Want to become a coffee sommelier, or at least just have the expert taste of one? In honor of International Coffee Day, here’s how to enjoy your favorite brew with a trained and refined palate!

Yesterday we talked about Erik Liedholm, and his journey to become the world’s first Nespresso-certified coffee sommelier. If you are interested in what exactly it takes to become a Q Grader yourself, we can help! In the coffee world, we have plenty of great and not-so-great coffees to choose from. For roasting companies and coffee buyers, there has to be a way to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to selecting the best tasting coffees to work with. One way of doing that is by getting a Q Grader certification.

A Q Grader is basically the wine sommelier equivalent to the coffee industry; they are licensed professionals who are capable of scoring the quality of roasted coffees. In order to get this license, you have to pass a series of rigorous tests that measure your sensory abilities.

The Coffee Quality Institute is the nonprofit organization in the United States who created and administers the Q grader program. Their work is to improve the quality of coffee and the lives of the people who produce it. They partner with the nonprofit Specialty Coffee Association of America to create tasting standards by which Q Graders utilize to score coffee quality. They created the program in 2003, and have since given thousands across the globe this certification. It has become a strong accreditation in the industry, and there are currently over 300 Q Graders in the United States.

Read more at Bean & Bean.

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