SET Course, COE - Taiwan , street image



Over the four-day course, you will participate in:

  • In-depth lectures and discussions on COE, specialty coffee, and what makes COE coffee unique.
  • Various sensory exercises are designed to help you grow in perceiving and understanding aroma and taste. These exercises will be the start of learning to calibrate with the group.
  • Tastings are designed to demonstrate the importance of the correct cupping procedure and the effects of different variables on cup profiles.
  • Understanding common defects in coffee.
  • Learning about the COE method for scoring coffee.
  • Calibrating with a diverse group of cuppers over multiple cupping sessions.
  • Introduction and discussion around COE’s unique way of evaluating cuppers’ skills and confidants.
  • A test designed after the program COE uses to select National Jury members.

Classes will begin at 9:00 and finish between 4:30 pm and 5:00 pm with an hour break for lunch, which will be provided. Be prepared to experience the Cup of Excellence (COE). You’ll cup many different coffees, processes, and cultivars, practice logistics and cupping protocol of a COE cupping, and take an exam just like National Jury sensory professionals. This will show you how you are calibrated with the rest of the jury and your sensory confidence with representative scores samples.

In the first two days, we focus on COE cupping, the protocol of identifying qualities, identifying common flavor attributes, scoring, and a common language. We then will advance to expose all participants to a technical approach to our quality variables, different varietals, and some common defects. Sessions include lab, lectures, and active discussions. We will also provide coffees from other countries for you to taste and learn about; processed naturals and honey/pulped naturals & varieties, etc.

The third day will be filled with multiple cupping and calibration sessions. The fourth day of the class will be the “test” with three cuppings back-to-back.

We’ll be actively standing during cupping and seated for discussions, so please wear comfortable clothing and shoes. No use of perfume or cologne is allowed. Lunches are to be provided.

Please bring a notebook and, if you like, samples of your roasted beans. You’ll have the opportunity to see other coffees from other attendees.

You will receive a COE cupping spoon, and other fun things at the beginning of the class. Upon completing the course, you will receive a certificate of completion signed by your instructor.  Within three weeks, you will receive an email containing your testing results. The information you receive will be in the same format as those who undergo national jury testing.

This experience is intended to share the Cup of Excellence program with you, improve your cupping and sensory evaluation skills, and share with others in a jury setting. This is the best way to learn and calibrate your sensory skills. Thank you for joining us.

Host: Taiwan Coffee Laboratory

Taiwan Coffee Laboratory’s mission is to enhance the competitiveness and development of Taiwan’s specialty coffee industry. Taiwan Coffee Laboratory is committed to promoting high-quality coffee and coffee education, as well as the wholesale and sales of Taiwanese green coffee beans. Taiwan Coffee Laboratory accomplishes these goals through teaching and hosting world-class coffee education programs. Taiwan Coffee laboratory works with ACE, COE, and the Taiwanese government to promote Taiwanese green coffee to the world through rigorous green coffee competitions. Taiwan Coffee Laboratory has been an SCAA-certified teaching partner since 2013 and is now an SCAA-authorized international education partner in Taiwan.



Alex has worked in specialty coffee for over a decade. In 2005, Alex started as a barista in Eugene, Oregon. In 2009 he competed in and won the Northwest Regional Barista Competition in the United States. Alex has worked barista shifts in Iceland and Sweden and has volunteered for numerous national and international coffee events. In 2012 Alex joined the team at Portland’s Heart Coffee Roasters. Over nearly six years at Heart, starting as a barista, Alex advanced to directing training and managing quality control and green buying.

Alex is currently the Sr. Education and Project Manager for the Cup of Excellence. In this role, Alex instructs and drives Coe courses and education initiatives globally.  Along with his efforts to promote COE education, Alex also works as a head judge for CoE competitions and ACE Private Collection Auctions. Alex has instructed courses in over 15 countries.

Alex enjoys traveling and experiencing Oregon’s incredible natural beauty and Cats. He is also a pretty good cook.



All SET courses require eight students to register for the class to run. Once you have registered for the course, we will send you updates on the status of the class and how registration is proceeding.

SET Courses are eligible for a 100% refund for 31 days before class starts. Between 30 and 16 days before the start of class, the courses are eligible for a 50% refund. From 15 days before the beginning of the system, it is nonrefundable unless ACE cancels the course. Refunds Requested over 90 days after the initial date of purchase will only be issued in the form of credit for future purchases on the ACE website.

If students are late or do not show up for class, ACE cannot ensure their cupping data will be included in group discussions, calibrations, or post-class reports.




COE Members: $1,319* USD
Non-Member: $1,649 USD
*Benefactor Memberships receive a higher discount.

Dates: April 24-27, 2024

Where: Taiwan Coffee Laboratory Taipei, Taiwan

Instructor: Alex Pond, ACE

Want a discount? Become a member by purchasing Affiliate Membership, Community Membership or Benefactor Membership, or log in if you are a member.

15 in stock