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CAS in Coffee Excellence

The postgraduate CAS in Coffee Excellence is an exclusive blended e-learning program designed at the highest level of the coffee training path. You will gain science-based and practice-oriented expertise on coffee along the whole value chain, through a flexible, remote learning course format. It is delivered as a mix of interactive and self-study documents, tests, practical exercises, assessments and individual project work.

A program in partnership with the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA).

Auf einen Blick

Abschluss : Certificate of Advanced Studies in (12 ECTS)

Start : 04.10.2021

Dauer : 12 months

Kosten : CHF 7'400.00

Bemerkung zu den Kosten : 

The cost includes the tuition fees, course materials, virtual lessons, exam payment and diploma certificate, as well as expenses related to Module D which includes accommodation, dinner and entrance fees to World of Coffee and specialty coffee events.

Durchführungsort : 

Online on moodle platform
(Module D is in person during World of Coffee or Specialty Coffee EXPO events.)

Unterrichtssprache : Englisch

Ziele und Inhalt


The eCAS in Coffee Excellence is aimed at those who already work within the coffee industry and wish to deepen their knowledge, or those who have an educational background and wish to pursue a career in the exciting world of coffee.

  • People with a university degree (diploma or Bachelor)
  • People with an equivalent education
  • Professionals from the coffee industry
  • Professionals from related fields (food, gastronomy and hospitality management)

The course is also suitable for people who want to teach or advice in the field of coffee or similar products.


The course has been developed by experts at the Coffee Excellence Centre of the Zurich University of Applied Science. As a world-class research Institute of Chemistry and Biological Chemistry at ZHAW, experts will support and guide you through the learning journey to achieve the following broad academic goals on completion of the course:

  • Acquire in-depth knowledge and a comprehensive overview of the science of coffee along from crop to cup
  • Apply a multidisciplinary scientific and practical knowledge of all processes involved in the coffee value chain
  • Take a fact-based approach and critically examine all aspects of coffee
  • Integrate knowledge on selected coffee topics into professional contexts
  • Enlarge your professional network and make contacts with experts in the coffee sector.
Module overview


Curriculum overview

The course curriculum is divided into four modules as follows:

  • Module A - The fruit: From tree to trade (on-line)
  • Module B - The bean: Transformation and packaging (on-line)
  • Module C - The cup: Extraction and sensory analysis (on-line)
  • Module D – Workshops (hands-on at one of the mayor coffee events)

Historical, social and ethical aspects of coffee as well as economic and business management topics will complement the course curriculum. An additional advantage of this course will be an expansion of your network of professional relationships within the coffee industry and the establishment of contacts with relevant experts.

Module A - The Fruit: From tree to trade

In this module, we will explore all aspects of the coffee cherry in origin countries; from its discovery to how different coffee species and varieties evolved worldwide. We will also consider important aspects of botany and the role of agronomic practices on the farm to improve yield and quality while developing strategies to combat pests and diseases. We will also discuss harvesting as well as processing aspects until green coffee is produced. Finally, we will take a look at the economics of coffee production, sustainability and different models of trade. The module is structured into six sessions of self-study on the online learning platform Moodle, and will involve discussions with fellow participants in the virtual classroom before completion by assessment.

  • Cost: 2000 CHF
  • Duration: 19 weeks
  • Workload: 100 hours
  • Academic credits: 4 ECTS

Module B - The Bean: Transformation and Packaging

This module covers all aspects of physical transformation and chemical composition of the green coffee to the roasted bean, until extraction. We will investigate the many factors that impact on coffee freshness and the process behind decaffeination and soluble coffee. The module is structured into five sessions of self-study on the online learning platform Moodle, and will involve discussions with fellow participants in the virtual classroom before completion by assessment.

  • Cost: 1700 CHF
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Workload: 75 hours
  • Academic credits: 3 ECTS

Module C - The Cup: Extraction and Sensory

This module covers the complex dynamics of extraction and the vital role that water quality plays, as well as machine technologies from grinding to brewing as a means to influence the quality of coffee. We will also investigate the sensory world in coffee and the important subject of coffee as it relates to dietary requirements and health. The module is structured into five sessions of self-study on the online learning platform Moodle, and will involve discussions with fellow participants in the virtual classroom before completion by assessment.

  • Cost: 1700 CHF
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Workload: 75h
  • Academic credits: 3 ECTS

Module D - Workshop

This module is a tailormade hands-on workshop, to deepen the content covered in Modules A to C and will happen during one of the three main coffee events (World of Coffee in Europe or EXPO in US). This module is completed by an assessment in the form of a report.

  • Cost: 2000 CHF
  • Duration: 4 weeks
  • Workload: 50 hours
  • Credits: 2 ECTS


The course is devided into four modules (A to D). For the first three Modules ( A to C), your learning journey will be assessed online as you progress through the curriculum as well as a standalone self-learning written project  to be submitted at the end of  each module. They are structures into sessions comprised of an Introductory session, a series of Content sessions (6 in Module A and each 5 in Module B and C) and a final Assessment session. Module D will be organized during one of the main coffee events (EXPO in the US or World of Coffee in Europe) and is a hands-on workshop.

To successfully complete the course, participants will be expected to commit to a workload of approximately five to seven hours per week of self-study. Relevant know-how will be delivered and developed through online lectures by recognized experts, case studies, group discussion and self-study. Additional content will also be provided for further reading, practical exercises, participation in forum discussions and online virtual classrooms. The duration of each module is as follows:

  • Module A: 19 weeks (4 ECTS)
  • Module B: 13 weeks (3 ECTS)
  • Module C: 13 weeks (3 ECTS)
  • Module D: 4 weeks (2 ECTS)

ECTS = European Credit Transfer System. ECTS is a standardized and comparable student performance assessment system across Europe. One credit is awarded for a workload of 25-30 hours (contact time and self-study).


  • Modules A, B and C are structured into 6-7 sessions in online self-study format. Every session includes 1 online classroom.
  • Module D is a tailormade workshop that will take place during World of Coffee or Specialty Coffee EXPO events.
  • Workload per week is approx. 5-7 hours of self-study.

Beratung und Kontakt




The course is offered in partnership with the SCA Specialty Coffee Association.



There are two different paths to be admitted to the program:

a) Regular admission

Those who meet the following requirements are admitted to the CAS in Coffee Excellence certificate course:

  • Final diploma from a state-recognized university (diploma, licentiate, bachelor's or master's degree).
  • At least 2 years of professional experience at the time of registration.
  • Good written and oral skills in English.

b) 'Sur Dossier' approval

Persons who do not have a university degree are admitted if they meet one of the following requirements:

  • A qualification comparable to the regular admission, or at least 3 years of professional experience in the coffee industry or related areas (food, hospitality management), including a SCA Diploma.
  • Good written and oral skills in English.


The ECAS is structured into four Modules (A to D) and covers the whole coffee value chain. The three modules A to C are structured into 6-7 Sessions and completed by an Assessment in form of report. Module D is a tailormade workshop that will take place during World of Coffee or Specialty Coffee EXPO.

Participants can register for the whole course or for modules separately.

Participants who meet the requirements will be considered in the order in which their registration was received.

You will be awarded your diploma once the course has been successfully completed which includes the compulsory presence requirement has been fulfilled, all modules and the final assessment have been passed, and 12 ECTS credits have been acquired. The criteria must be met in order for you to be awarded your ZHAW CAS Diploma in Coffee Excellence.

Startdaten und Anmeldung

Start Anmeldeschluss Anmeldelink
04.10.2021 19.09.2021 Anmeldung

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