It’s been just over 20 years since Counter Culture Coffee sold its first beans in downtown Durham, and they’ve maintained a strong commitment to sourcing handmade coffees directly from farmers and cooperatives, and roasting in a way that brings out the highest quality of the bean ever since. We all know there’s a difference between a good cup of coffee and a bad one, but Counter Culture can tell (and teach) you exactly why.
The only thing lacking for Counter Culture was their location – for the past 15 years, a dark and decaying brick warehouse off Highway 54 on the Durham-Morrisville border. They always wanted to be in downtown Durham and have had their eyes set on this location in East Durham (812 Mallard Ave.) for a while. In this new modern and airy facility they roast, educate, focus on sustainability, host their admin and marketing offices and warehouse.
We’re very lucky to have their headquarters and training facility right here in the Bull City! Since the building is located in a compound with other warehouse facilities, it’s a little tricky to find at first, but once you do, you’ll be thoroughly impressed with the new space. A floor-to-ceiling wall of windows lets in plenty of natural light. The wood “bleachers” are a perfect place to watch the experts at work, and the room is open and airy, mixing concrete industrial elements with warm wood tones and modern light fixtures to make it seem cool yet inviting. They will offer free tastings/cuppings to the public every Friday at 10 a.m. starting in May.
Behind-the-scenes the warehouse is always busy. They roast to order every day. In this new facility they have more technology and state-of-the-art equipment to ensure the highest level of quality. They are now able to store the beans in a temperature controlled environment, which, as they explained, matters a lot.
If you’re a coffee fanatic, or curious to learn more about what Counter Culture Coffee does, you can attend their grand opening party this Saturday (April 30) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., which is free and open to the public. Taste the coffee, learn about home brewing, and check out the pop-up store. There will be tasty treats from Chef Ashley Christensen and entertainment/DJ as well!
What I learned from my brief media session last week is that coffee is a science. Everything from the beans you use to ratio of beans to water to the water temperature you roast with to the way you pour…it all matters, and the experts at Counter Culture have it down to an art.
Photos other than the collage are courtesy of Counter Culture Coffee