While many people had Columbus Day off this month, our fearless leader Emeran was hard at work that entire week, as she made her first attempt at qualifying as a grader for the Q coffee grading system.
Q coffee grading is an industry-accepted standard for distinguishing specialty grade coffees. Only 40% of those who attempt it earn their license as a Q Grader.
As A&E grows and continues to work toward a more perfect cup of coffee, this qualification is key.
In Emeran’s words “As we move into direct sourcing coffee, having a Q Grader license will insure the quality of the coffee, both when we source it and when it actually arrives. Getting a Q Grader license adds a tremendous amount of legitimacy to our coffee program.”
The Q grading system is a process overseen by the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI). The Institute is a non-profit which focuses on improving the world’s coffee, as well as the lives of the people who produce it. Essentially, CQI believes that by ensuring a higher quality of the coffee produced, that this will increase the value of that coffee – and can’t help but have a beneficial impact on the producer. Better coffees demand a better price – it’s that simple – and this is in keeping with our belief in fair trade coffee production practices.
The Circle of Q Graders worldwide, is rather exclusive. You can see from the list of current Q Graders on the CQI website, that relative to the world population, this list is incredibly small – with some countries have only a tiny handful of graders, and some having none at all.
We’ve just gotten Emeran’s results and will be posting about them soon. Keep your eye out for additional news!