Many coffee lovers would have heard of the term Q Grader. It's a very special certification useful for analysing and scoring Arabica green coffee beans.
The Q Grader course is known for its scarcity, and the price it costs to complete (around AUD 3,000 plus the cost of travelling and accommodation as it's a 1 week intensive course). On top of that, no one is guaranteed to pass the course.
Becoming a Q Grader is like learning a new language used to communicate within the coffee industry. Everyone has their own way to describe and rate a coffee, so it's very important to unify these differences into a common knowledge that everyone can understand and agree on.
For example, if the score of a particular coffee is 83 out of 100, a Q Grader will expect a certain degree of sweetness and cleanliness in it. However, if the score is 88 out of 100, they will expect to find distinctive sweetness such as peach and pineapple, with a syrupy body and good aftertaste.
This is why the Q Grader course is so valuable. It is more than a coffee expert - it’s an authority and acknowledgement across the industry around the world. Many companies would favour to hire Q Graders since it is such a specialised skill set.
For those interested in becoming a Q Grader, Toby's Estate and Five Senses run the course in Australia. Visit their websites for more information.
At Maven’s Brew, we pride ourselves in only using coffee beans above the score of 80 out of 100 in all our drip coffee bags. According to the Q Graders, anything above 80 is classified as specialty coffee.