COLUMBUS, Ohio – Brandon Bir, coffee sourcing and education manager for Columbus, Ohio coffee roaster Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea, has earned a Coffee Tasting Certificate from the Specialty Coffee Association of America. He is one of only 238 certified Coffee Tasters worldwide.
“This is another great affirmation of Brandon’s evolving coffee evaluation skills,” said Crimson Cup 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, Bir 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,” Bir 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, Bir 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.