Scent of Amazing: Meet Scooter’s Coffee’s Director of Coffee Bill Kipper
Kipper Travels the World to Find the Best Coffee Cherries for Scooter’s Award-Winning Blends
September 24, 2018 // Franchising.com // Omaha, NE - The way Bill Kipper sees it, if you have a drip coffeemaker in your home or office, there’s a high probability that you’re drinking coffee incorrectly.
Kipper isn’t trying to offend you, it’s simply he knows the ins and outs of the world’s second-most sought-after commodity better than most. The self-described “coffee snob” gets paid to scrutinize coffee, so his opinion on the subject matter, just like his cup of coffee, will be nothing short of strong.
“In my book, you can’t beat black coffee, it’s the best,” says Kipper. “Flavored coffee disguises the pure taste of coffee.”
When it comes to coffee, his resume speaks for itself. Kipper is a husband, father of three children and grandfather to three young granddaughters. Scooter’s Coffee is a family affair. Bill is the company’s Director of Coffee. His wife is a franchisee, his daughter-in-law works in the accounting department, and his oldest son is the manager of the packaging department. If Kipper’s love is measurable, the top tier is reserved for his family. Ever so slightly below, in tier two, would be his love of coffee.
“The more I do, the more I love doing my job,” says Kipper, who has been roasting coffee for the last 18 years. “I am grateful for coffee. It’s allowed my family and myself to live a comfortable life.”
That life comes with some perks (no pun intended), including traveling. Kipper recently returned from his first-ever trip to Brazil. He received a first-hand look at the harvest responsible for the country’s heralded coffee and what could be the next source of Scooter’s Coffee’s drink of choice.
Kipper is quickly racking up the stamps in his passport book. Besides Brazil, Scooter’s Coffee tasked Kipper to explore coffee farms in Nicaragua and Guatemala. He has fond memories of his journey to both countries.
“I was treated like I was a lifelong family member during my visit to Guatemala,” Kipper recalls. “I discovered farming is more than a family business, it’s a legacy. The farm I visited had been in the family for more than 130 years.” Kipper says he wasn’t the only recipient of the farm owner’s hospitality. “The owner certainly gave back to the workers. He made sure to have doctors and dentists on site. In many instances, that was the lone opportunity for health care for the migrant pickers.”
The pickers in Nicaragua gave him a tour of the land that left Kipper nothing short of mesmerized. “The quality of the cherries in Nicaragua was the best I’ve ever seen,” he says. “I’ve never seen a harvest that red.”
“A good cup of coffee starts with the bean. Quality in, quality out,” says Kipper. “There are several steps to making a great product. But if you begin with a substandard product, you’re setting yourself up for failure.”
Kipper is intent on keeping Scooter’s Coffee successful through a vigorous and selective process that ensures customers are getting the best and most consistent blends. His willingness to embrace technology is a contributing factor as well. Scooter’s Coffee is now home to a game-changer within the specialty coffee industry.
“We just installed the largest roaster the manufacturer has ever made,” says Kipper. “Coupled with our previous roaster, we are now operating at five times more capacity than this time last year. The new roaster is automated, allowing us to load 20 to 30 thousand pounds of product at a time in our silos while removing some of the manual labor from the process.”
Eighteen years in the business has granted Kipper an insight very few in the world have. He’ll be the first to tell you the process of becoming an expert in coffee is challenging, and he’s still learning to this day. He’s also imparting his wisdom to future generations. “I have an apprentice who is quickly learning the ins and outs of the business. You can’t learn the art and the science of roasting unless you get your hands dirty and do it.”
Kipper appreciates being the Director of Coffee. He’s also concerned about the future of the business. He says humans pose the biggest threat. “Natural phenomena, such as rust in plants and monsoons, are going to occur. However, it’s the human factor, with the chemicals and the deforestation of the planet, that is destroying areas home to coffee crops. The good news is more people are becoming aware of the importance of the preservation of coffee and the trees responsible for the canopy that allows the beans to thrive.”
When it comes to picking beans for Scooter’s Coffee, Kipper says the profile is simple. “We like our coffee smooth and rich and buttery. When you leave our stores, you’re leaving with a well-rounded, balanced cup of coffee.” In the early days, Kipper would devour Scooter’s Coffee’s signature drink, Caramelicious®. While that’s not the case nowadays, as he prefers his coffee straight black.
For Kipper, there are two regions that stand out above all others when it comes to the world’s best provider of coffee beans. “You have to respect Ethiopia, because that is the birthplace of coffee,” he says. “For me, I feel Guatemala and Sumatra produce the best coffee beans.”
When it comes to enjoying coffee at home, Kipper suggests getting your hands on the Scooter’s Coffee single-serve cups. “You can get a quality cup of coffee out of there. I drink that at work when I’m not testing samples.” As far as the drip coffeemaker, you can achieve a good cup of coffee as long as you use a metal basket. “I can tell immediately if a paper filter was used,” he says. “I don’t like that taste one bit. Ninety-nine percent of people won’t taste it. The only reason I taste it is because I taste coffee for a living.”
Here’s his suggestion for achieving the perfect cup of coffee. “Grind the beans, but don’t grind them too fine. Measure the correct amount of filtered water and use a French press. Of course, the most direct way to get a great cup of coffee is to visit Scooter’s Coffee. Trust me, I know.”
Scooter’s Coffee, based in Omaha, Nebraska, is a drive-thru franchise that has been serving world-class coffee for 20 years. It roasts only the finest beans, and it makes that first morning sip convenient and rewarding for its customers across the nation. Scooter’s Coffee is quickly approaching 200 locations in 16states and has over 150 franchise commitments to build new stores. Scooter’s Coffee specializes in hand-tamped espresso drinks, baked-from-scratch pastries and features its signature drink, the Caramelicious™. Scooter’s Coffee also serves a new line of hot and iced organic teas, single-origin coffee and the original Cold Brew & Cream. This year, one of Scooter’s Coffee’s drink innovations includes Red Bull Infusions. To find out why Scooter’s Coffee is among the best coffee franchises in the nation and to learn more about franchise opportunities, visit our website.
SOURCE Scooter’s Coffee