Coffee Knowledge Hub

Cup of Excellence Sensory Education Training Hybrid

Develop your sensory skills with this unique and highly prized sensory education training from the Cup Of Excellence
CKH November 17, 2023 €1100

Course overview

The Cup of Excellence sensory education training course has been delivered over the past 4 years with great success. Graduates have improved their sensory skills and gone on to participate in international juries with the Cup of Excellence program. Taste some of the best coffees in the world, and improve your sensory skills.


  • Taste a wide range of coffee qualitities and improve your ability to score across the range of qualities
  • In-depth lectures and discussions on COE, specialty coffee, and what makes COE coffee unique.
  • 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 based on the program COE uses to select National Jury members.

New hybrid format

  1. Lecture - delivered online one week before in person class
  2. In person cuppings- 3 days of cuppings to explore the range of coffees, practice the sensory protocols with supervision from an instructor and calibrate with the groups
  3. Results presentation - one week later we share the results of the cupping assessment

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, lecture, 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 the “test” with three cuppings back-to-back.

Nov 17th - Hybrid webinar

Nov 22-24 In-Person Class – Using the Simonelli campus as a base with multiple cupping labs joining via Teams.

Dec 1 Wrap up - presentation of results

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


Alex Pond is the Education Manager for the Cup of Excellence (CoE). Alex instructs and drives the CoE's Sensory Education Training program (SET). Alex's passion as a trainer is to teach people how to fairly and accurately evaluate coffees using the CoE score sheet and methods of cupping. Alex teaches SET courses in English and has instructed in almost 20 different countries.

Applications close November 5, 2023


  1. Improve sensory skills
  2. Calibrate with expert cuppers
  3. Learn Cup of Excellence scoring and cupping protocols
  4. First step to joining the International Jury in the Cup of Excellence Program. Protocols and calibration exercises are the same processes taught to international jurors.


November 17, 2023 - December 1, 2023
Starts at 9:00am
UTC +01:00 (Europe/Zurich)
Save to calendar
Applications close November 5, 2023


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Meet your trainer

Alex Pond

Alex Pond is the Education Manager for the Cup of Excellence (CoE). Alex instructs and drives the...

View Alex's profile
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