The perfect cup part two: Adi the Q-grader

Published on 14 Jul 2016 2:17:11 PM

In the final part of the perfect cup, Jakarta Post Digital talks to Adi W. Taroepratjeka, 39, a certified Q-grader instructor. Adi is one of those listed on the growing list of Q-graders in Indonesia. So what does a Q-grader do? They are people who have the ability, knowledge, capacity and license to taste, cup and evaluate coffee. A person must complete a rigorous six-day program which consists of three days of workshops and three days of exams at the Coffee Quality Institute to be listed as a licensed Q-grader. And, to hold on to the prestigious title, Q-graders have to undergo a calibration and recertification exam every three years.

“The problem is, in Indonesia there is no exact data because the license has an expiration date. There are some Q-graders in Indonesia who are certified, but don’t participate in the recertification program, thus their licenses expire,” Adi revealed.

With the title comes a huge responsibility, as the Q-grader program is aimed at having quantifiable quality standards of coffee around world. This helps coffee buyers to communicate quality within the supply chain. The system provides uniformity and a better understanding of quality, thus providing ease in giving scores to coffee in the industry.

Being one of the world’s largest coffee exporters, one would think Indonesia relied on Q-graders both for the Arabica and Robusta coffee variants to ensure quality. “In Columbia, the government has an army of Q-graders to maintain the quality of the coffee being exported. Here, it’s different, because the Indonesian government mostly cares about volume as opposed to quality,” Adi said.