Kenneth McDuffie, Technical ServicesKenneth McDuffie was born and raised in Counter Culture’s hometown of Durham, NC. Upon graduating from Hillside High School, he joined the U.S. Army and became an operating room technician. He left the service after 7 years and worked as a cardiac surveillance technician at Duke Hospital while simultaneously pursuing full-time study of digital electronics. Kenneth joined Counter Culture in March 2002 as a technical services representative and at some point over the years has helped almost every Counter Culture customer through a coffee equipment emergency.
Aside from his mastery of coffee and espresso brewing equipment, Kenneth and his wife, LaTonya, are the proud parents of three beautiful and successful daughters: LaMonica is majoring in marketing and management at NC A&T State University: Shawnetta is a pre-pharmacy student at UNC Chapel Hill; and Brittany attends Sherwood Githens Middle School here in Durham.
Q: What coffee are you currently drinking?
A: At this moment I am currently drinking Ethiopian coffee because I enjoy the fruitful taste that it projects.
Q: Choose your favorite coffee and brewing method.
A: I really don’t have a favorite coffee because there are so many great choices. To make my coffee, I usually use a press pot and sometimes brew on an auto-drip machine at home.
Q: Who at Counter Culture Coffee would you most like to arm-wrestle, and why?
A: I would most like to arm-wrestle Ryan, because his first name is also Kenneth. By arm-wrestling him, Kenneth would always be the winner!
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: I am not much of a reader, but I can say that my favorite book is Scarface because it shows how friendship can be ruined with power, corruption, and ego.
Q: What keeps you busy outside of work?
A: Being married with three daughters keeps me on my toes throughout the day. With two girls in college and one in middle school I have a lot of responsibility. I also have six brothers, three sisters, and two parents to keep me busy.
Q: Share an interesting fact you learned at Counter Culture Coffee and name the person from whom you learned it.
A: My most interesting moment was when Jimmy Wardell [Counter Culture Coffee's former Technical Services Director] taught me how changing the grind particle size of a coffee affects the taste profile in the cup. He also taught me how to make subtle adjustments to the coffee grinder to get the correct taste.
Q: When you were 8 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: The first thing that popped to my mind when I saw this question was a memory of saying, “When I grow up I want to be rich!” Now I get to watch my girls make their decisions on what they want to be when they finish school.
Q: If you could beam yourself anywhere in the world for your lunch break, where would you go, and what would you eat?
A: I would most like to go to Germany for their pastry shops. Anywhere in Germany would be fine, as long as I am at a pastry shop.
Q: What Counter Culture Coffee customer is most likely to see you outside of work (i.e. where do you like to hang out)?
A: Customers most likely to see me outside of work would have to be Foster's Market and West Main Street Deli because I like to stop through and get a deli sandwich every now and then.
Q: We know you love to barbecue on Sundays and we've heard you're a master of the grill. Can you share any tips or special ingredients from your barbecue recipe?
A: As far as giving tips to help others, I would say to try a variety of seasoning and take your time cooking your meats—you will get better and better every time. Cooking is very precise sometimes, so the slightest drop in your concentration can turn a perfect meal into a mediocre meal.