INSTRUCTOR: Alex Pond, ACE
Alex has worked in specialty coffee for over a decade. In 2005, Alex started working in
coffee as a barista in Eugene, Oregon. In 2009 he competed in and won the Northwest
Regional Barista Competition. Alex has worked guest barista shifts in Iceland and
Sweden and has volunteered for numerous national and international coffee events. In
2012 Alex joined the team at Portland’s Heart Coffee Roasters. Over nearly six years at
Heart, he worked as a barista, managing and leading their training department and
working in quality control and green buying. Alex enjoys traveling and experiencing
Oregon’s incredible natural beauty and Cats. He is also a pretty good cook.
Over the four-day course, you will participate in:
In-depth lectures and discussions on COE, specialty coffee, and what makes COE
Various 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
A test designed after the program COE uses to select National Jury members.
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 filled with multiple cupping and calibration sessions. The fourth day
of the class will be the “test” with three cuppings back-to-back.
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 to be
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.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
All SET courses require eight students to register for the class to run. Once you have
registered for the course, we will send you updates on the status of the class and how
registration is proceeding.
SET Courses are eligible for a 100% refund for 31 days before class starts. Between 30
and 16 days before the start of class, the courses are eligible for a 50% refund. From 15
days before the beginning of the system, it is nonrefundable unless ACE cancels the
course. Refunds Requested over 90 days after the initial date of purchase will only be
issued in the form of credit for future purchases on the ACE website.
If students are late or do not show up for class, ACE cannot ensure their cupping data
will be included in group discussions, calibrations, or post-class reports.