The La Marzocco showroom located in Shoreditch, London acts as many things to both us and our network of friends and partners. We like to use it for a range of different activities, from product launches to live music through to art exhibitions, the showroom is also a certified Q Grading Venue. We’ve really missed having the showroom utilised for Q Grading and to meet so many impassioned people who are on a journey to develop our industry. Last month, we were delighted to be able to open the doors again to the team from Coffee & Q, and took the opportunity to talk to the founder, Mike Riley, about Q Grading courses and the use of the La Marzocco showroom to run these exclusive sessions.

Mike is a certified Q Grader instructor and also works as part of Falcon Specialty Green Coffee Sales; specialising in selling speciality coffee and teaching the Q Grader Coffee Cupping Program.



“Working at La Marzocco for the Q Grading courses is fantastic for a couple of reasons. First of all, the central London location of Shoreditch, which I basically see as the specialty coffee capital of the world is ideal and very accessible! Plus, we get on very well with the La Marzocco team and have done for many years. We love their products and people so it works very well for all of us; the students included.

The Q Grading programme is very important within our industry as what it does for professional coffee cuppers is provide us with a way to make sure we’re all cupping and assessing coffees with great consistency, using SCA standards and practices. We’re preparing coffee where the beans have been roasted exactly the same as one another. We’re using exactly the same coffee to water ratios as one another; the same temperatures, the same brew times too. That way, we can have a proper conversation about the attributes of that particular coffee without any distractions. An example is, if I was tasting coffee sent by a Kenyan coffee farmer and I roasted it dark, and that same coffee they roasted it light, then it would taste totally different. Working with protocols and giving coffee a numerical value, as we do in the Q Grader programme, it means we can assess coffee in the most consistent way.

Q Grading is about professionalism, exactly the same as our hosts at La Marzocco. It’s about achieving and maintaining really high standards and about a common language for those standards. We’re all doing things that are about raising our game; striving to improve the lives of coffee farmers by encouraging the production of great coffee and by having a meter to measure this by

La Marzocco want their customers to be sourcing and serving great coffees as well. I often say we are linked in a way that we may not have been in the past as now, the espresso machine is closer to the customer experience, as is the roaster and their connections to the importers and farmers and it’s so important there is this visible chain of connection and passion if we are to continually raise standards.”

To enquire about using either the La Marzocco London and/or Leeds space, don’t hesitate to contact the team on and 0207 253 1644.

To learn more about the courses that Coffee & Q host, please contact them here.