After passing 22 sections of the rigorous three-day Q Grader exam, on October 20, 2013 Emeran Langmaid became one of roughly 1,000 coffee specialists in the world. To put this in perspective, there are more billionaires on the 2013 Forbes Billionaires list (1,426) than there are Licensed Q Graders worldwide.
The painstaking three-day exam tests for mastery of subjects including green-coffee grading, roast-color identification, coffee cupping, sensory skills and sensory triangulation. This was Langmaid’s first attempt, and she passed all 22 sections, an accomplishment seen by less than 40 percent of applicants. “The three-day test is intense predominantly because you have to be so focused on everything at once,” Langmaid said. “When the coffee is hot, you assess the flavor and aftertaste. As it cools, you assess for body. Then, when it’s room temperature, you make a second assessment of everything. You can’t let your mind wander for a moment!”
The Q Grader program is a specialty-coffee quality-assurance program overseen by the Coffee Quality Institute, the charitable arm of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). The Q Coffee System is internationally recognized and utilized as the primary instrument to uphold specialty coffee standards, thereby creating a baseline of communication to ensure quality coffee controls the world over.
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.
“Becoming licensed as a Q Grader adds a tremendous amount of legitimacy to our coffee program.”
Emeran’s skills as a Q Grader are put to good use as she occasionally travels throughout Central and South America, personally visiting coffee farms and distributers and choosing which coffees to buy based on her own tastings. To read more about her certification read A&E’s press release announcing this accomplishment.
A&E Coffee Roastery is committed to providing customers with quality organic, shade-grown, fair trade coffees from around the world. Each batch is custom roasted in our Amherst Café, guaranteeing the freshest, most flavorful coffee possible. Stop by our Café and try one of our daily drink features, or peruse a variety of our custom blends for sale online.