SCAE - Sensory Skills

For: Aspiring baristas, roasters and coffee professionals looking to understand the sensory basics of specialty coffee

Sensory Skills - Foundation

This course is designed to introduce core sensory skills to those with no previous experience. It investigates the way we perceive what we taste and how to apply this knowledge when evaluating coffee’s natural characteristics.

Students will learn:

  • What is Sensory Analysis & Evaluation?
  • Why is sensory analysis important in coffee?
  • Tastes & Aromas in Coffee
  • Cupping Protocols
  • Core Sensory Equipment


No prior knowledge is needed before taking this module, although it is recommended that you take the Introduction to Coffee module. A passion for great coffee is essential!

Sensory Skills - Intermediate

This Intermediate course is broken down into three components: How we taste, perceive and interpret; Running a cupping session and tasting the diversity of coffee; How to set up sensory skills in your business.

Students will learn the following:

  • Sensory Analysis of Coffee
  • Sensory Physiology
  • Taste, Perceive and Interpret
  • Cupping Practice
  • Sensory panels


It is recommended that you have some experience of working in this field before attempting this level or have successfully passed sensory skills foundation.

Sensory Skills - Professional

The course aims to teach you to be a sensory skills leader in a coffee business and brings your tasting skills to the professional level.

To be a sensory skills leader, you should:

  • know the science background
  • master the preparation protocol
  • understand the methodology
  • be able to set up panel
  • be able to set up sensory facilities
  • learn where to apply sensory


It is recommended that students have been working for a minimum of two years in a job with exposure to sensory skills before taking this module. Prerequisites for this module of the Coffee Diploma System are:

  • sensory skills Intermediate (mandatory)
  • sensory skills foundation (recommended only)