Category Archives: roaster

CQI Coffee Processing Generalist Certification

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We’re excited to announce that Scott at CCR recently completed the CQI Coffee Processing Generalist Certification taught by the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI)!

We’ve been working closely with CQI for various industry quality programs around the world, and take every opportunity to continue to learn and evolve our knowledge base to better help our farmer partners and the industry at large, with the goal of improving quality through the entire supply chain. You can read more about it here.

Join us for Cupping at the Roastery

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Carrboro Coffee Roasters will be hosting a cupping of selected 2017 Honduras Cup of Excellence winners on Friday, June 9, 2017 from 11pm to 2pm at our Training Room at the Roastery!

Coffee professionals, roasters, buyers, & the interested public are all invited to join us in Carrboro and cup the coffees that were chosen by the International Jury at the recent COE competition in Honduras. By focusing on a select group of winners, we will allow time for analysis of the coffees and discussion, while highlighting the diversity of profiles in Honduras.

Space will be limited, so please send an email to to RSVP ASAP to reserve a spot. Please email, as we want to plan for the right number of participants!

If you cannot participate in the cupping this week, we will be also cupping the Costa Rica COE samples on June 23rd.

Look forward to seeing you.

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!”


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

Carrboro/Chapel Hill, NC – World Barista Certified (WBC) coffee professional Scott Conary served as a 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 Link 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; a luxurious European Garden Café in Caffe Driade, 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 a Head Judge; and Copenhagen, Denmark in 2008; making this years Championship in Atlanta his 4th.
He has also served as a Judge for the Guatemalan, Canadian & Honduran National Barista Competitions in 2007 & 2008, 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: