Katherine McCarthy, coffee specialist at UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, has achieved one of the industry’s highest accolades to become a qualified Q Grader.
Katherine gained the prestigious qualification after passing the challenging Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) course last month, making her the second UCC Coffee UK & Ireland employee with the title after coffee development manager Gayan Munaweera.
The professional qualification positions Katherine among the best coffee specialists in the UK and the world – there’s only 4,000 specialists who have passed the qualification globally.
To qualify as a Q Grader, specialists undertake a rigorous six day course, which includes three days of exams on over 20 different coffee areas, including sensory triangulation (selecting the odd one out based on coffee origin), coffee cupping (to identify coffee regions and origins) and green grading (ascertaining defects in green beans).
Elaine Higginson, managing director, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, comments: “Coffee quality is at the heart of our business and we are committed to continually delivering the best products to our customers.
Responsible for ensuring we hit this quality is our coffee specialist team, which Katherine plays a key role in. Katherine’s fantastic achievement reflects both her individual and professional passion for coffee and further cements her coffee credentials.
She’s a real asset to our team and her Q Grade status demonstrates just how dedicated our team is to recognising quality coffee in everything we do and developing it further.”