INSTRUCTOR: Alex Pond, ACE
Alex has worked in specialty coffee for over a decade. In 2005, Alex started in coffee working as a barista in his home town of Eugene, Oregon. In 2009 he competed in, and won, the Northwest Regional Barista Competition. Alex has had the honor of working guest 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 the course of a nearly 6 years at Heart he worked his way from barista, to managing and leading their training department, to working in quality control and green buying. Outside of coffee Alex enjoys traveling, experiencing Oregon’s incredible natural beauty, and Cats. He is also a pretty good cook.
Over the four-day course you will participate in:
- In-depth lectures and discussions on COE, what is specialty coffee and what makes COE coffee unique.
- Various sensory exercises designed to help you grow in how you perceive and understand aroma and taste. These exercises will be the start of learning to calibrate with the group.
- Tastings designed to demonstrate the importance of correct cupping procedure and the effects of different variables on cup profile.
- Tasting 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 skill and confidants.
- A test designed after the program COE uses to select National Jury members.
Classes will begin at 9:00 and finish between 4:30pm and 5:00pm with an hour break for lunch, which will be provided. Be prepared to experience 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 as well as your sensory confidence with samples that are representative score.
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, lecture, and active discussions. We will also provide coffees from other countries for you to taste and learn; processed naturals and honeys/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. Absolutely no use of perfume or cologne allowed. Lunches to be provided.
Please bring with you a notebook and if you like, samples of your roasted beans. You’ll have the opportunity to see other coffees from other attendees.
At the beginning of the class, you will receive a COE cupping spoon and an apron along with other fun things. Upon completion of the class, you will receive a certificate of completion signed by your instructor. Within three weeks’ time, you will receive an email containing the results of your testing. The information you receive will be in the same format as those who undergo national jury testing.
This experience is intended to share with you the Cup of Excellence program, improve your cupping and sensory evaluation skills and to share with others in a jury setting. This is the best way to learn and calibrate your sensory skills. Thank you for joining us.
ACR’s facility is located in the EPZ Athi River, near the town of Kitengela.
A great option very near the airport and about 25 minutes from our facility.
This is the best option, closest to our facility (but furthest from Nairobi). About 15 minutes away from ACR and in a mall with a couple of nice restaurants and a grocery store.
A very nice hotel that sits on the edge of Nairobi National Park and much closer to the city. About 45 minutes from our facility.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
All SET courses require a minimum of 8 students to register in order 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 up to 31 days before the start of class. Between 30 and 16 days before the start of class the courses are eligible for a 50% refund. From 15 days prior to the start of the course it is nonrefundable, unless the course is canceled by ACE. 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.