Q Grader Training and Exam

Q Grader Certification

Want to become a licensed Q grader? Take this highly intensive prep course followed by the challenging Q exam.

We are very proud that with our supplementary add-on programs and new systems we increased our passing rate to 50-90% per course.

Course Outline

When the CQI (Coffee Quality Institute) created the most renowned certification for coffee cuppers, Q Graders, it created a demanding professional certification that filled a vacuum in the market when it launched in 2003. The Q grader certification program was launched in 2003 by The Coffee Quality Institute (CQI). Since the inception of this intensive training and examination program, thousands of coffee professionals around the world have become certified as Q grader. Since its introduction, grading and cupping protocols around the world have become much more standardized. The professional accreditation of Q graders has created a league of coffee cuppers around the world who apply uniform procedures to the evaluation of physical and sensory attributes of coffee samples. 

The Q certification program consists of a 3-day course, followed by a 3-day examination marathon comprising of 19 tests which feature the following elements:
• Sensory skills;
• Triangulation;
• Le Nez du Café aroma trials;
• Green bean grading;
• Cupping & scoring examination.

The Q grader certification is valid for 3 years, after which the Q grader is required to pass a calibration to extend their certification for another 3 years. The calibration consists of 3 cupping trials.

Completing the Q is a challenging but very rewarding experience! If you fail one or more tests, you do not need to retake the entire course but you can retake those tests only. Usually you can take up to 2 retakes per failed test during the examination course. Subsequently, there’s the opportunity to take retakes at later Q courses.

This intensive program consists of 3 days training and 3 days examination. Each day will commence at 8:30 AM and will finish around 5:00 PM. The majority of the sixth day is reserved for taking retakes of tests as necessary.

The upcoming program is taught by lead Q instructor Willem Boot.


May 12 - 17 2024


9:00 am - 5:30 pm

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Boot Coffee Campus
619 Lindaro Street, San Rafael, CA
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