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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.


CB000  |  Coffee Buyer Level 1 Agreement of Understanding

Upon completion of the Coffee Buyer Level 1 Certificate course, participants must sign the agreement of understanding and uses of the Certificate before entitlements will be issued.

CB100  |  Seed to Cup (eLearning Class)

A fundamental skill of any specialty coffee professional is to be able to identify key points and explain the journey coffee from seed to cup, having a basic grasp of concepts of coffee's history, growing conditions and chain of custody. This information is an underpinning for purchasing decisions and communication along the chain from farmer to consumer. Engaging, educating and enriching consumers of specialty coffee are inherent in the work of baristas, roasters and retailers, and this class provides accurate, concise information that surveys the custody of coffee, from farmer to barista. Having this basic framework of knowledge will help newcomers to the industry position new information as they learn on the job from others. It is a required Foundations of Coffee class to complete before attending other classes. Two alternatives to meet this requirement are: (1) Attending Coffee Farming RP206 & Coffee Processing RP207 at past events or on the eLearning platform; (2) Origin Trip Credit- https://specialtycoffee.wufoo.com/forms/zh3ctvg0hj8sfj/

CC000  |  CC- Instructor Code of Conduct

Upon completion of the Instructor Development Program, participants must sign this Code of Conduct and Confidentiality before entitlements will be issued.

CP000  |  Barista Code of Conduct

Upon completion of the Barista Level 1 Certificate course, participants must sign this Code of Conduct and Ethics before entitlements will be issued. Baristas must re-sign upon completion of the Barista Level 2 course.

CP101  |  Espresso and Milk Steaming Fundamentals Parts 1 & 2

CP101: Exceptional espresso preparation is a requirement for anyone in specialty coffee retail. Participants work closely with station instructors in small groups, pulling shots, steaming milk and preparing espresso beverages in this laboratory-style class. CP101-CP102 is designed to enable students to:
  • Discuss SCAA espresso standards and current industry trends for established retailers and baristas
  • Demystify espresso machines, grinders, and espresso preparation techniques for beginners
  • Provide hands-on experience under guidance from SCAA Instructors to prepare espresso, milk, and cafe drinks
  • Administer preventive maintenance to espresso equipment, including essential basic cleaning steps
  • Explain the importance of workstation cleanliness Introduction to Espresso.

In Part 1 (CP101) During the overview lecture, participants learn the essential elements of a quality espresso; then, in small groups participants craft espresso using SCAA protocols. This class is part of the Barista Level 1 Certificate, and Foundations of Coffee (CB100, CP151-CP152, CP103 and GE103) MUST be taken for the full Barista Level 1 Certificate. Please note: This is the first half of a 6-hour class and both parts must be taken the same day (there is a 90 minute break).

Recommended Prerequisites: CB100, CP103, CP151, CP152, GE103

CP102  |  Espresso and Milk Steaming Fundamentals Parts 1 & 2

CP102: After CP101 participants continue to work closely with station instructors in small groups, pulling shots, steaming milk and preparing espresso beverages in this laboratory-style class. In Part 2 (CP102) after learning basic theory on milk, industry-accepted recipes and steps of preparation, attendees are coached by station instructors on the espresso grinder and espresso machine, preparing espresso, steaming milk and preparing an industry-accepted beverages. This class is part of the Barista Level 1 Certificate, and Foundations of Coffee (CB100, CP151-CP152, CP103 and GE103) MUST be taken for the full Barista Level 1 certificate. Please note: This is the second half of a 6-hour class and both parts must be taken the same day (there is a 90 minute break).

Recommended Prerequisites: CB100, CP103, CP151, CP152, GE103

CP103  |  Customer Service Essentials (eLearning Class)

Outstanding customer service is a critical component of creating the specialty coffee experience. Participants will identify common keys to great customer service and also steps of service recovery for when things go wrong. During group discussions, learners strategize how to improve customer service interactions and exchange experiences and approaches that have been successful. The class was originally designed for the specialty coffee barista, but has been redesigned to be relevant for all members of the specialty coffee community. This is a required class for ALL the SCAA Certificate programs.steps of service recovery for when things go wrong. During group discussions, learners strategize how to improve customer service interactions and exchange experiences and approaches that have been successful. The class focuses on the specialty coffee barista, but is relevant for all members of the specialty coffee community. This is a required class for Barista Guild of America Certificate - Level One.

Recommended Prerequisites: CB100, CP101-CP102,

CP151  |  Brewing and Extraction Principles

This class is the foundation for all coffee brewing and is essential for any newcomer to the coffee industry. Coffee professionals need to have a strong knowledge of the principals governing optimum brewing methods and must be able to brew coffee to SCAA's vetted standards. CP151 provides this critical instruction and practice. After a 90 minute break, students return for CP152.

Recommended Prerequisites: CB100, GE103

CP152  |  Brewing and Extraction Principles Applied

This class continues to explore the six essential elements of coffee brewing, both through mechanical and manual brewing methods. Learners get hands-on time with the equipment. This is a required class in the new Foundations of Coffee and a prerequisite for all certificate programs, including the Golden Cup Technician Certificate.

Recommended Prerequisites: CB100, GE103

Required Prerequisites: CP151

CP158  |  Golden Cup Brewing

This class builds on CP151 Parts 1 and 2, providing brewing standards and tools to measure brewed coffee for analysis. This class is designed to enable you to use the basic accepted industry method for analyzing brewed coffee utilizing a digital refractometer and the SCAA Brewing Control Chart. Competence in this area is essential for industry professionals. CP158 is the third of four classes that make up the Golden Cup Technician Certificate.

Recommended Prerequisites: CB100, CP103, GE103

Required Prerequisites: CP151-CP152

EXM-BP1, EXM-BW1 (formerly CP190)  |  Barista Level 1 Practical Exam; and Barista Level 1 Written Exam (formerly: CP190 BGA Level 1 Certificate Test)

The Barista Level 1 Practical Exam evaluates practical knowledge and skills of a barista at the level of essential competencies. Based on the Barista Certificate Level 1 curriculum, completion of ALL classes is recommended prior to testing. Beginning 1 January 2015 in order to receive the full certificate, candidates must attend the required classes: Seed to Cup CB100, Customer Service Essentials CP103, Brewing & Extraction Principles CP151, Brewing & Extraction Principles Applied CP152, and Orientation to SCAA Cupping GE103. The only class for which candidates may \"test out\" is Espresso & Milk Steaming Fundamentals CP101-CP102. Candidates who began the program under the former requirements may have one year to complete the program under the pre-2015 curriculum. Test out candidates are highly encouraged to attend the online intensive test preparation class, which covers the knowledge and performance content tested in the written and practical exams. Please see the SCAA Upcoming Events page for dates and times of the written exam.

Recommended Prerequisites: CP101-CP102 and/or CP200

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP103, CP151-CP152, GE103

CT000  |  Coffee Taster Code of Conduct

Upon completion of the Coffee Taster Level 1 Certificate course, participants must sign this Code of Conduct and Ethics before entitlements will be issued. Coffee Tasters must re-sign upon completion of the Coffee Taster Level 2 course.

GE103  |  Orientation to SCAA Cupping

Cupping is the Specialty Coffee Industry's standard for evaluating green coffee. Using the SCAA Cupping Protocol and exploring two flights of coffee, participants are introduced to and practice the SCAA protocol, and focus on basic vocabulary from the Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel for objective, professional coffee quality evaluation. This is one of the Foundations of Coffee classes and is required for other classes in all certificate programs.

Recommended Prerequisites: CP151, CP152

Required Prerequisites: CB100

GE151  |  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. This is NOT a cupping class.

Recommended Prerequisites: CP151, CP152, GE103, GE204

Required Prerequisites: CB100

GE153  |  Le Nez du Cafe: Aroma of Coffee

This class provides experiences for participants to gain familiarity with the thirty-six (36) common aromas chosen for the standardized industry tool, the Le Nez du Cafe kit, which represent an array of scents found in coffee's fragrance & aroma. Using the Le Nez Du Cafe aroma kit for coffee, participants self-asses their ability to recognize and categorize aromas found in coffee. This class is also recommended as a training class for coffee professionals interested in preparing for the SCAA/CQI Q-Grader Test.

Recommended Prerequisites: GE103, GE200

GE154  |  Sensory Skills Test Preparation

Discriminating the basic components of taste is the first step towards successful cupping. This series of tests evaluates a taster's ability to identify and discern different taste thresholds. Participants are presented with a set of aqueous solutions, each containing varying levels of salt, sweet and sour. The class is preparation for the Sensory Skills test of SCAA/CQI Q-Grader. Results from this class do NOT count toward retakes of this portion of the Q-Exams without prior approval by CQI. Those who need the retake to count toward their Q-Grader Certification MUST confirm prior to attending class, whether or not prior approval has been met.

Recommended Prerequisites: GE103, GE200

EXM-CTL1 (Formerly GE191)  |  Coffee Tasters Log Requirement, Level 1 (Formerly: GE191 CTC Tasting Log)

This first installment of the coffee cupping log is to be a checkpoint for candidates who are new to coffee. Candidates must taste120 different coffees, filling out the simplified cupping form and coffee info data sheet for each. However, there is a strict timetable that must be followed. The log must be completed in no LESS than one month and no more than 3 months. Candidates must cup at least once a week. Additional information on the log is available on request from the SCAA Education Manager.

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

EXM-CTP1 (formerly GE190)  |  Coffee Taster Level 1 Practical Exam-Calibration Class (Formerly: GE190 CTC Disciplines Test)

This Coffee Taster Level 1 Practical Exam tests the most critical and frequently-done practical skills of a coffee taster in terms of standard processes and protocols. Candidates set up a cupping from start to finish. They must also correctly perform the SCAA Cupping process on one table according to the protocol, and evaluate coffee to the level indicated throughout the course (GE201-GE205).

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

EXM-CTW1 (Formerly GE192)  |  Coffee Taster Level 1 Written Exam(Formerly: GE192 Module 2 Exam)

This written exam covers of knowledge aspects of the Coffee Taster Level 1 classes.

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

RP000  |  Roaster Code of Conduct

Upon completion of the Roaster Level 1 Certificate course, participants must sign this Code of Conduct and Ethics before entitlements will be issued. Roasters must re-sign upon completion of the Roaster Level 2 Certificate course.

RP104  |  Decaffeination

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. Participants 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. Participants will taste coffee from 3 or more decaffeination methods.

Recommended Prerequisites: GE103, RP112

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP151, CP152

RP110  |  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 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: CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103

RP112  |  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. Roasters 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, roasters will learn to manipulate/adjust a small batch drum roaster to meet their desired craft roasting goals.

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

RP120  |  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. Participants must be working roasters who have attended the pre-requisite classes.

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