I‘m Holly, a coffee expert from Kansas City.
I started in coffee back in 1999, drawn to the culture and people it seemed to attract. Little did I know at 19 that I had just started what would become a full blown, international coffee career. Over the first decade I fell in love with espresso as a craft. As a manager, trainer, quality control manager for a serious roasting company, I spent days and days at an espresso machine, pulling shot after shot, trying to better understand what made a better brew. Through that same company I began to compete in the SCA Barista Championships, as well as judge and eventually coach competitors, hoping to get the chance to coach someone at the World Barista Championship. And, around 2013, I finally got the chance, coaching Pete Licata to win!
From there, we formed our own consulting firm and coffee rating company (Roast Ratings). Over the next 5 years we had amazing opportunities to teach and train around the world, exploring all the different ways that coffee culture manifested In different countries. When back in KC, I did my best to keep some jobs that allowed me to work with customers, whether on bar or recommending coffee gear at a local pro shop. And always tasting new coffees.
Since all the changes that 2020 brought, I’ve been focused more on my local coffee scene here - helping some cafe owners navigate new challenges, training new baristas, and pulling the occasional bar shift myself. My favorite thing about coffee? It’s the people part, even after all of these years!