About the Q Grader Program

The Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) designed the Q Grader program to create a skilled and credible body of specialty Arabica coffee cuppers.   The role of these cuppers is to consistently and accurately assess coffee quality, both cup and grade, as a part of its Q Coffee System. Today, that program is the only internationally recognized certificate system for Arabica coffee cuppers.

Q Graders are recognized as cuppers as skilled to:

  • Objectively assess coffee quality
  • Identify, quantify and articulate coffee characteristics
  • Detect coffee defects
  • Communicate coffee characteristics using common industry terminology

Upon successful completion of the Q Grader program, certified Q Graders are permitted to evaluate Arabica coffees for CQI or a CQI In-country Partner. A Q Grader certificate is valid for three (3) years and is renewable upon completion of an accredited calibration offered by an authorized instructor.

Classes are organized and conducted by a small number of Q Grader Instructors that have received accreditation from CQI.  See how to schedule a Q Grader class.

A Q Grader Course is a six (6) day series of calibration exercises and exams consisting of twenty (20) individual tests that must be passed in order to qualify for certification. Candidates that do not pass all sections during the five day course period may retake those tests during the course period or anytime after within eighteen (18) months.

If you are considering enrolling in a Q Grader exam course, be sure to read our online study guide, How to Study for a Q Grader exam.

See the list of upcoming Q Grader Courses here

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