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Coffee School

Professional specialty coffee education on your schedule!

Specialty Coffee Education in HawaiiCoffee can be as simple as a caffeine-carrying beverage or as complicated as the subject of Ph.D. dissertations.  If you're reading this, your interest probably falls somewhere in the middle of these extremes.  We can help you learn what you want to learn!

We offer specialty coffee education for groups or individuals on your schedule and according to your needs.  We will create the perfect class for you.  We even support corporate getaways.

See our list of single-day classes for entry-level coffee experiences such as cupping, roasting, or brewing, these shorter classes can be arranged with as little as 24-hours notice and are a perfect activity for visitors to our island!

Professional Coffee Education in HawaiiIf you are interested in a more complex and detailed set of classes or a full course, please see our list of multi-day courses. For more information on any of our educational offerings, please contact us at

The programs listed below have previously been offered by Daylight Mind or our Chief Science Officer Shawn Steiman, Ph.D.  Daylight Mind offers courses in any of the topics listed here, and we are also happy to offer custom courses designed to fit your specific interests and professional needs.


In-depth Coffee Courses

Coffee Taster’s Course

This is an intensive coffee tasting training course that will equip attendees
with the skills and knowledge to hone their coffee tasting expertise. This
day-and-a-half course is broken into six sections.

Day 1
Sensory analysis and coffee
Introduction to cupping
Factors that influence cup quality
Intermediate tasting/cupping (1)
Day 2
Intermediate tasting/cupping (2)
Advanced cupping/tasting


Coffee: A Crash Course

Every journey has to start somewhere and there’s a lot of ground to cover
in the world of coffee education. This two day course offers some essentials
to get you started on the right path.

Day 1
The coffee industry in Hawaii and elsewhere
Coffee quality and evaluation
Coffee production and factors that influence quality
Introduction to cupping

Day 2
Coffee brewing: theory and practice
Espresso fundamentals
Introduction to roasting
Ethical coffees and certifications


Diving into the deep end of coffee

This five day seed-to-cup survey course explores essential topics in coffee
production while providing practical experience in roasting, quality evaluation,
and brewing. This is our most comprehensive course and will provide you with
the knowledge necessary to begin a career as a true coffee professional.

Day 1
The Hawaii coffee industry
Introduction to coffee production
Coffee quality and evaluation
Agronomic factors that influence cup quality

Day 2
Introduction to cupping (seminar)
Cupping practice
Introduction to roasting (seminar)
Roasting practice

Day 3
Advanced cupping: acidity, sweetness, body
Introduction to brewing (seminar)
Brewing methods practice
Cup previous day’s roasts
Roasting practice

Day 4
Cup previous day’s roasts
Roasting practice
More brewing methods practice
Introduction to espresso

Day 5
Ethical coffees
Coffee and human health


Single-Day Classes

The Hawaii coffee industry
This class includes a history of the Hawaii coffee industry, its relationship to the
international coffee industry, and its evolution into a modern specialty coffee origin.

Coffee production
From planting to roasting, coffee needs plenty of care and attention. This class
explores the agricultural needs and processing steps that coffee must go through before
being roasted.

Coffee production and factors that influence cup quality
Learn about the journey of coffee from seed to cup. Throughout that journey, this course
uses the current scientific literature to explore factors that help determine coffee's flavor.

Shedding light on shade grown coffee
Unlike most plants, coffee can tolerate being grown in the shade or full sun. There are pros
and cons of both methods. This class explores the facts and fiction behind shade-grown coffee.

Coffee cherry processing
Coffee is the seed of a fruit. Before we can roast that seed, it must be dried down and
extracted from the fruit. Through a short lecture followed by a comparative cupping, this
class explores the various methods used to achieve this drying, and how they influence
flavor in the cup.

Introduction to roasting
This class explores the theory of coffee roasting and introduces essential concepts like
roast profiling and freshness.

Roast level and quality
A roaster's job is to roast coffee, but how do they settle on a particular roast level? What
does coffee taste like when roasted differently? Ever wanted to taste the same coffee
roasted in different ways side by side? Now’s your chance!

Coffee freshness
What's more useful to know, "best by" date or "roasted on" date? We’ll use scientific
evidence to explore this topic to try to figure out just how much time must after roasting
before coffee becomes stale.

Coffee quality and evaluation
This class explores the idea of coffee quality, both objectively and subjectively, and
presents an introduction to how coffee quality is evaluated.

Introduction to coffee cupping
Cupping is the formal method used by coffee professionals to evaluate coffee quality. This
class will introduce the pros and cons of the method and guide students through an actual
cupping following the official Specialty Coffee Association cupping protocol.

Coffee brewing: theory and practice

If brewing is just adding water to coffee, why are there so many different devices and
methods available for achieving this simple goal? This class explores the science behind
brewing and offers students a chance to compare brewing methods by tasting the same
coffee brewed in several different ways.

Espresso fundamentals
As a method of brewing coffee, espresso is perhaps the most complicated and most
mythologized. This class introduces the fundamental aspects of espresso brewing and
allows students to use an espresso machine to pull shots!

Ethical coffees and certifications
There are several different labels that one might find on a coffee package, like organic,
shade-grown, and Fair Trade. This class explains the philosophy behind these ethical
coffees and explores how they relate to the Hawaii coffee industry.

Identifying the origin of a coffee
As individual coffee varieties, origins, and farms gain notoriety and value, there is a greater
need to authenticate just where a coffee comes from. This class explores the challenges of
identifying coffee origin and variety, and the current state of the science behind the process.

Know your coffee and your market
Not all coffees and coffee drinkers are alike. This class explores different coffee quality
standards and consumer demographics to help sellers find the right market for their coffee.

Exploring the reality of 10% Kona blends
This is one of the most contentious issues in the Hawaii coffee industry. It is much more
complicated than most people realize. This class explores the nuances of the 10% Kona
blending from an impartial perspective.

Daylight Mind is an active member of the Specialty Coffee Association