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SCAA ROASTER CERTIFICATION - LEVEL 1

The SCAA Roaster Pathway Level 1 course establishes the roasting craft with coursework in coffee analysis and evaluation, green coffee processing and sample roasting, as well as production management and safety. The on-the-job requirement of completing 100 hours of commercial roasting will ensure students can apply the hands-on instructions received in class, and gain valuable experience with professional roasting equipment. This course consists of 25 hours of classroom time, a written exam, and completion of the Roaster Code of Conduct. 

For your convenience, we offer the Roaster Level 1 course together with SCAA Foundation courses and other SCAA and SCAE courses. Course schedule varies depending on the lab you are attending. 

 

Roaster Level 1 includes the following classes:

 

CB200 MILL TO ROASTER: GREEN COFFEE PRICE & CONTRACT IMPACTS

This class introduces students to the definition, history and professional concepts behind managing the flow of coffee from seed to cup. It covers the part after farming and processing when coffee beans arrive at the roasting facility for the next process. CB200 explores in detail the financial, time, and quality implications at each stage in the green coffee supply chain from the time coffee might be contracted: coffee cherry to consuming country warehouse.

 

CB205 GREEN COFFEE BUYING ESSENTIALS

This class provides instruction and activities to help green coffee buyers gain competency in using accepted terminology of the green coffee market, having tools for negotiating and purchasing effectively, and buying green coffee through spot, forward, and direct purchases successfully. Students have to complete the prerequisite classes (CB100 and CB200) which provide a solid foundation for understanding green coffee contracts before taking this class.

 

GE151 GREEN COFFEE GRADING

This class focuses on the physical evaluation of green coffees according to SCAA Grading Standards via hands-on exercises. Students will learn to use the SCAA Arabica Green Coffee Defect Handbook to discuss the cause and effect of the identified defects, as well as what necessitates testing and evaluation of green coffee.

 

RP104 DECAFFEINATION

This class is designed to provide a knowledge base of the decaffeination of green coffee. Students will be introduced to the chemical composition of coffee in relation to caffeine, and a brief history of decaffeination, followed by an in-depth discussion of the various processing methods, and an opportunity to taste coffee from three or more decaffeination methods. The class also covers quality issues surrounding decaf coffee, market share, market opportunities, and pertinent terminology.

 

RP110 BASIC ROASTING EQUIPMENT & OPERATION

This class presents an overview of the different equipment found in roasting facilities, the many types of roasting systems that vary by manufacturer (patented or proprietary systems), heat application system, and expected operator performance. By studying the sophistication of roasting equipment throughout history, students can observe the roles roasters have played in the development of the craft of roasting, and look at the process of roasting from a different angle than the usual straightforward, hands-on methods.

 

RP112 INTRODUCTION TO ROASTING CONCEPTS

This class lays the foundation for successful small batch roasting by introducing critical terms and concepts that are the underpinning of the roasting process. Students are guided through initial roast development (everything before first and second crack) and taught to observe how decisions and actions can affect the final product (both positively and negatively). Through hands-on practices in class, students will learn to manipulate and adjust a small batch drum roaster to meet their desired craft roasting goals.

 

RP120 PROFILE ROASTING PRACTICES

This hands-on, intermediate level roasting workshop enables a roaster to define and apply profile roasting practices. With only a short lecture, this class focuses on profile definitions followed by comparative cupping, whereby students will spend most of their time at the roaster, recording data and comparing results through sensory analysis.

 

RP208 ROASTER PLANT SAFETY ESSENTIALS

This class introduces working roasters to warehouse safety concepts in all areas including Personnel, Product, and Equipment safety. Its purpose is to increase awareness of common safety issues and proactively work to address these issues effectively. The class also covers ways to develop protocols for roaster fire safety and roaster preventative maintenance. Students will be engaged in hands-on activity during this class, including investigating coffee roasters and pinpointing the critical areas of cleaning and maintenance.

 

RP223 SAMPLE ROASTING

This class prepares students to be able to evaluate green coffee for buying decisions, by training them to consistently roast samples using typical sample roasting equipment and cupping with the SCAA protocol as the recommended guide. It helps students begin the process of creating a consistent sample roasting program, including checking green grade, recording information, storing samples, making conscious buying decisions, having a roasting log, and maintaining equipment.


PREREQUISITES and REQUIREMENTS FOR LEVEL 1

  • PREREQUISITE: All SCAA students are required to obtain certification for Foundations of Coffee before taking this course.  Foundation courses are offered in a bundle together with Level 1 courses and include the following:
    • CP103: Customer Service Essentials
    • CB100: Seed to Cup
    • CP151 & 152: Brewing and Extraction Principles and Principles Applied
    • GE103: Orientation to SCAA Cupping
  • REQUIREMENT: Completion of the Roaster Code of Conduct is a requirement for the Roaster Pathway Level 1. 
  • REQUIREMENT: Candidates have up to 3 years to complete the entire Level 1 course and testing.

 

Need to retest? Contact our labs directly for information.

 

SCAA ROASTER CERTIFICATION - LEVEL 2

The SCAA Roaster Pathway Level 2 course examines topics ranging from sustainability and business to culinary science and sensory analysis. Students have the opportunity to travel to a coffee producing country, visit farms, and meet producers to further deepen the connection to craft with real-world perspectives. Aimed to provide students with a deeper insight and experience necessary to innovate and lead in specialty coffee, this course consists of 30 hours of classroom time and a written exam. Students are required to obtain certification for the SCAA Roaster Pathway Level 1 before taking this course. 

For your convenience, we offer the Roaster Level 2 course together with SCAA Foundation courses, Roaster Level 1 and other SCAA or SCAE courses. Course schedule varies depending on the lab you are attending.

 

Roaster Level 2 includes the following classes:

 

CP101 & CP102 ESPRESSO & MILK STEAMING FUNDAMENTALS PART1&2

During the overview lecture for this class, students learn the essential elements of a quality espresso. Then during the laboratory-style class, students work closely with station instructors in small groups to pull shots, steam milk, and craft espresso beverages of using SCAA protocols. This is the first half of a six-hour class taken on the same day, it will 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 café drinks
  • Administer preventive maintenance to espresso equipment, including essential basic cleaning steps
  • Explain the importance of workstation cleanliness

 

GE200 INTRODUCTION TO SENSORY ANALYSIS

Sensory analysis techniques are essential for individuals working with specialty coffee, especially those involved in the field of coffee tasting or cupping, as the quality of sensory information can affect the quality of business decisions. In this class, students will be challenged to develop widely used guidelines, prepare scientific tests, and approach analyzing coffee in commonly accepted formats to understand the broader scope of sensory analysis. Individual differences and bias are touched on in this class, but those who are interested to further study may find sensory analysis covered more in depth in advanced grading and evaluation classes.

 

GE201 SCAA CUPPING FORM & PEER CALIBRATION

This class demystifies the SCAA Cupping Form and prepares students to embrace its regular use in scoring quality coffees. The class comprises of an instructive lecture before students cup three coffees, score them, and calibrate to experienced instructors. Open discussion and active participation is encouraged as students align on the methods and concepts used to evaluate coffee. This class is recommended as a training platform for coffee professionals interested in preparing for the SCAA/CQI Q-Grader Test.

 

GE204 DEFECT CUPPING

In this class, students will evaluate two flights of coffee using the SCAA Cupping Protocols, alternating between direct, small group cuppings, brief lectures, and small group discussions. Students are required to identify coffees containing five specific defects and speculate their causes: Rioy, Fermet, woody or aged, unripe, and must or moldy. This class is also recommended as a training platform for coffee professionals interested in preparing for the SCAA/CQI Q-Grader Test.

 

GE206 GRINDING & GRIND ANALYSIS

This class will enable students to discuss the business case and essential elements of grinding, and taste coffee brewed to highlight the importance of proper grinding. Students will use processes and procedures to measure coffee grinds or particle sizes and watch a demonstration of grinding analysis equipment. 

 

GE304 TASTE TESTING FOR PRODUCTION

This class helps those who work in quality control identify errors in production facilities, and reviews some of the most prevalent inconsistencies in coffee processing and production, as well as the options for use of inconsistent product for sale. Focusing on sensory analysis difference tasting, this is a fast-paced tasting class catered to coffee processors, producers, roasters, and baristas. It assists them in evaluating the consistency of their finished product using the SCAA standard protocol, in order to determine impact on customer loyalty. In this class, students analyze the sensory impact of three important production issues and decision-making when these occur: incorrect coffee or blend, incorrect grind, and incorrect roast level.

 

GE353 COFFEE TASTERS FLAVOR WHEEL

This class illuminates the development and theory behind the SCAA Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel, which is a tool designed for professional coffee cuppers that defines common industry terminology used in the sensory evaluation of coffee. The wheel also offers insight into how those characteristics develop, and gives specialty coffee professionals the tools to articulate sensory experiences. This class focuses on the right half of the right wheel; it begins with distinguishing the aroma categories, then culminates with an activity involving nine representative coffee samples that demonstrate tastes on the Flavor Wheel.

 

RP206 COFFEE FARMING: DIGGING DEEPER THAN SEED TO CUP

This class provides a basic knowledge of the production of coffee, enabling roasters, baristas, and cuppers to discuss green, roasted, and brewed coffee from an agricultural, horticultural, and milling perspective. It aims to introduce basic farming information to help enhance purchasing decisions and promote specialty coffee to consumers. Students will learn vocabulary, concepts, and mental models that support communication and understanding between all members of the supply chain. The material for this class can alternatively be presented in a coffee-producing country with on-site examples as part of a Roasters Guild Origin Trip.

 

RP207 COFFEE PROCESSING METHODS

This class provides a basic knowledge of the production of coffee, enabling roasters, baristas, and cuppers to discuss green, roasted, and brewed coffee from an agricultural, horticultural, and milling perspective. This class provides basic and processing information to help enhance purchasing decisions and promote specialty coffee to consumers. Videos and diagrams are used to demystify processing methods and to easier explain washed, semi-washed, and dry processes to others.

 

RP216 IDENTIFYING DEFECTS IN ROASTING

This class presents the fundamentals of roasting to students by providing them with a general understanding of the types of heat and how they apply to green beans to produce quality roasted coffee. It includes the relationship of energy conversion between heat and mechanical systems, which is extremely relevant for operators of roasting equipment for purposes of safety, as well as for managing variables to produce predictable results. Students are encouraged to apply concepts to their own roasting operations, as they participate in heat transfer demonstrations and taste the same coffee roasted to the same profile from three roasters of different materials and drum thicknesses.

 

RP218 HEAT & THE ROASTING MACHINE

In essence, roasting is applying heat to green coffee in a thought out and controlled manner to produce the desired chemical and physical changes. Hence, understanding how temperature is recorded and how heat transfer works in a roasting system is essential for safety and for purposes of controlling the roast. This class presents the fundamentals of understanding the recording of temperature, and the control of heat application and transfer in a batch roaster, enabling students to:

  • Explain principles of heat and how they are noticeable in the roasting process
  • Explain each part of the coffee roasting machine and how heat is applied, controlled or lost

 

RP225 ESPRESSO ROASTING

Roasting espresso involves different techniques and approaches in comparison to roasting for other brew methods. In this class, students will produce three different espresso roasts and evaluate them both within the class and when they return to their workplaces.

 

RP237 COFFEE PACKAGING FUNDAMENTALS

This class outlines and details the various types of packaging equipment used for roasted coffee, as well as the dynamics of packaging materials. It is organized to address the three main factors of packaging, which are product conveyance, consumer convenience, and preservation of freshness. The objectives of this class are to:

  • List the main types of barrier materials used for coffee packaging
  • Discuss staling factors in coffee and factors when choosing packaging materials
  • Describe the various valves and seals on the market.

 

RP324 AIR QUALITY & THE ROASTER

This class will cover the types of air quality equipment that are currently on the market, the way each piece of equipment works, basic ideas on the set up of each type of equipment, air quality measured from each device, and fuel conservation issues. It will help point roasters in the direction to find state regulations that may apply to them. Topics of this class include Financial (Startup, Regulatory, Fines, Energy), Environmental awareness and stewardship, and Zoning.

 


REQUIREMENTS AND PREREQUISITES FOR LEVEL 2

  • PREREQUISITE: Students are required to obtain certification for the SCAA Roaster Pathway Level 1 before taking this course.
  • REQUIREMENT: Candidates have up to 3 years to complete the entire Level 1 course and testing.

 

Need to retest? Contact our labs directly for information.