In the world of coffee, there is only one non-profit dedicated exclusively to coffee and that is the Coffee Quality Institute. Its mission is to improve the quality of coffee and the lives of those who produce it. CQI developed a global language of coffee quality through something called the Q Grading Certification.
Becoming a Q grader requires a 6-day training course with endless coffee tasting and no less than 20 exams that test your gustatory skills, organic acid identification and many many other factors including general coffee knowledge. Worldwide there are only 7500 or so Arabica graders and less than 400 Robusta graders…Robusta being an even more difficult course. The pass rate is very low given how hard the course is.
I’ve been an Arabica grader since 2014, but I am beyond thrilled – AMAZED in fact! – to have requalified as a Robusta grader in May of this year. 6 days of non-stop tasting and testing one’s ability to identify qualitative Robusta can leave you exhilarated if over-caffeinated! As a fan of this oft-maligned species, I am honoured to rank amongst the few hundred people globally qualified to Q-grade it.