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Certificate in Sustainable Coffee Value Chain 2022/2023
永續咖啡價值鏈證書 2022/2023 [中文版]

Course Code:


Mode of Study:
Part Time

Contact Hours and Study Period:
1-2 lessions per week, a total of 72 contact hours in 4 months’ time

Teaching Medium:
Cantonese, supplemented with English materials

Commencement Date:
October 12, 2022 (Wednesday)

Tuition Fee: HKD32,800
Early bird special: HKD 29,800 (application on or before September 21, 2022)

**The course fee will be made payable to “Coffee Lab Asia”.

Application Deadline:
October 5, 2022 (Wednesday)

Application Method:

Download and fill in the Course Application Form (proof of academic qualification is required) and return to the Academy for Sustainable Communities by email or by post on or before the application deadline.

*Quota for this programme is limited. Enrolment to the course will be processed on a first-come-first-serve basis.

**There may be instance that the course will be cancelled due to insufficient enrolment.  The tuition fee refund will be arranged within 1 month of the cancellation announcement.

Monday-Friday 9:00am-6:00pm
Tel: 3917-4768
Email: ccsg@hku.hk

Class Venue:

  • COFFEE LAB Asia | playground (Sheung Wan)
  • Lai Chi Wo Experimental Farm for Sustainable Agriculture


Ms. Katie Chick (HKU) (Course coordinator)

Ms. Cindy Ng (COFFEE LAB Asia)

Mr. Dixon Ip (COFFEE LAB Asia)

Ms. Kris Wang (COFFEE LAB Asia)

Mr. Kelvin Fok (HKU)

Mr. Darwin Leung (HKU)

Dr. Winnie Law (HKU)

Course Description:
Coffee is one of the most important food commodities consumed by people all over the world. As an integral part of many people’s daily life, over billion cups of coffee are consumed across the globe on a daily basis. Coffee generates multi-billion dollar global business and involves thousands of companies in developed countries, as well as co-operatives and several million small producer families in developing countries. The production and consumption of coffee influence numerous natural ecosystems and the livelihoods of millions. However, the coffee sector is also facing numerous sustainability challenges and many actors along the global coffee supply chain have started to prioritize socio-economic and conservation values in their practices.

Integrating concepts of sustainable value chains and hands-on practice at local coffee farm, this 12-day certificate course is designed for practitioners and interested public to acquire professional skills and knowledge on coffee cultivation, on-farm processing, green bean production and trading, as well as downstream operations and activities. From seed to cup, this is the first comprehensive course offered in Hong Kong focusing on coffee production, consumption and value chain management as a way to incubate sustainability change agents for coffee related sectors. The certificate course advocates the building of a sustainable and circular economy network of coffee in Hong Kong.


Key Features:

  • From coffee farm to coffee shop, the first genuine Seed-to-Cup practical learning experience ever offered in Hong Kong.
  • Rare experiential learning opportunity provided for students to participate in on-farm operation and coffee processing at Lai Chi Wo Experimental Farm for Sustainable Agriculture.
  • Led by experienced professional trainers, various coffee tasting, class exercise and discussion sessions are designed to encourage practical learning through “learning by tasting” and “learning by doing”.
  • Meet with professionals and seasoned practitioners in the industry through class discussions and firm visit.
  • Engage students through collaborative learning to promote interactions, sharing and collaborations inside or outside the classroom.


Intended Learning Outcomes:
In this certificate course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the overview and details of various components of the coffee value chain, from cultivation, processing, distribution to consumption;
  • Identify and manage the factors affecting the quality of coffee;
  • Apply a range of hands-on practical farming and post-harvesting management skills of sustainable coffee cultivation and green bean production in the local context;
  • Recognise the key sustainability challenges along the value chain and explain the complex interdependencies of producing and consuming countries and regions; and
  • Apply theories and scientific knowledge to enhance sustainability performance along the coffee value chain.


Target Students:
The course is suitable for coffee industry practitioners, coffee lovers as well as those who are interested in understanding the science, actual practices, and sustainability issues behind coffee production, consumption and the value chain.


Assessment and Recognition:
Students, who attained 85% attendance rate and passed the class examination, will be awarded a “Certificate in Sustainable Coffee Value Chain” by the Centre for Civil Society and Governance, The University of Hong Kong.

Students will be able to obtain the below professional recognitions awarded by professional organisations in the coffee industry upon completion of the specified requirements:



Specialty Coffee Association’s (SCA) Introduction to Coffee certificate and 10 points toward the SCA Diploma

Students who attained 100% attendance rate in Day 1 & Day 2 and passed the relevant SCA examination.

Specialty Coffee Association’s (SCA) Green Foundation certificate and 5 points toward the SCA Diploma

Students who attained 100% attendance rate in Day 3 & Day 10 and passed the relevant SCA examination.

Coffee Quality Institute’s (CQI) Certificate of Attendance – Introduction to Post Harvest Processing

Students who attained 100% attendance rate in Day 7.


Entry Requirements:
(a) have gained in the HKDSE Examination Level 2 in English Language; or
(b) have passed English Language in HKCEE; or
(c) hold equivalent academic qualifications, taking into consideration individual merit.


Exemption Policy:
Applicants holding qualification of the SCA certificate in Introduction to Coffee and SCA Green Coffee Foundation could be exempted from relevant SCA examination fee. The Programme Team will consider exemption applications on a case-by-case basis.


Course Contents and Timetable:

(Class schedule and teaching mode may change depending on future Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines.)



Day 1 

October 12, 2022 (Wednesday)
19:00 - 22:00 Night
COFFEE LAB Asia | playground (Sheung Wan)

Lecture -

Certificate Course Introduction

SCA Introduction To Coffee 1:

  • Coffee history and basic knowledge
  • Basics of coffee roasting process
  • Human senses

Day 2

October 19, 2022 (Wednesday)
19:00 - 22:00 Night
COFFEE LAB Asia | playground (Sheung Wan)

Lecture -

SCA Introduction To Coffee 2:

  • Sensory experience on different coffee species, processing methods, and roast levels
  • Cupping introduction
  • Basics of coffee brewing
  • Coffee tasting

Introduction Of Sustainable Coffee Value Chain:

  • Sustainability challenges in global coffee industry
  • Coffee related certifications
  • Concept of “Sustainable Value Chain”

Day 3

October 22, 2022 (Saturday)
10:00 – 18:00 Whole day
COFFEE LAB Asia | playground (Sheung Wan)

Lecture -

SCA Green Coffee Foundation 1:

  • Origins and varieties
  • Specialty coffee supply chain
  • Coffee tasting

Coffee Cultivation:

  • Botany and physiology of coffee plant
  • Environmental conditions for coffee growing
  • Coffee cultivation practices of coffee worldwide

Day 4

October 29, 2022 (Saturday)
09:00 – 17:00 Whole day
Lai Chi Wo Experimental Farm for Sustainable Agriculture

Farm Practice -

Coffee Cultivation In Practice:

  • Field and planting design for agroforestry
  • Land preparation
  • Germination and seedling establishment

Day 5

November 19, 2022 (Saturday)
09:00 – 17:00 Whole day
Lai Chi Wo Experimental Farm for Sustainable Agriculture

Farm Practice - 

Coffee Tree Management In Practice:

  • Crop maintenance
  • Nutrient, irrigation and pest management
  • Tree maturing and pruning
  • Coffee cherry ripeness identification

Day 6

November 30, 2022 (Wednesday)
19:00 - 22:00 Night
COFFEE LAB Asia | playground (Sheung Wan)


The University of Hong Kong

Lecture & Class Exercise- 

Natural Resources, Environmental Stewardship and Coffee Production:

  • Coffee, biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Sustainable production, regenerative agriculture, and agroforestry
  • Coffee and climate change

Class Exercise and Discussion

Day 7

December 10, 2022 (Saturday)
10:00 – 18:00 Whole day
COFFEE LAB Asia | playground (Sheung Wan)

Lecture & Class Exercises - 

CQI Introduction to Post Harvest Processing:

  • Brief history of coffee processing
  • Coffee harvesting methods
  • Pre-cleaning measures
  • Post-harvesting processing methods

Class Exercises:

  • Coffee anatomy
  • Identification of processing methods
  • Beans milling and storage

Day 8

December 24, 2022 (Saturday)
09:00 – 17:00 Whole day
Lai Chi Wo Experimental Farm for Sustainable Agriculture

Farm Practice - 

Coffee Harvesting and Processing In Practice:

  • Coffee harvesting and handling
  • Processing techniques (Natural, Washed, Honey, and Anaerobic)
  • Beans drying and handling

Day 9

January 4, 2023 (Wednesday)
19:00 - 22:00 Night
COFFEE LAB Asia | playground (Sheung Wan)


The University of Hong Kong

Lecture & Class Exercise - 

Workplace Culture and Inclusiveness in Coffee Industry

  • Office coffee culture
  • Coffee and gentrification
  • Café as third space / social connection?
  • Coffee business with social objectives

Class Exercise and Discussion

Day 10

January 7, 2023 (Saturday)
10:00 – 18:00 Whole day
COFFEE LAB Asia | playground (Sheung Wan)

Lecture, Class Exercises & Exam - 

SCA Green Coffee Foundation 2:

  • Green beans grading
  • Green coffee markets
  • Storage and transport
  • Certification
  • Decaffeination

Class Exercises:

  • Sample roasting and tasting
  • Local coffee cupping

Class Examination

Day 11

January 11, 2023 (Wednesday)
19:00 - 22:00 Night
COFFEE LAB Asia | playground (Sheung Wan)


The University of Hong Kong

Lecture & Class Exercise -

Innovation and Governance in Coffee Industry

  • New coffee wave - The fifth wave? The sixth wave?
  • Coffee traceability
  • Value chain governance

Class Exercise and Discussion

Day 12

January 15, 2023 (Sunday)
10:00 – 17:00 Whole day

Field Trip - 

  • Local Coffee Firms Visit

*November 20, 2022 (Sunday) and January 8, 2023 (Sunday) are reserved as contingency days for any cancelation of farm practice due to bad weather.


Online examinations:

By October 30, 2022

Complete SCA Introduction to Coffee certificate online exam

By January 28, 2023

Complete SCA Green Coffee Foundation certificate online exam



Collaborating Organisation:

Coffee Lab Asia (CLA) was established in 2012 with the belief of “Better Coffee through Education & Research”. CLA aims to provide specialty coffee education for individuals, schools, universities, and corporations; as well as to apply technologies to the coffee industry. CLA has been delivering coffee training programs worldwide including Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Brazil, Greece, Ukraine and mainland China cities. Such training includes the certification programs from but not limited to the Coffee Quality Institute, the Specialty Coffee Association; as well as coffee judges training to support the World Coffee Events competitions.