Education, training and consulting for all facets of the coffee value chain. End to end.
Education, training and consulting for all facets of the coffee value chain. End to end.
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Roaster Level 1 - Necessary Skills (SCA Intermediate with More Depth & Breadth)
Roaster Level 1 - Necessary Skills (SCA Intermediate with More Depth & Breadth)
Roaster Level 1 - Necessary Skills (SCA Intermediate with More Depth & Breadth)
Roaster Level 1 - Necessary Skills (SCA Intermediate with More Depth & Breadth)
Roaster Level 1 - Necessary Skills (SCA Intermediate with More Depth & Breadth)
Academy of Coffee Excellence

Roaster Level 1 - Necessary Skills (SCA Intermediate with More Depth & Breadth)

Regular price $ 1,600.00 $ 2,600.00 Unit price per
Tax included.

Course Dates

  • 25-28 FEB 2020 / Mon-Thu

  • 7-10 APR 2020 / Tue-Fri

  • 13-16 JUL 2020 / Mon-Thu

  • add Green Coffee Level 1 to this course and save an additional $200

  • 24-27 OCT 2020 / Sat-Tue

  • add Green Coffee Level 1 to this course and save an additional $200


The Academy of Coffee Excellence has been developing and delivering coffee education curricula and training for more than 25 years. We have done this for the Specialty Coffee Association of America, Specialty Coffee Association, Industry Trade Associations, Private Companies and Countries' Coffee Development Boards. Our coursework greatly exceeds in both depth and breadth the minimum requirements for an SCA Certificate. The optional SCA Certificate Exams will be available during the last day of a course where SCA Certificate content is offered.

It is important for you to know that educational offerings can vary widely in depth and breadth of instructional content among coffee educators. Always ask to see the following 3 items prior to enrolling in a course so that you can accurately compare the educational programming and experience that you will be receiving.

  1. Course Detail Description

  2. Total Course Hours Required (Instruction time plus lunch time plus break time)

  3. The Actual Hours of Instruction Delivered (Total course time minus lunch time minus break time)  

Registration Options

  • Early = $1,600.00 usd (closes 21 days prior to the course start date)

  • Standard = $1,800.00 usd 

  • Payment Plan options detailed below 

Course Summary

The Academy of Coffee Excellence's Roaster Level 1 - Necessary Skills, is a 4 Day comprehensive roaster training course designed to instill the skills necessary for a Roaster to be successful throughout the first 5 years of their career. It establishes the craft of roasting with in-depth applicable theory and learn by doing exercises in the areas of coffee analysis and evaluation via cupping and triangulation, sample roasting and production roasting, production management, green coffee contracts, hazard analysis and FDA FSMA Compliance overview. 

You will:  

  • Roast a minimum of 5 sample roasts

  • Roast a minimum of 13 production roasts

  • Cup and calibrate with Q Instructors or Q Graders a minimum of 8 flights of coffee

  • Triangle cup and difference from control cup a minimum of 4 flights of coffee

  • Move a coffee from an importer's sample, through flavor potential experimentation and finally into a production roast

Academy of Coffee Excellence Roaster Level 1 graduates will demonstrate a proficiency with the scientific and technical elements of coffee roasting. You will also demonstrate basic quality control process skills for developing and producing  production roasts. This course lays the groundwork for the ongoing development of your career in coffee. 

Your registration includes:  

Tuition for the training and education - Academy of Coffee Excellence detailed course workbook and resource flash drive for continued learning - Morning fruit, coffee, baked goods, snacks and lunch each day. 

This 4 Day Course covers a great deal of content. The lab opens at 8:00am for coffee, fruit, baked goods & self directed skills development. Coursework commences promptly at 8:30am continuing through 5:30pm to 6:00pm each day. Lunch is provided and dietary requests are respected.  


Course Detail 


The Academy of Coffee Excellence 4-Day course delivers 28 hours of professionally guided instruction. Plus you will still have the opportunity to earn your SCA Roasting Intermediate credential. 

If the SCA AST chooses do so, a 2 or 3 day SCA Course could have as few as 14 to 16 hours of instruction. SCA Total Hours Required = 21 hours scheduled. Instructional hours could equal 21 hours minus 2 or 3 hours for lunches (1 hr per day), minus 1.5 to 2 hours breaks(15 min AM / 15 min PM) and minus 3 hours for the practical exam. SCA Approximate Hours Of Instruction could equal 14 to 16 hours SCA Roasting Intermediate credential.



Seed to Roastery Quality Impact Points: This content builds upon existing knowledge of the seed to cup coffee supply chain. A fundamental skill of any coffee professional is to be able to understand and explain key points where quality and costs are impacted. You will understand the implications of quality and cost impact points on decisions that must be made by a professional coffee roaster. 

Working with Importers: A good working relationship with your importer is critical to the success of your coffee business. We will discuss and demonstrate how you can best benefit from their expertise by calibrating with them and creating a communication feedback loop with them.

Building Cupping Skills: If you want to be a good roaster, you must be a good cupper. Cupping is how the Specialty Coffee Industry communicates quality and value from farm to café. You will learn by doing, from Q Instructors and / or Q Graders, the globally recognized standards, protocols and tools for evaluating green and roasted coffee. Using the SCA & CQI Cupping Protocols while exploring multiple flights of coffee, you will be introduced to and practice focusing on basic vocabulary from the Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel for objective, professional coffee quality evaluation.

Sample Roasting and Roasting Samples: A central part of a professional roaster’s job is to be able to evaluate green coffee for purchase and roast profile development decisions. You will receive a set of an importer's offer samples. In order to do these evaluations properly, you must be able to consistently roast samples using typical sample roasting equipment and assess their potential with globally recognized cupping protocols. This module will help you to begin the process of creating a consistent sample roasting and quality control program, including checking green coffee's grade, recording relevant data, storing samples, making conscious buying decisions, having a roasting log and maintaining equipment. You will be deciding which coffee you will be working with by making your "purchase decision". You will get hands on time with any or all of the 5 sample roasters of three different types at the Academy of Coffee Excellence.

Lunch is provided. Dietary requests are respected.



Cupping Skills Development: You will critically evaluate the previous days’ roasts. In the process, you will learn by taste how subtle changes at very specific points in the roast can transform into perceptible differences in quality on the cupping table. This module builds upon Day 1’s cupping module. Your cupping skills development will continue to expand in breadth and depth every day throughout this course.

Triangulation: Triangulation Cupping and Difference From Control Cupping are essential parts of any quality control process prior to release of roasted coffee to commerce. Quality control is also critical for your brand integrity. You will learn and apply fundamental principles of sensory evaluation and begin to create a process for maintaining your production roasting standards.

Production Roasting Concepts: This module lays the foundation for successful small batch roasting. Our Instructors introduce and use critical terms and concepts that are the underpinning of the roasting process. You will be guided through initial roast progression, roast development and Industry Best Practices.

Applied Roasting Concepts: This module applies learned concepts by using any of the drum roasters of the Academy of Coffee Excellence. You will conduct several roasting experiments on varying the roast development in order to assess the impact of differing levels of caramelization on the final product. Other roast experiments will demonstrate how subtle manipulations of Rate of Rise impact the inherent acidity quality potential of the bean. Through repeated planning and practice you will learn to manipulate, adjust and modify a small batch drum roaster to meet your desired craft roasting goals.

Lunch is provided. Dietary requests are respected.



Continuing Cupping Skills Development: More in-depth cupping with your professional cupping mentors using tighter tolerances for variation and greater clarity of description among the roasts that you have produced.

Profile Roasting Practices: In this hands-on module you will plan roasts designed with specific flavor attributes in mind. You will then conduct these experiments and verify the accuracy of the measurable results of your production roast as compared to your production standard and roast profile plan.

Quality Control Principles: Throughout this course you will have developed a great deal of roasting and cupping experience and data. In this module you will begin to edit and design a process for applying these skills and data points to your specific company needs and tools.

Coffee Contracts and Pricing: You will learn the basics of: writing coffee contracts, understanding Outright Price, calculating Differential Price, using Carry Charges as part of your budget planning and timing contracts with harvest cycles.

Lunch is provided. Dietary requests are respected.



More Cupping and Triangulation Skills Development: Not only will you be developing and using these skills, you will determine the context of how to use them for your specific quality targets.

Quality Assurance meets FDA Food Safety: In the United States, working wholesale roasters are legally accountable to the FDA's FSMA Food Safety Modernization Act. You will learn what is required of you and how it can easily fit into the Quality Assurance process we have been constructing. In addition to Food Safety this module also develops broader safety concepts in the areas of product and personnel safety, roaster maintenance and safety as well as roaster fire prevention Industry Best Practices.

Profile Roasting Applied: This segment is where you fully integrate all of the skills that you have developed in this course. You will tell me what flavors I will experience in your roast, before you you weigh out the green coffee. The degree of your success will be evaluated with our final blind Difference From Control and Comparative Cuppings. In addition to our olfactory and gustatory evaluations, you will also asses the degree of color variance from your developed control standard and ultimately decide if or how your coffees can be released to commerce.

Lunch is provided. Dietary requests are respected.

Optional SCA Exams   

You are permitted to take this course without taking the SCA Certificate Exams. They are optional. There are several reasons why you may wish to take the certificate exams. They are not, however, required for attending. 

Optional SCA Exams: There is a separate SCA assessed fee for the SCA Practical and Written Exams. Upon passing, the SCA Roasting Intermediate Certificate will be issued directly from the SCA. The separate SCA Exam and Certificate Fee will be assessed and collected on the exam day. Credit card, check or cash payment are accepted for exam admission.


If you wish to take the SCA Exams, it is important to note that YOU WILL NEED AN SCA LEARNER NUMBER prior to taking the exams – THIS IS NOT YOUR SCAA MEMBER NUMBER.

To find or create your SCA Learner Number you may follow this link to the SCA’s website.


Early Registration = $1,600.00 usd (closes 15 days prior to the course start date)

Standard registration = $1,800.00 usd 

Payment Plan Option

  • Payment 1 of $535.00 usd made 45 days prior to the course start date

  • Payment 2 of $535.00 usd made 30 days prior to the course start date

  • Payment 3 of $535.00 usd made 15 days prior to the course start date

  • email for approval

  • Payment Plan payments are non-refundable


Registration Cancellation Policy linked here