We’re Hiring: Sensory Analysis Assistant, North America

Posted on December 18th, 2018

Sensory Analysis Assistant, North America (Minneapolis, MN)

Cafe Imports is looking for a sensory analysis assistant to join our small, dedicated team. This person will have a wide range of responsibilities focused around the daily operations of the cupping lab, sample library, and roasting room. The ideal candidate is highly organized, precise, and has an interest in sensory science. This will be an exciting opportunity for personal professional development and will help grow an innovative department. This is a full-time entry-level salaried position and we are looking to fill it as soon as possible.

Our ideal candidate demonstrates practical application of the qualities required for this position. Past professional coffee experience is not essential. Proficiency in MS Excel, data entry, and typing is preferred.  

The person in this position will work under the supervision of the North America sensory lab manager and Cafe Imports’ director of sensory analysis and will be responsible for the life cycle of all green-coffee samples, from initial reception to analysis to final cataloging and storage. Each member of the sensory department learns to accomplish all of the day-to-day needs in the sensory lab.

As part of a small team in a demanding department, the ideal candidate will be able to shift from task to task while remaining focused and completing their work efficiently. Organization and attention to detail are key. 

Training will be provided where necessary: We hope to fill this position based on interest, dedication, and personality; coffee skills and previous sensory experience are preferred but not required to apply. 

 Job Requirements

  • Ability to work well with others in a small, first-name-basis work culture.
  • Ability to work on projects independently in a multifaceted department.
  • Ability to take direction and correction professionally and constructively.
  • Ability to manage time, work with precision, and complete time-sensitive tasks.
  • Ability to understand and operate spreadsheets and enter data without errors.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Possesses an organizational bent.
  • Display basic, technical sensory sensitivity.


Sample handling

  • Checking in samples to a database.
  • Organizing samples for assessment and roasting
  • Filing samples for storage after assessment

Green coffee physical assessment

  • Will learn and apply manual green grading skills to coffee samples
  • Use of physical assessment tools to record: moisture content, water activity, density, optical analysis

Coffee roasting

  • Understand and operate Stronghold S7 roasters, Probat BRZ roasters, and Agtron machine
  • Prepare coffee for roasting and handle roasted samples properly

Cupping table setup and breakdown

  • Arrange necessary equipment on cupping table
  • Dose coffees
  • Clean the cupping lab (cups, spoons, tables, spitoons, trash) after cuppings

Cupping coffee

  • Daily cuppings of 50+ coffees
  • Assess coffees using Cafe Imports’ unique sensory systems
  • Assess coffees using other industry-standard sensory systems (e.g. Cup of Excellence, SCA, CQI)

Other responsibilities

  • Data entry
  • Searching data archives
  • Communicating lab results and cupping updates
  • Liaison to sales department for sample requests
  • Lab maintenance and cleaning


Please e-mail cover letters and résumés to ian@cafeimports.com. No calls, please.