International Rank: #21 out of 821
Ranking is based on a combination of reviews and popularity on CoffeeRoast.com
United States Rank: #13 out of 465
Ranking is based on a combination of reviews and popularity on CoffeeRoast.com
North Carolina Rank: #2 out of 5
Ranking is based on a combination of reviews and popularity on CoffeeRoast.com

Counter Culture

Flag of United States Durham, North Carolina
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4.34(27)

27 ratings
Ratings here are based on aggregated user reviews of individual roasts from Counter Culture.
5 star
14%
4 star
81%
3 star
3%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%

Counter Culture Coffee is a coffee roasting company based in Durham, North Carolina. The company was established in 1995 and primarily collaborates with smaller coffee growers and cooperatives. They aim to ensure farmers are compensated fairly for their beans and encourage environmentally friendly farming practices. In addition to their coffee roasting operations, Counter Culture Coffee provides educational resources related to coffee brewing and tasting, as well as professional training programs. They also produce an annual transparency report that outlines their sourcing practices and the results of their sustainability efforts. The company offers a selection of single-origin beans and a few blends. Each coffee is roasted with the intent of emphasizing its distinct flavors and characteristics.

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Counter Culture is a coffee roaster from Durham, NC United States. We have 32 cataloged roasts with 27 total reviews with a score of 4.34.

28 roasts

Name Roast Level Bean Source

4.83(3)

Medium International Blend

5.00(1)

- International Blend
- Colombia
Medium International Blend
Light Rwanda

4.50(1)

Light Democratic Republic of Congo
Light Colombia
Light Papua New Guinea
- Colombia
- -
Light Colombia
Light Uganda

4.50(1)

- -
Light Honduras

4.00(1)

- Ethiopia
- Mexico
Light Ethiopia
Light Kenya
Medium Dark -
Light Ecuador
- -
- Colombia
- Peru
- -
- Peru
- Colombia
- Burundi
- Colombia

Top Reviews(27)

  • Theodore (Ted) Chan, Managing Editor

    1106 roasts rated, avg score of 4.28

    5.00 - Average

    5.00 - Aroma

    5.00 - Value

    5.00 - Finish

    4.50 - Flavor

    4.50 - Acidity

    4.50 - Balance

    5.00 - Quality

    Great aroma out of the bag. Awesome crema on espresso. Definitely get the caramel and peanut notes. Stone fruit and tea at the end. Nice linger on the palace. My wife loves the cappuccino we make with this. Our two local cafes sell this blend, and it is a staple for us.
  • Theodore (Ted) Chan, Managing Editor

    1106 roasts rated, avg score of 4.28

    5.00 - Average

    5.00 - Aroma

    5.00 - Value

    5.00 - Finish

    5.00 - Flavor

    4.50 - Acidity

    5.00 - Balance

    5.00 - Quality

    Great as pour over and great as espresso. As pour over flavorful, smooth and balanced. For me, I get a fresh white peach/pineapple burst, milk chocolate, Caramel. Also tinkered around and since its an medium roast, made espresso with it. Came out balanced, with citrus/fruity notes mid palate. Wife very happy with her latte. over flavorful, smooth and balanced. Awesome blend that shows how 1+1 = 3.
  • Lori S

    10 roasts rated, avg score of 4.70

    5.00 - Average

    My Hologram latte was amazing!
    8 months ago · See more from Lori
  • Theodore (Ted) Chan, Managing Editor

    1106 roasts rated, avg score of 4.28

    5.00 - Average

    4.50 - Aroma

    5.00 - Value

    5.00 - Finish

    5.00 - Flavor

    4.50 - Acidity

    5.00 - Quality

    Hologram is a super excellent blend, one that really highlights coffee blends and how 1+1 = 3. I get maple syrup, milk chocolate, and strawberry/blackberry. Sounds like a dream brunch, right?!

    It's also very versatile - I've gotten great coffee in the espresso machine, Moka pot, and Chemex. Definitely different and fun in each.
  • Theodore (Ted) Chan, Managing Editor

    1106 roasts rated, avg score of 4.28

    4.50 - Average

    4.50 - Aroma

    4.50 - Finish

    4.50 - Flavor

    4.00 - Acidity

    5.00 - Balance

    As described as a pourover molasses: warm spices, lots and lots of chocolate. Medium roast. Good balance. Apricot and blackberry in the trailing acidity. A hit, just a tiny one of bitterness (for me, pleasant).

    Massive hit of acidity and dark bitter chocolate as an espresso. Roast is great but balance not quite there. I get it, not an espresso roast necessarily but I tinker with medium roasts as espresso (Countercultures Field Trip works really well). But it made GREAT espresso drinks, i.e. cappuccinos.
    ----
    The above were my notes. Bought this at the local cafe, Haute, in Concord. After trying as pourover assumed it was a medium roast and played around with it a bit in espresso machine.

    I think the net of it is that this is a versatile light-medium roast.

    Cupping Method:See above description.

  • Theodore (Ted) Chan, Managing Editor

    1106 roasts rated, avg score of 4.28

    4.50 - Average

    Fabulous as a espresso. All the good characteristics of a dark roast with some acidity, structure, and natural sweetness. Medium/heavy crema.
  • Theodore (Ted) Chan, Managing Editor

    1106 roasts rated, avg score of 4.28

    4.50 - Average

    4.50 - Aroma

    4.50 - Value

    4.50 - Finish

    4.50 - Flavor

    4.50 - Acidity

    4.50 - Balance

    A really nice Colombian from Counter Culture. I got a ton of that chocolate orange you got on your holidays or birthdays 20 years ago. Smooth, balanced, good acidity.

    Cupping Method:Pourover

  • Theodore (Ted) Chan, Managing Editor

    1106 roasts rated, avg score of 4.28

    4.50 - Average

    4.00 - Aroma

    4.50 - Value

    4.50 - Finish

    4.50 - Flavor

    4.50 - Acidity

    4.50 - Balance

    I recently enjoyed a pourover of Cueva de los Llanos coffee from Haute Coffee in Concord, MA.

    The pourover showcased a notable smoothness and a well-balanced flavor profile. The acidity was pleasantly low, allowing the other flavors to shine through without overwhelming the palate. I detected subtle hints of strawberry, caramel, brown sugar, black tea, and pineapple, adding complexity layers to the cup.

    Comparing this pourover to the information provided by Counter Culture, it aligns with the expected characteristics of a light roast coffee from Narino. The washed process and the blend of Caturra, Castillo, and Colombia varieties contribute to the clean and crisp flavors of the coffee.

    I'd say the Cueva de los Llanos pourover from Haute Coffee delivered a satisfying experience, showcasing the unique qualities of this Colombian coffee. It's worth a try for coffee enthusiasts seeking a smooth and well-rounded cup and available from the Counter Culture website (at the time of this review for $23).

    Cupping Method:Pourover from Haute Coffee in Concord, MA. Drank half in the car and then poured the rest into a small glass jar (tasted better cooler and in the glass).

    11 months ago · See more from Theodore (Ted)
  • Victoria S-C

    407 roasts rated, avg score of 4.32

    4.50 - Average

    I thought this was pretty good! A sweet pourover.
    4 months ago · See more from Victoria
  • Theodore (Ted) Chan, Managing Editor

    1106 roasts rated, avg score of 4.28

    4.50 - Average

    4.00 - Aroma

    4.50 - Value

    4.50 - Finish

    4.50 - Flavor

    4.50 - Acidity

    4.50 - Balance

    I recently had the pleasure of trying Counter Culture Uganda Kabeywa coffee, and I must say, it left quite an impression. This coffee is a testament to the exceptional quality potential of Ugandan coffee.

    The prominent notes of orange peel, chocolate, green apple, and strawberry created a symphony of tastes, bringing a unique and exciting profile to the cup. The balance between these flavors was exceptionally well-executed, resulting in a coffee that is both refreshing and satisfying.

    One of the standout characteristics of Counter Culture Uganda Kabeywa is its smoothness. It effortlessly glides over the palate, leaving a velvety sensation.

    While the overall experience of Kabeywa is highly enjoyable, it's worth noting that the orange peel notes come with a very slight bitterness. This bitterness, however, is minimal and is unlikely to deter most traditional pourover drinkers from appreciating this coffee's unique flavor profile. It adds a subtle complexity to the cup, enhancing the overall drinking experience without overpowering the other delightful flavors.

    Cupping Method:Pourover from Haute Coffee, in Concord, MA

    11 months ago · See more from Theodore (Ted)

Editor's Overview

Counter Culture Coffee, founded in 1995 in Durham, North Carolina, is a distinguished name in the world of specialty coffee. An unwavering commitment to quality, sustainability, and ethical sourcing marks its journey from a small local roaster to a nationally recognized brand. As the company has grown, we have found Counter Culture demonstrated an ability to maintain the quality and consistency of its offerings, which definitely is not the case with another roaster we liked 5-7 years ago. One thing we've noted is that they are very committed to training the barista at cafes where their coffee has served.

At the heart of Counter Culture's mission is its dedication to sourcing the finest coffee beans while nurturing sustainable and ethical relationships with coffee producers worldwide. They operate on a principle of direct trade, collaborating closely with farmers and cooperatives to ensure fair compensation and environmentally responsible practices.

Transparency is a cornerstone of Counter Culture's philosophy. They go to great lengths to provide consumers with comprehensive information about each coffee they offer. From details about the coffee's origin and processing methods to the prices paid to the farmers, this transparency empowers consumers to make informed choices while advocating for ethical and sustainable coffee practices.

The company's commitment to education is another noteworthy aspect. Counter Culture Coffee is a hub for coffee knowledge, offering a range of training and educational programs. These programs cater to coffee professionals and enthusiasts, covering barista training, coffee brewing workshops, and extensive online resources. Their Training Centers, scattered across various U.S. cities, serve as beacons of coffee expertise.

Counter Culture Coffee's selection is a testament to its dedication to showcasing the diversity of coffee. They offer an array of single-origin coffees and thoughtfully crafted blends, each meticulously roasted to highlight the unique flavors and characteristics of the beans. Quality control is paramount, with a team of experienced coffee tasters and roasters ensuring that every batch meets their exacting standards.

In conclusion, Counter Culture Coffee is a shining example in specialty coffee, where quality, transparency, sustainability, and education are core principles. A dedication to these values has marked their journey from humble beginnings to national recognition. As they continue to evolve, they maintain their commitment to delivering exceptional coffee experiences while upholding the highest ethical and environmental standards.

-Ted Chan, Managing Editor
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