Make perfect coffee! Coffee tips for YOU from a world’s leading coffee expert [classic article]

Scott Conary is considered one of seven top leading coffee experts in the U.S. I am acquainted with him because — along with being a foodie — I am an attorney and agent for rock and alt. country bands. Scott books bands at his cafe’!

After you read about Scott’s tremendous bona fides, I have listed his personal tips for YOU to make the perfect cup of coffee.

Local Coffee Roastery Owner / Head Judge interviewed on CNN for 2009 World Barista Competition

Carrboro/Chapel Hill, NC – Local World Barista Certified (WBC) coffee professional Scott Conary served as Head Judge at the World Competition on 4/16-19, at the World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA, during the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s (SCAA) Annual Convention; the largest gathering of coffee professionals in the U.S.

CNN video can be found here:

Scott certified to judge by having passed the intense 2 day certification course. Scott is one of only 7 judges from the U.S. to have passed the certification class, and the only judge from NC.

Scott has lived in Carrboro/Chapel Hill since 1995, and has made it his mission to the community he lives in, and the coffee community at large, in his work to marry quality with sustainability by creating “Carrboro’s Living Room” in the Open Eye Café; and by sourcing & roasting the best quality coffee the world has to offer, as Carrboro Coffee Roasters.

Scott has been active in judging these coffee competitions since 2003 where he judged the first Southeast Regional Competition that took place in Southern Season’s cooking classroom in Chapel Hill.

Scott has been a WBC judge for the last three years: Berne, Switzerland in 2007; Tokyo, Japan in 2008 where he served as Head Judge; and Copenhagen, Denmark in 2008; making this years Championship in Atlanta his 4th.

He has also served as a Coordinator & Judge for the Guatemalan, Canadian & Honduran National Barista Competitions in 2008 & 2009, as well as being a current member of the SCAA United Stated Barista Competition (USBC) Committee & Judges Certification Committee.

All Barista competitions worldwide reward demonstrated excellence in the art and skill of preparing and serving espresso. Entrants must make 12 beverages, including four espressos, four cappuccinos and four original signature drinks of their own creation, within 15 minutes in front of a panel of accomplished & certified industry judges. Competitors are based on taste, beverage presentation, technical skills, coffee knowledge and passion, and overall impression.

WBC info:

How to Make Great Coffee…

Buy freshly roasted coffee beans.  Buy your whole bean coffee fresh each week and be sure it was recently roasted.  Store coffee in an airtight container in a cool dry place to insure maximum freshness (not the freezer or refrigerator!).

Measure accurately.  Use one coffee scoop (~2 tablespoons) for each 6oz. Of water used. You can use more or less, according to taste.

Grind.     Grinding your own beans just before brewing is optimal for taste, because aroma and flavor in coffee are extremely perishable.  The best grinder uses burrs that give the most consistent and even grind, but  an inexpensive blade grinder will work well for standard drip and French press brewing.  A grinder is a great investment since the whole bean coffee stays fresher longer than ground coffee.

Use fresh, cool water.    Coffee is only as good as the water you use.  If your tap water tastes unpleasant, use filtered water or bottled spring water.  Ideal coffee brewing water is medium hard with a 7-8 on the ten point hardness scale, with no discernable odors or impurities.  Do not use distilled water or your coffee will taste flat.

Brew.    There are many ways to brew great coffee.  Most people use the paper filter method, as a pour over or automatic drip coffee maker.  A gold filter may help your coffee have more body, but methods such as the Vacuum brewing and French press give the most full bodied, richest coffee flavor of all extractions, and are fun to watch too.

Drink & Enjoy.      There are no “rules” about serving and enjoying coffee.  Drink it black or add cream and/or sugar.  Try to drink your coffee within 20 minutes.  Do not leave it on a heat source after brewing.  If you want the coffee to remain more stable and at a drinkable temperature, transfer the coffee or brew it directly into a warmed thermal container.

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