TURIN, Italy – On Friday 23 March, the Lavazza Training Center – the world’s leading international coffee study center – opened the first Italian Q-Grader room in a coffee roasting company. It will serve professionals in the industry who want to obtain official certification as green coffee tasters; recognized by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), the world’s most influential promoter of excellence in the world of coffee.
Just a few months after receiving official certification by SCA as a Premier Training Campus, the Lavazza Training Center consolidates its leadership in coffee training excellence. With the official opening of the new Q-Grader room.
With this new milestone achievement, in addition to all the training modules defined by the SCA, the Lavazza Training Center will be able to offer industry professionals a further certification. Recognized by this world-class organization, which represents thousands of coffee specialists throughout the world, from producers to baristas.
“The Q-Grader room is another important new step in positioning our Center in the network of the world’s leading organizations dedicated to promoting excellence in coffee.” Comments Marcello Arcangeli, Head of the Lavazza Training Center.
The project represents an important milestone for the Center, which has been training industry professionals and keeping them up-to-speed for over 30 years now, as well as performing R&D for new products. Lavazza was the first company to establish a full-fledged school of coffee in 1979, one that today has become a worldwide network and an international benchmark.
Applicants have to pass a series of tests to become Q-Graders. The course is offered to traders, laboratory technicians, coffee roasters. But also baristas and all those with experience in the industry and the skills to qualify successfully. Q-Graders are qualified to determine when a coffee can be defined as a “Specialty;” based on the precise standards and criteria defined by the SCA.
To be defined as Specialty, the product must pass a series of strict tests that certify the absence of primary defects. And a maximum of five secondary defects.
It must also obtain a score of over 80 (out of 100) in the tasting test; and pass a visual test too. After roasting, all the beans must have a perfectly even color.
The room has to satisfy precise parameters. It must host a maximum of 12 professionals. And allow the possibility of blacking out natural and artificial light completely. Because some tests need to be performed blind, i.e. without the help of sight. During these sessions, special sources of red light. Like those found in photographic darkrooms are used to perform aroma or triangular tests.
Two big tables are set up for cupping, or the internationally recognized tasting method for determining coffee quality. Which uses a kind of “universal language” to define the various origins, varieties, and types.
Hot water is available on tap at a constant temperature of 96°C in the room; which also contains areas for teachers and assistants to prepare samples. And a classroom for theory sessions.
The Lavazza Training Center
Lavazza was the first company, in 1979, to create an organization devoted entirely to training. A school of coffee developed first in Europe and then worldwide; which today has 56 sites on five continents where each year Lavazza trained about 30 thousand people.
For almost 40 years now, the Lavazza Training Center has been teaching people to understand taste. But also spreading the culture of coffee, working alongside professionals. This experimenting with new formulas. And raising the awareness of end customers about working to achieve ever higher espresso quality standards.
The Center, a full-fledged coffee university, with a comprehensive teaching program developed to provide in-depth knowledge across the board. From bush to cup via Botanics, production processes, espresso equipment and methods of preparation. For each type of target; baristas, sales representatives, distributors, new recruits, consumers, journalists, opinion leaders and simple enthusiasts; the Center organizes cycles of lessons specifically. To meet different needs for detailed information.
Setting its sights on innovation and creativity, as always, the Training Center also benefits from the enormous wealth of expertise; available only to a brand like Lavazza; which has over 100 years of experience in the world of coffee. Lavazza and its Training Center are where the greatest international chefs have applied their creativity to coffee. Exploring innovative new forms and textures for this product.
Group Established in 1895 in Turin, the Italian roaster has been owned by the Lavazza family for four generations. Among the world’s most important roasters, the Group currently operates in more than 90 countries. Through subsidiaries and distributors, exporting 60% of its production.
Lavazza employs a total of about 3,000 people with a turnover of more than €1.9 billion in 2016. Furthermore, Lavazza invented the concept of blending its early years. Or, in other words, the art of combining different types of coffee from different geographical areas. And this is a distinctive feature of most of its products.
The company also has over 25 years’ experience in production and sale of portioned coffee systems and products. Because it was the first Italian business to offer capsule espresso systems. Lavazza operates in all business segments. At home, away-from-home and office coffee service, always with a focus on innovation in consumer technologies and systems.
Lavazza developed its brand awareness through important partnerships perfectly in tune with its brand internationalization strategy. Such as those in the world of sport with the Grand Slam tennis tournaments; and those in fields of art and culture. Also with prestigious museums like New York’s Guggenheim Museum, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Venice, and The Hermitage State Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
As the company continues on a strategic globalization path, the Lavazza Group has acquired local jewels in key markets. Such as France’s Carte Noire (2015), Denmark’s Merrild (2015) and North America’s Kicking Horse Coffee (2017).
Additionally, in 2017 the Group amplified its distribution reach with the acquisition of France’s Espresso Service Proximité and Italy’s Nims.