A national competition in the Middle East is seeking the expertise of an Orange County coffee brewer.
Scott Conary owns both Open Eye Café and Caffé Driade, located in Carrboro and Chapel Hill respectively.
His brewing and roasting experience on the national and international levels landed him a job as a head judge for the National United Arab Emirates Barista Championship in Dubai Oct. 12 to 14.
Conary said his interest in the coffee process stems from his love for the grassroots focus and ideals of the industry.
“Those ideals are all good,” he said. “You don’t see that a lot in other industries.”
Judging the performance of a barista takes great skill and experience because of the nature of coffee, said Cindy Chang, executive director of the world competition.
Chang said she lives in the Triangle, in part because of the dedicated and reputable coffee companies in the area.
“Coffee is a product because it’s like wine. It’s got these origins, these stories,” Chang said. “It’s complicated. It’s not just coffee.”
Conary said he doesn’t spend much time near his cafes. Researching coffee origins and participating in barista competitions has brought him around the country and the world.