Katie Vanderweide, ProductionKatie was born and raised in Durham, NC. After high school, for something completely different, she went to college in Tacoma, WA. A year and a half later, Washington wasn't working out for her, so Katie headed back east and ended up in Vermont at Landmark College. There, she met her fiancée, Jonathan Farber. Two years later, with an associate's degree, Katie moved to Green Mountain College in Poultney, VT, where she graduated with a degree in psychology. Katie then took a job at Princeton-Blairstown Center, but their program was really not what she was looking for, so she left after the end of staff training. Katie moved back to Durham and returned to her summer standby job as manager of a local climbing gym. Since it was a part-time job, she was glad when a customer, Ryan Brantly, told her about an opening in the production department at Counter Culture Coffee!
Q: What coffee are you currently drinking?
A latte from Global Cup Café—one of the advantages of being the delivery driver!
Q: Choose your favorite coffee and brewing method.
Idido Misty Valley was the first in a long line of Ethiopian coffees that blew me away.
Q: Who at Counter Culture Coffee would you most like to arm-wrestle, and why?
Lydia, because I think she's a lot stronger than she seems.
Q: What is your favorite book?
I have too many favorite books to name just one, but certainly the most influential book was Kotlowitz's There Are No Children Here. It got me really interested in sociology and, from there, psychology.
Q: What keeps you busy outside of work?
Lately, I've stayed busy playing victim. My fiancée's EMT instructor has volunteers act as patients for his various classes. So far, I've been eviscerated in a fight, OD'd on heroin, and fallen from scaffolding.
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.
Japan is the third leading consumer of coffee. Peter Guiliano.
Q: When you were 8 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A rancher, or maybe a jockey—anything that would let me ride horses.
Q: If you could beam yourself anywhere in the world for your lunch break, where would you go, and what would you eat?
Probably a small Sicilian village for a huge Italian meal filled with pasta, meats, wine, and good friends.
Q: Which Counter Culture Coffee customer is most likely to see you outside of work (i.e. where do you like to hang out)?
Rick's Diner, Elmo's Diner in Durham. I guess I like my diners!
Q: How long have you been into rock climbing? What's the biggest climbing challenge you've faced and the biggest climbing challenge you hope to take on?
In my 14 years of climbing, my biggest challenge was in Leavenworth, WA. The route was just off the path, which was only about three feet wide. The cliff went about 120 feet above us and about 300 feet below us. Someday, I want to climb The Nose in Yosemite because it's so legendary among American climbers.
Q: You're a beer connoisseur … what parallels do you see between the resurgence of craft breweries and the emergence of craft coffee roasters like Counter Culture Coffee?
Both craft breweries and craft roasters focus more on getting to know the ingredients before working with them. Just as coffee beans are more than just beans, hops and barley are more than just hops and barley. Also, like how the roast, grind, brewing method, and serving vessel alter the final coffee, you can use the same ingredients in different ways to get different beers. It's really fascinating.
Bonus Q: Is that a ring on your finger?
Yes! After dating for eight years, Jon (Farber) finally proposed on my birthday! No date is set as the wedding likely won't be for about two years.