Calibration testing is a one-day (1 day) exercise conducted by a certified Q Grader Instructor in which eighteen (18) coffees are cupped in three (3) separate groups of six (6) coffees each.

A Q Grader license is valid for a thirty six (36) month period, commencing on the month following the Q Grader’s successful completion of all of the Q Grader Certification tests. A Q Grader license may be renewed at the end of 36 months for an additional 36 month period by successfully passing the calibration exam.

Q graders failing the calibration testing may retake the entire set of cupping tests one time. If failing to pass a second round of cupping tests, his or she is required to complete a recertification exam in order to reinstate Q Grader status.

Q Grader Recertification Testing

The Q Grader Recertification Course is a two day (2 day) course taught in the same manner as the regular full five (5) day Q Grader course by a certified instructor.

Recertification testing consists of five (5) test exercises:

  1. Sensory Skills Test – Parts I, II, and III (same as Q Grader course)
  2. Cupping Skills Test – Three cupping skills tests: (A reference sample will be provided to orient cuppers at the beginning of each session.)
    • Country of Origin (Central America for consuming country graders)
    • East Africa
    • Indonesia
  3. Triangulation Skills Test – Three triangulation tests
  4. Olfactory Skills Test – Parts A, B, C, and D (same as Q Grader course).
  5. Matching Pairs Skills Test (same as Q Grader course).

To successfully complete the Recertification Course, the Q Grader must pass ALL of the tests. Only one (1) retake is allowed for each test, and a minimum of five (5) Q Graders are required for each of the Cupping Skills Test. Q Graders failing the Recertification Course must repeat the course within six (6) months in order to reinstate their Q Grader license. Q Graders who fail the second Recertification Course must retake the entire Q Grader Exam in order to reinstate their Q Grader license.

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