Our Coffees: A Primer

At Counter Culture, we try to offer a wide range of coffee throughout the year. Few companies have as diverse a catalog of quality coffees. While this is a huge benefit, it can make coffee selection challenging. We hope this post will offer a few useful guidelines for choosing the coffee that suits you best. Our coffees fall into three main categories: year-round, single-origin, and limited-release.

Year-Round coffees are available year-round (surprise!). Our goal is to maintain a consistent flavor profile for each of these coffees. They are sometimes a blend: a mixture of coffees from different farms or co-ops that are combined to achieve a particular flavor. This is similar to how a bartender combines different spirits and mixers to create a familiar cocktail.

Our year-round coffees include Forty-Six, Big Trouble, Fast Forward, Hologram, Apollo, and Slow Motion (decaf). While we used to refer to several of these as “espresso,” we encourage the notion of “any coffee, any brew.” We believe that any coffee has the potential to be brewed to taste delicious with any brewing method, but we also recognize that some coffees are easier to work with when preparing espresso. Of our coffees, we most often suggest Big Trouble, Hologram, and Forty-Six for espresso brewing.

Single-Origin coffees are generally named after the producing community, farm, or co-op. For instance, Finca El Puente—one of our oldest producer partnerships—is the name of the farm owned by Moisés Herrera and Marysabel Caballero in Marcala, Honduras. Single-origin lots can range in size from multiple containers (tens of thousands of pounds) to only a few hundred pounds or less. Some are sold as both single-origin coffees and as a blend component in our year-round offerings. Single-origin coffees will most often be used for brewed coffee, though it has become more common for them to be used for espresso. For an in-depth look at single-origin coffees, read our post here.

Single-Origin coffees are generally named after the producing community, farm, or co-op

A third category of coffees that we sell are Limited-Release offerings. We have at least one limited-release coffee each quarter, such as Iridescent during the winter holiday season. These coffees are usually blends that showcase a unique story in coffee or are crafted to achieve something very specific, often inspired by the season. An example would be Cold Hearted, which was developed to be brewed cold and was available exclusively in the summer of 2015. Limited-release coffees are almost always a one-and-done offering—only available once, for a limited time. One notable exception is Iridescent, our limited-release winter blend.

We have at least one limited-release coffee each quarter, such as Iridescent during the winter holiday season

Single-farmer lots are another type of limited-release coffee and, just as the name implies, are the work of a single producer. These lots also range widely in size, which means some are only available for a few days before we sell out. Other variations of this limited-release theme include experimental lots, single-community lots, and single-variety lots. Each of these explores the distinct flavors possible within smaller, purposeful separations from larger parcels of coffee.

A final subset under our limited-release umbrella are ultra-rare or special coffees, hand-packaged in small increments and presented in special packaging. These might be from an experimental coffee project, coffee from a specific part of a farm, or of one specific variety. A few examples include Finca Nuguo Gesha Variety, the Finca El Puente Variety Series, or Aida’s Grand Reserve. We purchase smaller amounts of these coffees and, because of their rarity, sell them in smaller portions. These are often only around for a short period of time and can sell out in a matter of days.

The Finca El Puente Variety Series is an example of our ultra-rare or special coffees, hand-packaged in small increments and presented in special packaging.

We hope you find this helpful! If you have any questions or would like a recommendation for what coffee to purchase, please reach out to us through the “contact us” button at the bottom of the page.