Sign up today for the fall 2021 program! 


Dates: May 24 - June 25, 2021 (SOLD OUT)

The Program is sold out for May 24. Thank you. 


Week One

Session 1: Sensory Analysis Terminology and Technique 

Session 2: Professional Techniques for Chocolate Sensory Analysis

Week Two

Session 3: Cocoa Flavor: Genetics, Orchard Care, Climactic Terroir, Post-Harvest Process

Session 4: Quality Assessment Metrics and Standards for Specialty Chocolate and Cocoa Products


Week Three

Session 5: Defects 1 - Post Harvest challenges: Under/Over ferment and Drying Conditions

Session 6: Defects 2 - Transportation, Storage, and Manufacturing defects

Week Four

Session 7: Origins 1 - South America: Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Columbia

Session 8: Origins 2 - Central America: Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua. 


Week Five

Session 9: Origins 3 – Caribbean: Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic

Session 10: Origins 4 – Africa: Madagascar, Tanzania, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire


Session 11: Sensory Analysis Techniques, Defects, Origins, and Calibration Review and Exam


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Course Schedule = Each week will contain three segments.

  1. Video Lessons for each session. 

    • Participants can access and re-watch all the streaming digital content 

  2. Training Session - Live Stream - with Program Director

    • Review Key Topics and Answer Questions in Real Time 

  3. Sensory Practice Time with Peers (Group Taste Sessions) 


Time Commitment: Each Week of the Program there are TWO Sessions - they are numbered 1-10 in the program overview above. In addition, once a week there is a 75-minute Q&A with the instructor to review the learning modules. Optional, but highly recommended, is once per week Group Taste Session which may be up to 90-minutes and is a calibration practice with industry peers. Session-11 is an exam and may be taken at your own pace. 


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Program Fee: $925.00 USD 

Materials Fee: $325.00 USD

Shipping Fee: will be assessed based on your region/location

The Materials Fee Includes Printable Guides, Sensory Analysis Forms, 4-months of access to the Video Modules, 30 Bars of Chocolate for the Course Lessons and Group Taste Sessions and access to direct training with the course instructor through live Q&A sessions.

Materials will be shipped to you. International shipping is available for an additional charge. 

Total Program Cost: $1,250.00 USD before shipping

A portion of each registration fee will be donated to the Specialty Cocoa Association, a registered non-profit organization committed to an equitable cocoa supply chain.


All modules must be completed to receive the course Certificate. Students that complete the course will be listed in the database of certified taste professionals.

Course Instructor Bio: The instructor for the Sensory Analysis Program is Brian Cisneros, M.A. Brian is the Board President of the Specialty Cocoa Association, he is the founder of the Northwest Chocolate Festival, founder of the Chocolate Makers UnConference, and co-founder of Chocolate Alliance. Brian began working in the artisan chocolate industry in 2006 and in 2014 Brian began the work of organizing the chocolate industry around quality metrics for cacao and chocolate. In 2016 Brian created the competition form for sensory analysis used by the Good Food Award chocolate category and the NW Chocolate awards program. In 2017 Brian created the long-form analysis system in collaboration with chocolate makers around the world. The sensory analysis system we will be using for the course has been tested on thousands of samples by professionals across the industry.