- Q Grader License Validity is 36 months or 3 years
- Q Graders must pass a Calibration in order to maintain a valid license
- The year-long window to calibrate is 6 months BEFORE and 6 months AFTER the date of certification expiration.
Calibration testing is required for those Q Graders whose licenses are about to expire (within six months) or have already expired (less than six months ago). Q Grader Licenses will be reinstated and reissued for all Q Graders who pass the Calibration Testing. Calibration is mandatory every three years to ensure Q Graders align with principal Q Instructors and refresh knowledge and skills in our ever-evolving industry.
The Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) is the non-profit organization that owns the Q system of evaluating specialty coffee quality. Calibration is necessary first and foremost to update Q Graders on the changes CQI frequently makes to its Q Program. Additionally, when Q Graders are not cupping frequently, and their taste sensitivity and attribute scoring become out of alignment compared to fellow cuppers for the quality of coffees they are presented, calibration is necessary. A calibration activity reestablishes the parameters of how to identify various quality levels in coffee, ranging from outstanding to very good (specialty grade) to to commercial grade coffees.
The Q Arabica Calibration Session is a full day course consisting of three tasting sessions. The calibration process involves three cupping flights, each with distinct characteristics. All Q Graders must be in calibration and pass two of the three flights in order to renew their license and qualify as an Active Licensed Q Grader. Upon successful completion of the course, the license will remain valid for another 36 months, starting on the day of expiration.
A Q Grader Calibration course must be completed within one year of certificate expiration (six months before, and six months after, the date of the Q certificate expiration). Unless written consent is given by CQI, Q Graders may not participate in a Q Grader Calibration earlier or later than the allowed timeframe. Q Graders who do not pass the Calibration, the retake of that calibration, or fail all three cupping sessions in a calibration course, will be required to take a Recertification Testing.
Ally’s next Q Arabica Calibration sessions are Sunday, May 10th and Sunday, October 11th. Please fill out the Contact form on our site with any questions about Calibration, Recertification, or Q Arabica Grader licensing.Ildi Revi, Ally Coffee’s Director of Learning