Coffee Gurus That Will Guide You On A Path To Better Coffee
I’m really excited to share this blog with you all today because you are about to meet some of the fine individuals that shaped my own coffee journey. These are some of the places where I get my information and some of the voices that have guided me into a deeper understanding of coffee.
We all need role models in our lives, people who have the coffee knowledge and experience to help us toward our aims. As we collectively learn to be better coffee consumers and home baristas, I’d like to introduce you to some well-regarded and internationally recognized “Coffee Gurus” who have a deep wealth of knowledge to share with those who find themselves seeking coffee truth.
You can use them to answer specific questions or just explore their channels and see what you discover. In any case, be prepared to learn more than you ever thought possible about the complexities of a little seed discovered in Africa, which has changed the world in many fundamental ways.
I was able to meet Peter at the 2022 Specialty Coffee Expo in Boston as he led our “History of the Coffee Flavor Wheel” workshop. Talk about a guy who knows his stuff! He was there as history was being made and speaks from a very first-hand point of view.
Starting as a barista in the late 1980s, he has held multiple positions in the coffee world including roaster, cupper, manager, trainer, and coffee buyer. Co-owner of Counter Culture Coffee, he is now the Executive Director of the Coffee Research Foundation and has been an integral part of the movement to use science and scientific methodology in the pursuit of better coffee. Two great videos follow:
Coffee Varieties: https://youtu.be/uRNci2lywmg
Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel: https://youtu.be/tbjt7ysLPMw
George is considered one of the revered icons of the specialty coffee world, having received a lifetime achievement award from the Specialty Coffee Association in 1996. A Yale University graduate and founder of The Coffee Connection, he is viewed as an early expert in raising the quality of coffee worldwide.
George has traveled to coffee growing regions extensively and has worked tirelessly as an advocate for the small farmer, creating the first international cupping competition for single estate coffees called the Cup of Excellence.
Sometimes called the “walking encyclopedia of coffee,” please enjoy a couple of George’s best videos:
The Perfect Pour Over: https://youtu.be/A1Z_1rWnvSM
Coffee Bean Fundamentals: https://youtu.be/A1Z_1rWnvSM
James is a barista from the U.K. who has become a popular YouTuber with millions of followers. He is the real deal, having won the 2007 World Barista Championship, published three coffee-related books, and consulted on numerous coffee ventures.
James brings his dry humor to his expertise, but his passion for coffee really shines through and many regard him as the godfather of London’s coffee revolution. In a country famous for tea, it is a true accomplishment.
His book, “How to Make the Best Coffee at Home” is a must-read for every aspiring home barista. Enjoy a couple of his really great videos:
The Birth of the Espresso: https://youtu.be/I8uStVXNf0M
Immersion Coffee Brewing is Better Than Percolation: https://youtu.be/09fNvoQMlGw
Amir is the founder of Difference Coffee, a company that seeks and sources some of the rarest and highest-grade coffee beans anywhere in the world. The coffee from these legendary estates is served in 5-star hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants. Amir is a connoisseur’s connoisseur.
Born in the U.K. and a self-proclaimed tea drinker, his love of gourmet food and seeking the best of the best led him to discover “the really good” coffees of the world. His twist is that most of his coffee is sold in capsules. Enjoy some of his expertise:
Can Coffee Hit the Heights of Fine Wine?: https://youtu.be/hpZA3SeMzzA
A World Barista Champion and 6-time Nordic Roaster winner, I have really enjoyed Tim’s approach to coffee as you can feel he approaches it as a teacher. Founder of Norway’s own Tim Wendelboe Coffee, he is a café, a roaster, and an educator.
Tim has helped lead the single farm relationship movement and sources many of his coffees directly from farmers that he knows and works with around the world. This allows him to help guide quality while assuring the farmer is paid a living wage.
Coffee Brewing Essentials: https://youtu.be/TasBb6xcWo0
How to Store Coffee Beans: https://youtu.be/8I-SW9AbUFU
For those of you who are really into coffee, I hope you start to explore all of the experts out there to have them sculpt your understanding of flavors, brewing, roasting, and all of the intricate details that allow you to enjoy your coffee at a higher level.
My advice is to watch one YouTube video a night for the next month, and you will be surprised at how much more you will know about coffee in general and what a better consumer you will be.
Happy learning and please be well.
Matt Carter is a retired teacher (1989-2018), part-time musician, farmer, and currently manages Greenwell Farm’s Tour and Retail Store Operations.