Coffee Bean International's Bruce Mullins Appointed Trustee of Prestigious Coffee Quality Institute®

Publish Date: 
July 06, 2009

Bruce Mullins, Coffee Bean International's Vice President of Coffee Culture and a 30 year veteran of the Pacific Northwest specialty coffee industry, has been appointed to a two-year term as a trustee of the Coffee Quality Institute® (CQI).

CQI is a non-profit organization working internationally to improve the quality of coffee and the lives of the people who produce it. As a charitable trust, it is led by an experienced, international board of trustees, with each member contributing decades of coffee industry knowledge.

Mullins has been involved with CQI for three years, helping develop international specialty coffee cupping standards and traveling to South America and Africa as a volunteer to help train cuppers and implement in-country management programs. From April, 2008 he served as chair of the CQI Advisory Council.

"It is a true honor to be joining the CQI board and I look forward to contributing to their important work of helping improve coffee quality worldwide," said Mullins.

Mullins is actively involved in the national and international coffee community. He has worked extensively with the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), served as chair of the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) Advisory Council, and is the past vice president and board member of the American Premium Tea Institute (APTI). He also lectures and writes extensively on the coffee and tea industry.

For the past six years, Mullins has been an international cupping judge for the prestigious Cup of Excellence® competitions, helping adjudicate competitions in Central America, South America, and Africa that determine the very best coffees produced around the world each year.

Mullins joined Coffee Bean International in 1982 and has been with the company through its transformation from a small Northwest roaster into a major national supplier of hand-crafted artisan-roast coffees beans. As Vice President of Coffee Culture, Mullins is responsible for enhancing the development of successful and profitable coffee programs for CBI's regional and national customers. Additionally, he is responsible for developing training programs and materials to help ensure the ongoing success of CBI's staff and customers. He is trained as a specialty coffee roaster and tea blender.

About Coffee Quality Institute

CQI was established in 1996 by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) – the world's largest specialty coffee trade association – of which Coffee Bean International is a founding member. CQI specializes in providing training and technical assistance to coffee producers and other individuals at origin, to assist in raising the value and volume of specialty coffee production through marketplace solutions.

Current programs include:

  • Q Grader Program: A rigorous testing and certification program, this is the first comprehensive professional accreditation for coffee graders and cuppers designed to recognize the deepest talent at work in the industry. The Q Grader Program is the industry's only professional accreditation for cuppers.
  • Q Coffee System: The development of a comprehensive and internationally recognized grading system for quality coffees that utilizes the services of Licensed Q Graders to provide third-party verification of cup quality.
  • Q Coffee Certification: Roasters who purchase coffees that have successfully passed strict independent grading and cupping tests and have attained international status as authentic specialty coffee may use the unique Q certification mark to better communicate their coffees' quality to consumers.
  • Coffee Corps: A program that matches coffee experts from all aspects of the industry, who volunteer their time, with growers at origin seeking technical assistance.

CQI is the only organization in the world doing this foundational work to quantify, measure, and standardize coffee quality so that producers of quality coffees can be better rewarded for their efforts while roasters are assured a more robust supply chain. For more information, visit