I’ve known Kyle Ramage since meeting him at a Mahlkönig exhibit at one of the trade shows. He’s everything you want an expert to be: Extremely knowledgeable while still down-to-earth and able to put his brilliance into plain language. I originally asked him to come to New York’s CoffeeCon 2015, held on a snowy day on Wall Street. Although the weather should have kept people away, both the event and the class were packed. I sat in, partly because I consider grinding among the most technical, important and misunderstood challenges to producing a great cup at home (or anywhere).
I asked Kyle to appear at CoffeeCon again, but most of the time, his busy schedule doesn’t permit such extracurricular activities. This year he told me he’d be able to make it. Then, a couple of weeks ago at the Specialty Coffee Expo in Seattle, Kyle knocked it out of the ballpark when he won the US Barista Championship – the first-ever non-barista to win this most-respected competition. My first fear was that he’d be so instantly busy that he would back out, but no. As I reached into the mob around him after the competition in Seattle, and asked if he’d still be able to make our NY show, he gave me a boyish grin and said, “I’ll be there… and,” he added, “let me know if you want to do something else in addition to grinding.”
I almost didn’t sleep that night considering how to best leverage his presence and offer to add a second class. It didn’t take long to realize what a great opportunity we have on our hands. Why not take advantage of this award winning barista to offer his secrets beyond grinding? After all, Kyle obviously knows about all things brewing. It’s how one wins a brewing competition. That means he knows about time, temperature, measurements, water, bean selection… everything it takes from start to finish to make one perfect cup of coffee.
Thanks to CoffeeCon’s classes, we consumers can surround him this Saturday and for one glorious session, ask him to give us his secrets in all brewing aspects. Our class length is forty minutes. Here is your chance to ask the questions we all wonder to ourselves about our brews. It’s going to be open-ended. One of those “no such thing as a dumb question” opportunities. If I may predict, I think we’ll find lots of nodding following both the questions and Kyle’s answers. I can testify to the fact that he’s a humble and unassuming winner. I know I might even have a question myself.
Sometimes timing really is everything. We are fortunate to have Kyle Ramage aboard at our New York event this coming Saturday. His grinding class is at 11 am and this special All About Brewing Q and A happens at 1 pm. See you there.