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Executive Training in Sustainability and Coffee
行政管理人員培訓 [中文版]


Course Code:


Mode of Study:
Part Time

Contact Hours and Study Period:
1 session per week, a total of 25 contact hours in 6 months’ time

Teaching Medium:
English, supplemented with Cantonese

Commencement Date:
August 25, 2021 (Wednesday)

Tuition Fee*:
KD 12,500 (site visit expenses such as transportation and meals are not included)

Application Deadline:
August 17, 2021 (Friday)

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.
Enrollment to the course would be processed on a first-come-first-serve basis. 

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

Class Venue:
Coffee Lab @ sensory ZERO, Causeway Bay

Dr Winnie Law (HKU), Mr Dixon Ip (Coffee Lab Asia, CLA), Ms Katie Chick (HKU), Ms Cindy Ng (CLA), Ms Kris Wang (CLA) and guest speakers

*This programme is organised by the Academy for Sustainable Communities in collaboration with Coffee Lab Asia (CLA). The course fee will be made payable to “Coffee Lab Asia”.


Course Description:
Coffee being one of the world’s most important food commodities, the industry and its value chain actors are facing numerous sustainability challenges. These challenges resulted in a wide range of implications on both the producing and consuming populations. These include habitat management and biodiversity conservation, fair trade and livelihoods of the local farming community, water and waste management along the supply chain, knowledge transfer and consumer behaviour change, etc. This is the first-of-its-kind course offered in Hong Kong focusing on coffee and sustainability and is specially designed for practitioners in the coffee-related sector to acquire essential skills and knowledge on value chain and sustainability management. Students will interact with trainers, guest speakers and each other to examine the different sustainability issues, solutions, and develop their own sustainability initiatives to tackle the modern-day challenges of sustainable development.


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

  • Describe the overview and details of various components of the coffee value chain, from cultivation, processing, distribution to consumption;

  • 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.

Module 1: Introduction to Coffee
From coffee processing, roasting, brewing to tasting, this module offers an overview of the coffee supply chain. This two-day module also includes a coffee tasting session which allows students to taste the various flavours of different coffee species, specialty, and non-specialty coffee. Basic knowledge on coffee roasting and brewing is also included.

Module 2: Towards Sustainability – Coffee Value Chain
This module is designed for students with a keen interest on the business of coffee and sustainability. It introduces the concept of sustainable value chain and explores the various natural resource management, fair trade and other socio-economic challenges in the coffee industry. Students will learn about the environmental, social and economic impacts of coffee production and consumption and how the business’ value chain management relates to local policies, community development and global trends. The module will also investigate into the different sustainability initiatives taken place at the global and local levels. Professionals and seasoned practitioners from the industry and other relevant fields will be invited to interact with students through discussions and firm visit. Students will work in groups to develop their own sustainability initiative.


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


Assessment and Recognition:
Students, who attained 90% attendance rate and passed the course assessment in all two modules in a cluster, will be awarded a Certificate of Completion in Executive Training in Sustainability and Coffee 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 of Module 1 and passed the relevant SCA examination.


* Executive Training in Sustainability and Coffee is an intermediate award of the Certificate in Sustainable Coffee Value Chain. Students who have successfully completed the Executive Training curriculum but wish to continue to pursue the Certificate shall not be awarded any completion certificate. Upon the successful completion of the Certificate in Sustainable Coffee Value Chain, students will be required to surrender the completion certificate of the intermediate awards to the Academy (conditions apply).


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


Exemption Policy:
Applicants holding qualification of the SCA certificate in Introduction to Coffee or other equivalent qualifications will be exempted from taking Module 1. The Programme Team will consider exemption applications on a case-by-case basis.


Course Contents and Timetable:

Module 1: Introduction to Coffee (Tutors: Ms Cindy Ng and Ms Kris Wang)



August 25, 2021 (Wednesday)
Coffee Lab @ sensory ZERO, Causeway Bay


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

September 1, 2021 (Wednesday) 
Coffee Lab @ sensory ZERO, Causeway Bay


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

By September 7, 2021 (Tuesday)

Complete SCA Introduction to Coffee certificate online exam

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


Module 2: Towards Sustainability – Coffee Value Chain (Tutors: Dr, Winnie Law, Mr Dixon Ip, Ms Katie Chick and guest speakers)



December 8, 2021 (Wednesday)
Coffee Lab @ sensory ZERO, Causeway Bay

Lecture: Sustainable value chains in coffee businesses

  • Customer and supplier relationship
  • Stakeholder engagement for sustainability
  • Partnerships in sustainable value chains
  • Case studies on sustainability in the coffee business
  • Coffee tasting

December 15, 2021 (Wednesday)
Coffee Lab @ sensory ZERO, Causeway Bay

Lecture: Natural resource and environmental stewardship

  • Environmental issues and resource management challenges in coffee production and consumption
  • Environmental stewardship and certification
  • Ecology and climate resilience in the coffee industry
  • Coffee tasting

December 22, 2021 (Wednesday)
Coffee Lab @ sensory ZERO, Causeway Bay

Lecture: Inclusiveness and innovation

  • Social inclusion, livelihood and community development in farming communities
  • Community empowerment and social innovation
  • Industry innovation for sustainability
  • Coffee tasting

December 29, 2021 (Wednesday)
Coffee Lab @ sensory ZERO, Causeway Bay

Lecture: Workplace culture and corporate governance

  • Workplace culture and knowledge transfer in coffee production
  • Corporate governance and productive workforce
  • Information disclosure and transparency in the supply chain

January 8, 2022 (Saturday)

Firm visit

January 15, 2022 (Saturday)
The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam

Group presentation and assessment

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


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.