Coffee professionals in Hawaii and around the world have a new resource for career training and development at the newly certified Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) Premier Training Campus located at Kauai Coffee Company.
As one of only three SCA certified Premier Training Campuses located in the state of Hawaii, and the only one on the island of Kauai, the lab at the Kauai Coffee Company roasting plant is now certified to host a variety of professional development courses in cupping, sensory analysis, green coffee, grading and training for the Q grader test. Much like a sommelier evaluates wine, a Q grader is a professional who is licensed by the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) to cup, classify and evaluate coffee quality based on a set of strict standards. Becoming a Q Grader takes time and effort. As of 2018, there were only 12 Q Graders in the state of Hawaii, two of whom work at Kauai Coffee – Roast Plant/Institutional Equipment Manager, Mike Shimatsu, and Quality Assurance Technician Jorge DeLeon.
“Achieving SCA Premier Training Campus accreditation is a prestigious accomplishment because it required us to demonstrate a standard of excellence in education and meet the rigorous requirements defined by the SCA,” said Mike Shimatsu, Kauai Coffee Company Roast Plant/Institutional Equipment Manager and licensed Q Arabica Grader.
Certified Training Campus Program
The SCA Certified Training Campus program was created in 2006 as a way to standardize CQI Q Grader licensing around the world. Every aspect of a certified Premier Training Campus is subject to scrutiny during the evaluation process and must meet strict requirements for everything from the size of the training areas to the lighting and equipment kept there. Even the flooring and décor are carefully inspected as part of the certification process. Certification of the Premier Training Campus at Kauai Coffee is valid for four years and will allow Mike and other licensed Q Graders to host training for up to 6 students at a time.
“Coffee is the second most valuable commodity grown in Hawaii and as of 2017, there were more than 900 coffee farms located across the state. Because we produce nearly one-third of the entire state’s production, we have an obligation to uphold the highest quality standards. The demand for coffee education here is very high and we are proud to host aspiring coffee professionals within our team and around Hawaii. This is an amazing place to develop their skills and further their careers,” said Fred Cowell, General Manager. “It is exciting to be able to share our space and provide this opportunity for new students,” he continued.
SCA Classes and opportunities for professional development at the Kauai Coffee Campus are still in development but will be posted to the SCA website at https://sca.coffee/education when available.
About The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA)
The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) is a nonprofit, membership-based association built on foundations of openness, inclusivity, and the power of shared knowledge. From coffee farmers to baristas and roasters, our membership spans the globe, encompassing every element of the coffee value chain. SCA acts as a unifying force within the specialty coffee industry and works to make coffee better by raising standards worldwide through a collaborative and progressive approach. Dedicated to building an industry that is fair, sustainable, and nurturing for all, SCA draws on years of insights and inspiration from the specialty coffee community.