Sensory Skills courses cover concepts and skills relevant to the evaluation of coffee and related products. The content of these interactive courses includes sensory science, industry-specific protocols, common sensory attributes of coffee, physiological sensory training, implementation of sensory programs, consumer testing design, application in business, and more.
The Sensory Skills Foundation course introduces the essentials of sensory evaluation in a practical and interactive manner. It investigates the way human senses influence perception and how to apply this knowledge when evaluating coffee’s natural characteristics. Learners gain the ability to differentiate certain sensorial aspects of coffee including body, acidity, bitterness, and more. The course introduces fragrance identification references and also focuses on the purpose and procedure for conducting an SCA cupping. Learners gain insight into identifying specialty coffee qualities, as well as an overview of how to implement this in business. Practical learning objectives and activities specifically prepare the learner to identify basic differences in coffee attributes, recall fragrance identification and set up a cupping according to the SCA Cupping Protocol. A written exam tests theoretical knowledge based on Foundation course learning objectives.
The Sensory Skills Intermediate course builds on the concepts and skills introduced in the Sensory Skills Foundation course and prepares the learner for more complex job functions in the sensory evaluation of coffee and related products. This course covers a wide range of topics, including the physiology of taste and aroma; the types of sensory analysis tests, the operation of a cupping session; the diversity of coffee attributes; the use of the SCA Flavor Wheel and WCR Sensory Lexicon; and the implementation of a sensory analysis panel and session. A written exam tests intermediate course knowledge while a practical exam assesses the learner’s ability to identify basic differences in coffee attributes and recall fragrance identification.
Note: Current holders of a valid CQI Q Grader license may qualify to waive the practical exam for this course. See your Authorized SCA Trainer for more details.
The Sensory Skills Professional course builds on the concepts and skills introduced in the Sensory Skills Intermediate course and prepares the learner for managerial job functions in the sensory evaluation of coffee and related products. In this interactive course, learners gain alignment with industry coffee and sensory standards; learn about the implementation of sensory evaluation in a coffee business; acquire the skills required to start identifying and evaluating qualities in specialty green coffee; and demonstrate how to accurately measure and describe coffee beverage characteristics. Participants will learn how to generate repeatable and methodical sensory measurements of coffee, along with interpretation of those results. A written exam confirms professional course knowledge while a practical exam tests the skills described above based on different working activities carried out during the course.