Counter Intelligence Course Catalogue
- Beginner Espresso Lab
- Intermediate Espresso Lab
- Milk Chemistry Lab
- Origin Field Lab
- Coffee Origins
- Brewing Basics – new!
- Brewing Science I
- Brewing Science II
- Brewing Science III
- Comparative Cupping
- Cupping Leader’s Lab
- Barista Competitor Workshop
- Full Coffee Course Schedule
Click here for our new online registration with full schedule.
Registering For A Lab:
Advanced Registration is required. Because of hands-on exercises and limited availability, classes fill up quickly; space is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Wait lists are available for full labs. Please note that some classes have required prerequisites.
Our cutting-edge coffee education program is the best in the business, and we are proud to offer our exclusive wholesale customers free registration for all labs. Registration is open to anyone and we welcome all participants.
If you are registered for a lab and cannot attend, please be considerate of your fellow coffee lovers and cancel your registration so that your seat may be filled by another participant. Lab registration fees will be refunded for cancellations received at least 48 hours in advance.
Our weekly cuppings, held at 10 AM at all of our Regional Training Centers, are free and open to the public.
Start Here: Beginner Espresso Lab
2013 Nicaragua Field Lab Application Form
Professional Coffee Education Series: Producer Event
La Serie de Educación Profesional del Café
Origin Field Lab: Frequently Asked Questions
The OFLN costs $1,600* per person and includes all lodging, meals, lab materials, and transportation for six nights and five days in Nicaragua. The $1,600 bill does NOT include individual airfare to Managua, Nicaragua, nor does it include souvenirs, communication (international phone calls), or alcoholic beverages that the individual might choose to purchase.
The lab itself begins in Managua, Nicaragua. on the morning of Monday, January 28 and ends in the evening on Friday, February 1. Participants should plan to arrive to Managua no later than Sunday, January 27, and will be free to depart from Managua on or after Saturday, February 2.
THE 2013 LAB IS FULL: We are no longer accepting applications
In addition to its proximity to the United States and the ease of travel in Nicaragua, the Madríz region is the home of the extraordinary Cinco de Junio farmer cooperative, with which Counter Culture has partnered for the past three years.
We will spend Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday on farms around Cusmapa and Las Sabanas, where the Cinco de Junio cooperative's members grow the coffee that we purchase. Through a combination of class work and field work, each day we will learn about and see a different aspect of coffee from botany and processing methods to payments to farmers and Nicaragua's political history. Thursday we will visit a dry mill and export facility in Ocotal and Friday we will tour the well-known Selva Negra coffee farm for a different perspective on ecological farming before heading back to Managua.
We designed the Origin Field Lab as an advanced course for people who have either worked in, or been enthusiastic students of, coffee for at least a couple of years. As a participant, you may expect: a thoughtfully-designed curriculum, lab instructors with experience and knowledge of coffee as well as local history and culture, a dedicated group of fellow students and perspective on coffee that only comes through hands-on learning.
From our attendees, Counter Culture expects: passion for coffee, an eagerness to learn with and from your peers, patience and flexibility for the hang-ups of international travel, and open-mindedness about coffee, people, and cultures other than your own.
We expect participants in this in-depth course to have a base level of coffee knowledge and cupping experience. We require participants to have taken the Coffee Origins Lab and recommend attending either the Comparative Cupping Lab or Cupping Leader's Lab prior to the OFLN, if you have not done so already. Applicants who demonstrate recent Counter Culture-lab attendance will receive preference over those without Counter Culture-lab experience and those with ancient Counter Culture-lab experience.
Cinco de Junio has a long-standing and deep relationship with the Fabretto Children's Foundation, a non-profit organization that works on improving education and access to education in the communities where the co-op's members live, and Fabretto has generously offered their guesthouse for to our group. The practical guesthouse hosts Fabretto's volunteer service groups on a regular basis and the accommodations are simple but comfortable: bunk beds and DIY dishes on one hand, and electricity and warm showers on the other. In our "in-town" nights in Jinotega and Managua, we will stay in clean, comfortable, and convenient hotels.
Aside from the obvious documents you will need (like a passport), it should not be a problem at all. We strive to help everyone, regardless of travel experience, feel comfortable.
Participants should be prepared to spend at least one hour per day walking on hilly, uneven trails. You need not be a star athlete – we have accommodated a pregnant woman and a few folks in their sixties – but comfort on your feet is crucial to the lab.
The dates for the OFLN 2011 are firm, and we cannot accept late arrivals or early departures.
We have a full schedule during our five-day intensive course and we expect all participants to attend all of the OFLN's classes and activities. We have planned for a couple of hours of free time each evening, which is enough time for participants to hike, read, and relax, but not enough time for off-site activities.
We will consider applications on a rolling basis until we fill all available slots, or until December 1, 2012, whichever comes first. We will let you know within a month of your submission whether your application has been accepted.
We hope, at some point in the near future, to expand the OFL beyond Nicaragua and to offer more than one opportunity per year. As of now, however, the next Origin Field Lab is scheduled for January of 2014 and it will also take place in Nicaragua.