Sensory Educational Training (SET)

SET is the CoE’s education arm that helps students evaluate coffee with greater accuracy, consistency and confidence, while also building relationships among fellow members of the global coffee community.

Scott Conary, SET Instructor & COE Head Judge

This new coffee evaluation system that is the common language of the world of COE – The SET course provided me with the opportunity to quickly master the shortcut of this common language in the shortest possible time and to communicate and describe coffees with judges from all over the world in multiple COE producing countries without barriers. Students were able to cup coffees of low, medium, and high qualities during the four-day course. It’s very rewarding to cup and calibrate with students from different places under the guidance of a COE head judge.

Weiwei YE, Chief Roasting Master
Nanjing Taster’s Coffee

Upcoming Courses

Bloom Coffee College course with QR Code

Bloom Coffee College

Beijing, China

September 9 – 12, 2023

2023 ACE Members: 10,080 RMB
Non-Member: 12,600 RMB

Photo of the Enlighten Curiosity Coffee Lab in Nanjing, China with registration QR code

Enlighten Curiosity Coffee Lab

Nanjing, China

September 15 – 18, 2023

2023 ACE Members: 10,080 RMB
Non-Member: 12,600 RMB

Sensory Education Training, or SET, is a gateway to COE knowledge gathered over our 20-year history. The Sensory Education events are a fantastic opportunity for students wanting to improve their sensory skills and technical skills. Students will learn to evaluate coffee with greater accuracy, consistency, and confidence, while also building relationships among fellow members of the global coffee community. The SET classes are instructed by official CoE head judges and SET instructors. These instructors bring years of valuable coffee knowledge to share with students. Roasters, retailers, coffee producers, importers, exporters, and enthusiasts are invited to join us for these four-day intensive trainings.

COE SET Course Reflection
BY Baristatus Hasim Solmaz


Why take a SET Class:

  • COE SET is the only class taught by the Cup of Excellence.
  • Learn how to cup like an expert COE Judge. Experience multiple in-depth cupping sessions focused on Cup of Excellence-winning coffees.
  • Become a part of the global COE community.  SET classes are the gateway for people wanting to learn about COE.
  • Become a better coffee buyer through firsthand experience with COE coffees that score 90+. Learn what defines true COE-verified high-quality coffee.
  • Hone your skill as a sensory professional. Experience cutting-edge processing techniques from industry-leading, COE winning, coffee farmers.
  • Students who complete the SET class will receive a certificate of participation signed by the Cup of Excellence Executive Director and the instructing COE Head Judge.
  • Receive Priority Consideration for COE Observer seats. These seats are extremely limited!
  • ACE Members Receive a 20% discount on all SET courses.
Cup of Excellence SET class certificates - photo of class holding up certificates

What’s included in a SET Class?

  • Four full days of cupping COE-winning coffees, learning why COE is the best in the world. Few opportunities in the coffee industry offer students this much time to evaluate verified high-quality coffee.
  • In-depth defect cuppings – gain true insight into defects in coffee with real-life examples.
  • In-depth and unique FlavorActiv workshops.
  • Acidity workshops
  • In-depth lectures on how to cup using the COE cupping form from industry experts.
  • Informational lectures on the 20-year history and impact of the Cup of Excellence.
  • Lunch and lively discussion each day with fellow students
  • A thank-you gift from Cup of Excellence including a limited-edition COE cupping spoon.
  • Certificate of completion for those students who complete the coursework.
  • A report detailing student scores and calibration.
COE SET Class in the field


Event participants will be able to identify various aspects of quality in the cup such as clean, sweet, balance, acidity, and mouthfeel. Tasters will be able to define quality both verbally and through appropriate consistent scoring.

COE SET class in progress - students around long conference table

Student Data and Report

The report and information the students receive after the course are normally available only to people who participate in COE national jury testing. This unique view looks at how the student’s cupping scores compare to those of their classmates and instructors. This has been the backbone of COE cupping standards for over 20 years.

Cupping from Home

Learn how to Cup from Home with Cup of Excellence Trainer and Coffee Pro, Alex Pond.

Please take the following into consideration:

Dates may change due to event attendance.
Events require a minimum of eight students.
If your specific event is canceled, you will be credited for another future event or receive a full refund.
ACE not responsible for airfare change fees.
ACE is unable to initiate any refunds to the credit card after 90 days.

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