The business of coffee relies on the shared passion of coffee people all over the world, and this section is dedicated to introducing the members of our diverse, dynamic supply chain. Here we ask a few fun questions of our partners at origin, our employees, and our customers; and we share their answers with you so that you can get to know them like we do—in their own words.
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Erik Diffin, Production
Erik was born to Jack and Diane Diffin in Mt Clemens, MI. Shortly after his birth, he and his family moved to Kernersville, NC, so his father could take a job with Purolator Facet, Inc. Erik grew up with two older sisters, Jessica and Kimberly.
He spent a large portion of his adolescence skateboarding. He helped to build an indoor skatepark/shop that eventually sponsored his skateboarding. He met a number of close friends through skating. They hung out, film and edited skate videos, took a road trip around the US in 30 days, and still remain friends to this day.
Erik attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro studying biology with an environmental concentration. During his senior year, he worked under a botanist learning how to section and stain plant anatomy. He successfully concluded his college career before taking on a data entry position with North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh and, eventually, moving on to Counter Culture Coffee.
Q: What coffee are you currently drinking?
Q: Choose your favorite coffee and brewing method.
Recently, brewing at home on the weekend, I tend to just use a Bonavita kettle and a Chemex. Nothing too fancy. I have a real soft spot for our Papua New Guinea coffee, Barioda.
Q: Who at Counter Culture Coffee would you most like to arm-wrestle, and why?
I'm a lover not a fighter but I could take Bryan Duggan any day of the week.
Q: What is your favorite book?
Q: What keeps you busy outside of work?
Cooking (trying to, at least), playing and watching soccer, video games, drawing, and hanging with family and friends.
Q: Share an interesting fact you've learned about coffee while working at Counter Culture Coffee and name the person from whom you learned it.
Learning about the different coffees that come through Counter Culture's doors by going to the cuppings has been interesting to me. I have to give thanks to Kim, Tim, and Lydia for leading those here in Durham.
Q: When you were 8 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
It had to have been someone that I saw in a movie or tv show. Lets go with Karate Kid. I remember watching that movie and just being so amped afterward. I immediately started trying to do the crane kick once the movie was done.
Q: If you could beam yourself anywhere in the world for your lunch break, where would you go and what would you eat?
I would go to India for authentic Indian food.
Q: Which Counter Culture Coffee wholesale customer is most likely to see you outside of work?
Q: You're a big soccer fan and play often. Please tell us about your favorite team. Who's you're all-time favorite player and why? And, please tell us a bit about your regular game.
I support Arsenal Football Club. My Favorite player would have to go to Zinedine Zidane. Despite mostly being remembered for his World Cup headbutt against Italy in 2006, the man was just magic with a football at his feet. I encourage you to Youtube him. In my regular game, I try to play in the midfield creating passes. I would rather setup a goal than score. The passing game is one of the many reasons why I fell in love with Arsenal.
Q: Many of your co-workers didn't realize that your a visual artist. Tell us about what media you prefer and what influences your work.
I think the phrase "visual artist" is a bit of a stretch for me, and I find it to be a hobby more than anything. I don't do it that often and when I do complete something I'm at times too critical of it. Ultimately, that is something that has kind of pushed me away from doing art as often as I would like. However, when I do sit down and work I prefer to sketch something in ink or pencil with some use of watercolors. I am influenced by Egon Schiele and any artist with a certain style that makes them identifiable and sets them apart.