Single Origin Shots

Q Grading FAQ

Café Imports in cooperation with Brewed Behavior is offering Q Grader Certification, April 22-26 in Minneapolis.

Here’s a great FAQ on the Q and its value:

What is “The Q”?

CQI’s Q Coffee System locates specialty coffees at origin and helps to improve those that have the potential to meet specialty standards. The effect is a common language between buyers and sellers that draws attention to more specialty coffees while creating an infrastructure that gives producers greater opportunities to enter the marketplace and to increase their economic viability.

What happens when a coffee moves through the Q system?

When a coffee moves through the Q Coffee System and becomes verified as a Q Coffee™, it signifies an independent confirmation of quality that can truly be deemed specialty. Green coffee samples are submitted to an In-Country Partner (ICP), and 3 Licensed Q Graders (professionally accredited cuppers) cup and score the coffee. Coffees that meet the standards for green, roasted, and cup quality are issued a Q Certificate. If a coffee does not meet specialty standards, it receives a technical report that explains why.

How does the Q correspond to SCAA standars? 

According to SCAA standards, a coffee that receives a score of 80 or above is considered specialty, Q Coffees™ provide an assurance of quality that consumers can trust. While many variables in roasting and brewing affect the taste of coffee, Q Coffees™ confirm that the beans being used are among the highest quality in the world – properly milled and having distinguishable characteristics that separate them from other coffees. A good bean is the first step toward achieving a perfect cup of coffee.

Reinforcing the standards of specialty coffee links everyone in the supply chain with an integrity that shows pride in the product.

What is the Q’s presence, globally?

With over 1,000 Licensed Q Graders worldwide – and counting – it is no surprise that the Q Coffee System has been integrated into hundreds of companies around the world.

The Q Coffee System is dependent on our In-Country Partners to facilitate Q Grading around the world. For more information about our ICPs, click here.

Additionally, CQI works with a number of certification organizations, including Utz, TransFair, 4Cs and Rainforest Alliance. Through these partnerships, we aim to create more transparency in the specialty coffee value chain while incorporating social and environmental aspects that support quality.

Find out more about the Q, here.


Comments are closed.