Brigg area coffee taster makes the grade with top award
A COFFEE taster has become the youngest person in the country to scoop a top award in the industry.
Sean Fowler, who works as a taster for Elsham-based coffee roasters Lincoln & York, picked up a Q Grade certification from the Coffee Quality Institute in California.
A big coffee taste will see Mr Fowler sampling between 100 and 120 types of coffee a day, from different origins across the world.
Mr Fowler started working for Lincoln & York in February last year as a trained coffee taster and buyer, before he was put forward for the accreditation by his director.
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The 23-year-old, from Messingham, said he was studying a masters degree in environmental journalism when he spotted an advert for the job.
He said: "I thought I had a good palate for this sort of thing. My favourite thing about the job is tasting new coffees from different places."
The tasting process Mr Fowler undertakes is much like a scientific experiment.
Different ground coffee beans are placed in a glass jar and the correct temperature water is then added.
After this process, the coffee beans are added into different forms to see how they would taste – this can include anything from an espresso to a filter coffee.
Mr Fowler said: "We taste this for quality control and to see if there is anything wrong with it. It is really important that we taste as many different origins as possible.You don't ever really stop learning about these kind of things."
Mr Fowler flew to Athens to complete his exams at a Speciality Coffee Association of America certified testing site.
Here, he completed a week of 30 sensory and written tests – and passed each one.
He said: "Coffee tasting has become a real passion of mine – one cup has more than 1,200 different flavours to identify, making it a really complex process."
Mr Fowler's accomplishment makes Lincoln & York the only roasting company in the UK to have three CQI qualified coffee tasters, of which there are just 2,000 worldwide.
James Sweeting, director at Lincoln & York, said: "I am extremely proud of Sean for achieving Q Grade certification at such a young age."