A Q Grader certificate is valid for thirty six (36) months beginning from the first course attempt. It may be extended for another 36 month period by passing a calibration exam.

Calibration testing is a one-day (1 day) exercise conducted by a Q Instructor. Eighteen (18) coffees are cupped in three (3) separate groups of six (6) coffees each. A participants must pass two of three sets following Q Grader cupping skills exams protocols.

Q graders who fail calibration testing may retake the entire set of cupping tests only one additional time. If failing to pass a second round of cupping tests, he or she must complete a recertification exam (below) to return to active status.



The Q Recertification Course is a two day (2 day) program taught in the same manner as the full six (6) day Q Grader course by a certified instructor.

Recertification consists of five (5) test exercises:

Sensory Skills Test – Parts I, II, and III

Cupping Skills Tests. 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

Triangulation Skills Test – Three triangulation tests

Olfactory Skills Test – Parts A, B, C, and D

Matching Pairs Skills Test

To pass the Q Grader Recertification Course, the cupper must pass pass all tests. Only one (1) exam retake is allowed for each test. A minimum of five (5) Q Graders are required for each of the cupping skills tests.

Take the online practice course here to do your best!

A list of all calibration and recertification courses may be found here on CQI’s website. Choose the drop-down option under “type” for a short list of relevant results.