SCAE Sensory Skills Education Modules

Sensory Skills - Foundation

This course covers the essentials of sensory evaluation. You will learn in a very practical and interactive manner the way we perceive what we taste and how to apply it to the evaluation of the intrinsic characteristics of coffee. It also offers an introduction to identify speciality coffee qualities and gain an overview on how to implement it in your business.

The course provides you with the key information to enable you to sit your Sensory Skills Foundation certification that consists of 4 short practical exams and a written exam (15 questions -pass rate of 60% required). Successful students will be awarded 5 points towards the SCA Coffee Diploma. Courses normally last a day.

Sensory Skills - Intermediate

This course is suitable for those wanting to pursue specialist knowledge at a high level in this subject. It is recommended that you have some experience of working in this field before attempting this level or have successfully passed Sensory Skills Foundation. It is broken down into three areas:

I. HOW WE TASTE, PERCEIVE AND INTERPRET

This covers approximately one third of the Sensory Skills Intermediate Module. The workshop explores our perception of taste, smell, flavour, and how to be aware of changes to our sensory systems. Practical exercises include ranking exercises and blind sample assessment. The session will also show you how to apply this theory to your work by defining triangulation protocol, how to design effective experiments, and how to use statistics to interpret your results.

II. RUNNING A CUPPING SESSION & TASTING THE DIVERSITY OF COFFEE

This area covers approximately one third of the Sensory Skills Intermediate Module. It will show how to apply sensory theory to your understanding of speciality coffee. It will review individual attributes found on commonly used cupping forms and what the best protocol effective assessment of these is. It will look at how perception of these attributes changes and what sensory errors to be aware of in your daily cupping.

III. HOW TO SET UP SENSORY IN YOUR BUSINESS & SENSORY APPLICATION

This area covers approximately one third of the Sensory Skills Intermediate Module and will show you how to apply the theory of sensory analysis to your workplace. It gives an overview of key equipment in sensorial coffee quality assurance, and how to integrate these tools into your lab set up. The course also looks at how to build and screen a sensory panel for your business, how to schedule a quality control programme, and how to identify what types of test are right for different purposes.

The course provides you with the key information to enable you to sit your Sensory Skills Intermediate certification that consists of 4 short practical exams and a written exam (25 questions with a pass rate of 70% required). Successful students will be awarded 10 points towards the SCA Coffee Diploma. Courses normally last at least two days.

Sensory Skills - Professional

The course aims to teach you to be a sensory skills leader in a coffee business and brings your tasting skills to the professional level.

Be a sensory skills leader:

  • know the science background
  • master the preparation protocol
  • understand the methodology
  • be able to set up panel
  • be able to set up sensory facilities
  • learn where to apply sensory: shelf life, NPD

Personal tasting skills on:

  • Taints
  • SCAA Cupping
  • Profiling
  • Quality identification

It is recommended that students have been working for a minimum of two years in a job with exposure to sensory skills before taking this module. Prerequisites for this module of the CDS are:

  • Sensory Skills Intermediate (mandatory)
  • Sensory Skills Foundation (recommended only)

The course provides you with the key information to enable you to sit your Sensory Skills Professional certification that consists of 4 practical exams and a written exam (35 questions - pass rate of 80% required). Successful students will be awarded 25 points towards the SCA Coffee Diploma. Courses normally last at least three days.