What does it mean to have your Coffee Lab certified as a “Teaching Lab?”
It sounds so collegial to call our lab a Teaching Lab, as if there were professors in lab coats and lecture halls and brick walls with ivy on it. But it is called a Teaching Lab by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and we do have a nice lab (but we don’t wear lab coats – that’s our R&D team). It’s actually a hard certification to get because the SCAA sets pretty high standards. You can read what they are here.
Mostly the certification is to make sure that the classes and tests that the SCAA and Coffee Quality Institute put on around the country are using the same standards and the same environments. We wanted to become a certified lab so that we could host our own Q Grader Certification Classes for employees. We first did it in June 2012, then again just a few weeks ago. And now we have close to 20 employees who are Q Grader Certified, which is a lot of people to have such great training and skill. The more graders we have, the more senses we have on our coffee, and better cup of coffee you get to drink.