

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103, GE200

Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel

The SCAA Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel is a tool designed for professional coffee cuppers that defines common industry terminology used in the sensory evaluation of coffee.  The wheel offers insight into how those characteristics develop and gives specialty coffee professionals the tools to articulate sensory experiences.  This class succinctly illuminates the development and theory behind the wheel and delves into the right half of the right wheel.  The class begins with distinguishing the aroma categories and culminates with an activity with 9 representative coffee samples that demonstrate tastes on the Flavor Wheel.

Required Prerequisites: GE201, GE202, GE203, GE204, GE205, GE206

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103, GE153 (or GE261), GE200


Coffee professionals are often asked questions about caffeine, decaffeinated coffee and the process of decaffeination.  This class is designed to provide a knowledge base of the decaffeination of green coffee. Students will be introduced to the chemical composition of coffee and how this includes caffeine, a brief history of decaffeination, followed by an in depth discussion of the various processing methods. Roasting coffee from the different processes will be discussed in general terms. Quality issues surrounding decaf coffee, market share/opportunities and pertinent terminology will be discussed. Students will taste coffee from 3 or more decaffeination methods.

Recommended Prerequisites: GE103, RP112, RP223, CP151, CP152

Required Prerequisites: CB100

Introduction to Roasting Concepts

This class lays the foundation for successful small batch roasting.  Instructors introduce and use critical terms and concepts that are the underpinning of the roasting process. Students are guided through initial roast development (everything before first and second crack) and observe how decisions and actions can affect (both positively and negatively) the final product. Through class practice, students will learn to manipulate/adjust a small batch drum roaster to meet their desired craft roasting goals.

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103, RP110

Identifying Defects in Roasting

Roasting is all about applying heat to green beans to produce a quality roasted coffee.  A general understanding of the types of heat and how they apply to roasting is essential for any coffee roaster. The relationship of energy conversion between heat and mechanical systems, is extremely relevant for operators of roasting equipment, for purposes of safety and for managing variables to produce predictable results. This class presents the fundamentals and encourages learners to apply concepts to their own roasting operations. Students participate in heat transfer demonstrations and taste the same coffee roasted to the same profile from 3 roasters of different materials and drum thicknesses.

Recommended Prerequisites: GE304

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103, RP112, RP120

Sample Roasting

A central part of a professional roaster’s job is to be able to evaluate green coffee for buying decisions. In order to do the evaluation, a roaster must be able to consistently roast samples each time, using typical sample roasting equipment and cupping with SCAA protocol as the recommended guide.  This class helps participants begin the process of creating a consistent sample roasting program, including checking green grade, recording information, storing samples, making conscious buying decisions, having a roasting log and maintaining equipment.  All students will get hands on time with the roasters in small groups.

Recommended Prerequisites: CB200

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103, RP112

Coffee Taster Level 2 Practical Exam and Written Exam

This is the final exam for Coffee Taster Level 2.  This test includes a practical exam that tests the critical performance elements of the Level 2 course, as well as a written test on knowledge objectives from all classes of Level 2. A candidate MUST hold the Level 1 Certificate prior to attempting the Level 2 exam.

Required Prerequisites: Coffee Taster Level 1 Certificate; Completion of all class requirements of Coffee Taster Level 2.