What is a Q Grader and why do we have two on staff?

What is a Q Grader and why do we have two on staff?

A “Q Grader” is a professional coffee taster who officially grades and scores a coffee’s quality. This score, obtained through a process called “cupping,” has a significant impact on a coffee’s selling price.

Becoming a Q Grader is not easy! There are only a handful of Q Graders in the state of Michigan, and those who make it through the 19 required sensory and knowledge tests are considered the “sommeliers” of coffee.

In 2019, Tim Volkema (our CEO) and his daughter Frankie both became certified Q Graders. Fun fact: at 13 years old, Frankie Volkema is the youngest Q Grader in the world! She is super proud to have earned both this certification and a spot on Schuil Coffee’s quality control team.

Having the ability to analytically evaluate a coffee is important to the green (unroasted) coffee buying process. We evaluate and score samples of every batch of coffee before we commit to a purchase, and then we continue to re-cup and re-score each coffee at regular intervals until it’s time to bring in the next batch.
This cupping and scoring process is truly central in our effort to bring you top-notch specialty coffee with excellence and consistency! And we love doing it!


coffee cupping in Michigan
coffee Q grader


Very interesting . Love that your customer oriented and yet so professional! ! I am74, but I will buy your coffee till I die, seriously. Already told my daughter. as a matter of fact she ordered the first batch for me last Christmas. Her name is Kristen Jensen from Brookfield Wisconsin.

Linda Lazarine

I received my coffee and I just love it.

Romona Gilliard

Well I bought 3 different 12 oz coffees.
It was my daughter’s birthday the day I received them, and she is so hard to buy for. So I showed her your coffees and not knowing I wanted her to pick at least 1 or 2 she took all 3, lol well I guess I’ll just have to buy them again. Lol
That pretty much explains how great your coffee is. Lol

Gayenel L Willcutts

I ordered Kona Hawaiian decaf and espresso decaf. Oh my goodness they smell so good. I brewed me a cup of the Kona Hawaiian it was delicious. Rich smooth flavor. I’ll try the decaf expresso today and make a latte.


I love your coffee so far it’s really good I love the hazelnut cinnamon decafe coffee it’s great wish I could get you to send me samples of your other decafe coffees so I can see what else is good and buy next ???


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