Congratulations to Brandon Bir, our coffee sourcing and education manager! He recently became one of 238 coffee professionals worldwide to earn a Coffee Tasting Certificate from the Specialty Coffee Association of America.
“This is another great affirmation of Brandon’s evolving coffee evaluation skills,” said Founder and President Greg Ubert. “He plays an instrumental role in our continuing success by helping us source outstanding coffees and establish direct-trade relationships with the farmers who grow them.”
To become a Coffee Taster, Brandon completed comprehensive training covering the entire scope of sensory analysis from green coffee to production roast tasting and espresso tasting. Courses included brewing and extraction, coffee farming, coffee processing, green coffee grading, roasting, sensory skills and cupping. After passing examinations in all of these areas, he presented an evaluation of 120 different coffees to complete the certification process.
“The Coffee Taster Certificate has helped me improve my skills as a cupper,” Brandon said. “As a result, I’m better prepared to improve coffee quality – both in our roasting and cupping process at Crimson Cup and by offering superior advice to farmers in our Friend2Farmer direct trade program.”
Launched in 2013, SCAA’s Coffee Taster Certificate program complements the Coffee Quality Institute’s Q Grader program, which certifies cuppers to evaluate green coffee at origin.
Earlier this year, Brandon became one of about 3,500 licensed Q Graders worldwide. Q Graders help coffee roasters locate specialty coffees at origin and improve coffees that have the potential to meet specialty standards. He also was one of the first 31 graduates of the new SCAA Coffee Buyer Pathway.