Category Archives: Judge

Carrboro Coffee Honored as a Finalist for Mid-Size Business of the Year Award

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This July, The Chamber For a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro hosted the 2020 Business Excellence Awards at a unique online ceremony.

Carrboro Coffee Roasters was honored to be selected as a Finalist alongside respected and loved businesses, Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe & Flyleaf Books. Vimala ultimately won the category and we applaud her & her teams success as a client and partner of Carrboro Coffee!

23 finalists were honored and 10 winners were presented awards live, with the help of the Carolina Athletics Event Management team.

“This pandemic has been tough for all of us, but even in very difficult times, we must take time to celebrate successes,” said Aaron Nelson, President and CEO of The Chamber For a Greater Chapel Hill Carrboro. “And so for this hour, we will celebrate our community’s best businesses and leaders.”

The Finalists & Award Winners nominated, followed by an application process, & then were selected by The Chamber’s Awards Selection Committee which was made up of local business and community leaders from diverse industries with a demonstrated commitment to our community.

The Committee, chaired by Camille Berry of the Community Home Trust, reviewed detailed pages of nominations from 90 nominees, selected three consensus finalists in each category, and then voted by secret ballot on the winners.

We want to congratulate all of the finalist and winners and thank the Chamber and everyone involved in promoting our local businesses.

The Mid-Size Business of the Year is presented to an outstanding Chamber member that has shown growth, innovation of product, exemplary customer service, response to adversity, and contribution to the community.

WCHL – ChapelBoro Interview with Scott Conary, Owner at Open Eye Café, Caffe Driade, and Carrboro Coffee Roasters

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WCHL – ChapelBoro Interview!

This is Tourism | March 1, 2018

Scott Conary, Owner at Open Eye Café, Caffe Driade, and Carrboro Coffee Roasters

This is Tourism: Coffee Roaster Scott

Opening talking points: WCHL –

And now it’s time for our weekly feature, This is Tourism, produced in partnership with the Orange County Visitors Bureau. This morning I’m joined by Scott Conary. He’s the owner of well known and frequented local establishments Caffe Driade, Open Eye Café, and Carrboro Coffee Roasters. His coffee is enjoyed in nearly 100 retail, restaurant and café locations from the coast to the mountains of North Carolina, and 41 of them are right here in Orange County. Scott is a hard man to pin down! He’s all over the map, consulting restaurants, meeting farmers to source the best coffee beans in the world, and judging international barista competitions. Thank you for being here with us!

Triangle Area Latte Art Throwdown & Party

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We are co-hosting the monthly Triangle Latte Art Throwdown (TNT) at our newly expanded roasting facility on 6/27 from 6:30pm to ~9pm.
The expanded space is the white building in front of our co-host Caffe Driade. 1215 East Franklin Street.
At this event the Triangle Coffee Community comes together for a fun competition and additionally a party to celebrate the soft opening of the new space.

Free & open to the public!

Food Trucks, beverages, live music and more as the celebration extends to the whole ‘campus’ – including Caffe Driade and their outdoor stage.

See the FB event page & Poster of the event for more info.  Triangle TNT FB Event Page – June
Party starts at 6:30pm, Throwdown at 7:30pm.

Conary to serve as Head Judge for U.S. Barista, Latte Art Championships

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Carrboro Coffee Roasters president Scott Conary is off to the U.S. Coffee Championships in Long Beach, California, where he will serve as Head Judge for the Barista and Latte Art Championships.

The 2015 U.S. Coffee Championships take place February 19th through 22nd and feature a series of competitions including the Barista Championship, the Brewers Cup, the Latte Art Championship, the Cup Tasters Championship and the Roasters Guild Choice Competition.

In the Barista Championship, contestants will have just 15 minutes to prepare and serve espressos, cappuccinos, and a personally designed signature beverage. The winner of the competition will go on to compete with 55 other national champions from around the world for the coveted title of World Champion at an event held in Seattle in April.

The Latte Art Championship will challenge participants to create two free pour lattes and two designer lattes on stage in a 6 minute presentation, as well as a unique and artistic design off stage in the Art Bar portion of the round. Free pouring, etching, and dyes on the surface of the latte will be allowed in the Art Bar, making for exceptionally creative visuals. The Latte Art champ also gets to compete with other national champions from around the world, but at an even that takes place in Sweden!

You can tune in by watching the Coffee Champs livestream here.

More information about the U.S. Coffee Championships (including spectator tickets if you happen to be in the Long Beach area) is available here.

Finding the World’s Best Coffees

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Many have drunk Fair-trade coffee, Rainforest Alliance coffee, organic coffee and  even estate-direct coffee. Now there’s another way to get the highest quality coffee, the Cup of Excellence (COE).

Sometimes called the “Coffee Oscars” by the specialty coffee industry, COE is gaining ground in the U.S. as a way of guaranteeing quality in the cup and appropriately fair prices for farmers.

The US-based, decade plus-old program is an international system of grading and selling the best beans from participating coffee-growing countries each year.

Once selected by a National & International panel, the beans are sold online to the highest bidders.

Scott Conary not only sells COE coffee from his Roasting operation – Carrboro Coffee Roasters, and at his café’s – Open Eye Café & Caffe Driade; he is one of a handful of American Judges honored to be asked to judge these coffees in various Countries around the world.  He has sat on the 25 to 30-member international panels  in Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and in August will head to Rwanda,  to assess the coffee for those country’s auctions.

About 40 lots of top-scoring coffees are often on the table for the International panel to review; picked by a national panel from hundreds of lots submitted by farmers from all over the prospective country.

There is keen competition among the growers to have their beans selected because auction bids come from as far away as Japan and Australia.   In 2010, 21 first-class Colombian coffees reached record prices at the COE auction with an average of $US12 a pound. “The farmers receive 85 per cent of the purchase price and got twice as much as they did last year,” Mr. Conary said,  “And I’m getting a quality coffee and paying a more than fair price, with the idea of continuing this ‘quality & price connection’ beyond the competition.”

Fair-trade guarantees farmers a minimum of $1.25 per pound plus premiums, according to figures released by the organization in March 2010.

“Fair-trade and Organic certification is a lot like having a minimum wage for farmers,” Mr.  Conary said, “There’s very little incentive for them to produce greater quality coffee, as long as they meet the certification criteria, which makes it a good safety net, but not a good way to galvanize a farmer to grow better quality – COE quality coffee.  Besides the fact that the emphasis on other certifications largely ignores cup quality,  which is necessary for the system to be truly sustainable and provide for higher prices.”

Over the past several years, Mr. Conary has won, lots from Honduras, Rwanda, Colombia, Brasil and Costa Rica COE.   These rare & one-of-a-kind coffees have been displayed & sold using the COE trademark in his espresso bars and at the many quality focused clients of his Roastery.

“I think COE is a great model.  It matches quality with price and allows roasters a chance to meet and become more intimate with the farmers that grow their coffee, with the hope of forging long term relationships based on common goals and the best tasting specialty coffee!”


Scott Conary to serve as trainer for PNBC Judge Certification Workshop

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In addition to owning and operating Carrboro Coffee Roasters, our own Scott Conary is a member of the National Support Committee for World Coffee Events; and a current and frequent Head Judge to World Barista Championship (WBC) and US Barista Championship (USBC) competitions.

This month, we send Scott off to the Philippines to conduct a Judge Certification Workshop as Head Judge for the first ever Philippine National Barista Championship (PNBC). Certified and licensed judges to the PNBC play a crucial role in determining the most qualified Filipino Barista to represent the country to the 2013 World Barista Championship in Melbourne, Australia. It entails serious commitment, and an unprecedented opportunity to be involved at the very core of the competition. It opens doors in advancing one’s knowledge on espresso. But most of all, becoming a PNBC Judge is one’s ticket to attend, and be considered for the judges certification to the World Barista Championship – the premier coffee competition of the world.

We’re proud to be a part of the global coffee community! To read more about this workshop, please visit the Association of Filipino Baristas website.

Open Eye Café Owner Represents the U.S. as Head Judge at the World Barista Competition in Tokyo, Japan.

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Open Eye Café Owner
Represents the U.S. as a Head Judge at the
World Barista Competition in Tokyo, Japan.

“An amazing multicultural gathering of the most talented & passionate professionals in the coffee industry…”

[Carrboro] – Scott Conary, co-owner of Open Eye Cafe & the Carrboro Coffee Company (Chapel Hill & Carrboro’s only coffee roasting company), was chosen as a Head Judge for this World Competition after having served as Sensory & Technical Judge at last years competition in Berne, Switzerland.
Mr. Conary is a certified judge for Regional, National and World Barista competitions, having passed multi-day certification procedures and testing. Mr. Conary is a current member of the SCAA’s U.S. Barista Competition Committee, as well as an SCAA Certified Instructor in Espresso technique, Coffee Cupping & Sensory Evaluation.
“This year over 45 countries sent their National Barista Champions to compete for the ‘Worlds-Best’ spot. The level of passion and technical ability was the highest we have seen yet. It was truly inspiring to be surrounded by so many focused, culinary professionals whose main interest is in raising the level of quality and awareness in the coffee industry”, stated Mr. Conary.
The World Barista Competition (WBC) encourages and recognizes professional achievement in the art and skill of espresso preparation and service. WBC competitors must prepare and serve 12 coffee beverages, including four espressos, four cappuccinos and four original signature drinks of their own creation within a 15 minute timeframe. The judges evaluated the entrants on station cleanliness, taste, beverage presentation, technical skills and total impression.