Roger Kaiwi Named Hawai‘i Coffee Company’s Second Q Grader

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While most people have not heard of Q graders, these coffee experts have achieved legendary status within the industry. The Coffee Quality Institute launched the Q Grader certification program in 2003 and it has become the premiere program for Arabica coffee analysis experts. Currently, there are only 12 Q Graders in Hawai‘i and approximately 513 in the country.

Roger Kaiwi on the far left, and Aaron Schank on the far right. Kaiwi is the General Manager of the Hawai‘i Coffee Company mill in Kona and the buyer of all their local coffees. Schank is a roastmaster in the Kalihi roastery and son of Sam Schank, a coffee industry veteran with over 30 years of experience. Courtesy photo.

Hawai‘i Coffee Company recently announced Roger Kaiwi as its second certified Q Grader. In addition to his work for Hawai‘i Coffee Company, Kaiwi is also president of the Kona Coffee Council and has a long career in Kona coffee. His certification comes a few months after the announcement of Hawai‘i Coffee Company’s first Q Grader, Aaron Schank. Schank has been invited to judge the cupping contest in November’s Kona Coffee Festival.

Q Graders must complete a rigorous five-day training course with 22 exams assessing their expertise in every aspect of coffee analysis. Since it operates in the country’s most important coffee growing region, Hawai‘i Coffee Company is particularly proud of two of its own elevating our state’s coffee expertise.


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