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Below you will find a comprehensive list of courses that are offered through the SCAA Professional Development program. Please use the tabs on the right of this page to display only the courses pertaining to your experience level, the subject area you are interested in, or the certificate program that you'd like to pursue.


CB390  |  SCAA Instructor Development Program

The SCAA Instructor Development Program is one of our most popular professional development programs. Specialty Coffee Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) can advance their training and education skills through workshops on adult learning principles in the workplace, instructional design (based on the ADDIE model developed by the American Society for Training & Development), testing, evaluation and class management. Upon completion of the one-day program, students earn the SCAA Lead Instructor Credential and are eligible to volunteer as an Instructor for SCAA. Many students enthusiastically report an increase in quality and delivery of their training and instructional design in their own companies after completing the IDP. This course is particularly beneficial for the coffee expert who trains others, but has no formal coursework in training, adult education, or organizational learning. This course is a pre-requisite for advanced IDPs. Below are details on class objectives.
  • Recognizing education and training as an element of organizational success;
  • Applying adult learning principles;
  • Setting clear, measurable skill and knowledge objectives;
  • Designing instruction using the ADDIE model of the American Society for Training and Development;
  • Exhibiting professional presentation skills;
  • Evaluating learner performance and leveraging learning back at work.

CB491  |  Training Feedback

This class explores the nature of feedback, what makes up effective feedback, what prevents instructors from giving feedback, how feedback can impact performance in the classroom and at work, and feedback's role in evaluation. This class is designed to enable participants to:
  • Deliver effective feedback on skill tasks that impact performance at work.
  • Explain how feedback can impact the reaching of learning, application and outcome objectives in the classroom and at work.
  • Inject feedback checks into classes to assist the transfer of learning to work


Required Prerequisites: CB390

CB492  |  Performance Improvement Initiatives

Training is often inaccurately applied as a solution to workplace problems. This advanced instructor development program introduces business owners, managers and supervisors to the Human Performance Technology (HPT) Model as a tool to help improve workplace performance. HPT is a systematic approach to improving productivity and competence, and combines three fundamental processes: performance analysis, cause analysis, and intervention selection. Participants will explore root cause analysis and interventions (training and non-training) as means of achieving employee talent potential. This is an active workshop and participants should bring laptops to fill in templates and tools that can immediately be used back at work. This class is best suited for business owners or staff members who are actively seeking to strengthen their company's human resource function, and pre-course strategizing or discussions are encouraged.

Required Prerequisites: CB390

CP302  |  Espresso Exploration

This taste testing and experimentation class gives advanced baristas the opportunity to explore espresso preparation techniques and their effects on the sensory aspects of the beverage. Participants will appraise and compare various espresso recipes (prepared by Barista Level 2 instructors), relating the affects of recipe changes, and develop a method creating a "best practice extraction recipe". Specific class objectives include:
  • Appraising and recording sensory qualities of given espresso recipes using WBC sensory evaluation form.
  • Comparing sensory attributes of espresso prepared with different recipes.
  • Relating how changes in recipe affected final sensory experience.
  • Creating and/or revising recipes to achieve "best" espresso extraction recipe.


Recommended Prerequisites: Coffee Taster Level 1 Certificate; Roaster Level 1 Certificate; RP225

Required Prerequisites: BGA Level 1 Certificate; CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103, GE201

GE303  |  Triangulation Cupping

Triangulation is a specialized skill in cupping that sharpens a cupper's ability to differentiate coffees blindly. Triangulation is an essential skill for developing consistent and objective palate memory. According to the SCAA and CQI protocol for triangulation, participants triangulate three flights of coffee, with discussion in between flights. The correct answers are revealed at the conclusion of the class. This class is also recommended as a training class for coffee professionals interested in preparing for the SCAA/CQI Q-Grader Test.

Required Prerequisites: GE103, GE201, GE202

GE304  |  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, participants 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.

Recommended Prerequisites: GE153 or GE261, GE200, GE206, GE353, RP216

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

GE308  |  Consumer Testing Concepts for 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.

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

GE353  |  The 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. This is a class for advanced coffee professionals. Required prerequisites will be enforced.

Recommended Prerequisites: GE201-GE206

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

RP324  |  Air Quality and the Roaster

Air quality has become an important issue to coffee roasters around the country. This class will cover the types of air quality equipment that are currently on the market, the way that each piece of equipment works, basic ideas on the set up of that type of equipment, air quality measured from each device, and fuel conservation issues. It will also help point roasters in the direction to find state regulations that may apply to them. Topics include: Financial (Startup, Regulatory, Fines, Energy), Environmental awareness & stewardship and Zoning.

SC310  |  Science Seminar- Special Class

Taught by the SCAA Science Manager, this seminar covers a subject of recent research that impacts the specialty coffee industry. Topics will change to keep the class current and fresh, when it is offered.