Roaster Pathway Level 1


Roaster Pathway Level 1 establishes the roasting craft with coursework in coffee analysis and evaluation, green coffee processing and sample roasting and production management and safety.

Level 1 graduates will have demonstrated a proficiency with the scientific and technical elements of roasting and laid the groundwork for the ongoing development of the craft.

Classroom time: 25 hours; up to 10 hours may be completed online.


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 roasters to the definition, history & professional concepts behind managing the flow of coffee from seed to cup and 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.  Please attend online the prerequisite classes, which cover 4 hours of material that provide a solid foundation for understanding green coffee contracts.

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CB200

Green Coffee Grading

Evaluating green coffee is critical for numerous sectors of the coffee industry. This class combines studying and using the SCAA Arabica Green Coffee Defect Handbook with hands-on exercises to introduce students to SCAA Grading Standards. Focusing on the physical evaluation of green coffees, students learn to use the handbook, discuss cause and effect of the identified defects, and what necessitates testing and evaluation of green coffee.

Recommended Prerequisites: CP151, CP152, GE103, GE204, RP206, RP207

Required Prerequisites: CB100


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 have the opportunity to taste coffee from 3 or more decaffeination methods.

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

Required Prerequisites: CB100

Basic Roasting Equipment & Operation

There are many types of roasting systems that vary by manufacturer (patented or proprietary systems), heat application system, and expected operator performance.  This class presents an overview of different pieces of equipment found in roasting facilities.  By surveying roasting equipment throughout history, participants observe the roles roasters have played in the development of the craft of roasting.  In addition, studying the sophistication of equipment throughout the years summarizes how engineers of the past solved problems. By reviewing what worked and what needed to be changed, roasters look at the process of roasting from a different angle than the usual direct, hands-on methods.

Recommended Prerequisites: General awareness of stages of coffee roasting.

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

Profile Roasting Practices

This hands on, intermediate level roasting workshop is designed enable a roaster to define and apply profile roasting practices. This class has a short lecture, focusing on profile definitions followed by comparative cupping. The bulk of the class is at the roaster, recording data and comparing results through sensory analysis.

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

Roaster Plant Safety Essentials

This class introduces working roasters to concepts in warehouse safety in all areas including Personnel, Product, and Equipment safety to increase awareness of common safety issues and proactively work to effectively address safety issues. Also covered are ways to develop protocols for roaster fire safety and roaster preventative maintenance.  Hands-on portions of the class include investigating coffee roasters and pinpointing critical areas of cleaning and maintenance.

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103, RP110, RP112

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 students 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 attendees will get hands on time with the roasters in small groups.

Recommended Prerequisites: CB200

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

Roaster Level 1 Written Exam

This written exam covers of knowledge aspects of the Roaster Pathway Level 1 classes.

Roaster Code of Conduct

Completion of the Roaster Code of Conduct is a requirement for the Roaster Pathway Level 1. Please submit your form here.

Classes marked with * are NOT required for Licensed Q-Graders. Q-Graders also earn credit for GE103: Orientation to SCAA Cupping in the Foundations of Coffee Pathway, but must complete all other classes.