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  • 2021 Transparency Report


Our 2021 Transparency Report

We believe there is a connection between reporting these metrics and the well-being of our value stream participants. 

We believe there is a connection between reporting these metrics and the well-being of our value stream participants. 

Founded in 1995, Counter Culture Coffee has evolved from a small roastery in Durham, N.C., to one of the largest independent specialty coffee roasters in the United States. With two roasting facilities and 12 Training Centers, we continue to lead the specialty coffee industry in the areas of quality, sustainability, and education. We operate wholesale, grocery, and direct-to-consumer sales and support channels.

This Transparency Report covers metrics and highlights from January 1 to December 31, 2021, organized in the following sections: People, Planet, Products, and Finances. In the product section, you will be able to take a deep dive into the coffee we purchased and the prices we paid from October 1 of 2020 to September 30 of 2021. Beyond metrics, reflecting on our highlights and explaining what we are working toward is an important part of our process to continuously improve as an organization.

Highlights From The 2021 Transparency Report


Photo of a map of the US with different states colored in depending on where our employees are.

  • Employed 116 people
  • Rolled out stock options to all full-time employees
  • Paid out $68,508.81 in Green Fund, Pushing Potential, and CSA benefits


725.25 tonnes C02e. Paper: .09. Garbage: 9.80. Road Travel: 78.14. Staff commuting: 42.17. Air travel: 26.29. Heat: 216.32. Electricity: 189.57. Transporting goods: 162.87.

  • Had a carbon footprint of 725.25 tonnes CO2e (up from 2020 but x% below our baseline)
  • Diverted 18,020 pounds of LDPE (low-density polyethylene) plastic from landfills
  • Donated 8,160 pounds of coffee
  • Installed 196 clean cookstoves in Honduras through our partnership with Trees, Water & People


Counter Culture Weighted Average FOB**. All Coffee: $3.10. Blends: $2.97. Single-Origin***: $3.70. Average Fair Trade Minimum FOB. $1.72 conventional. $2.02: organic. Transparent Trade's Specialty Coffee Transaction Guide Median: $2.85. Average C Market: $1.42.

  • Purchased 3,951,707 pounds of green coffee, 71% from suppliers we’ve worked with for over 5 years
  • Scored our coffees an average of 86.5 points
  • Paid $3.10 per pound weighted average FOB price
  • Gave $42,170 to fund 10 Seeds projects


Number of students taught. Professional development: 3,273. Coffee at Home: 1,017.

What We’re Most Proud Of

  • Going beyond Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requirements by creating and running an engagement and inclusion survey to report on a broader definition of diversity.
  • Rolling out stock options to all full-time employees.
  • Our partnership with Trees, Water, & People—installing 196 clean cookstoves in rural Honduras.
  • Maintaining a diminished footprint from travel.
  • Funding 10 Seeds projects in coffee-producing countries and providing farmers with sustainability verification and resources through our partnership with Enveritas.
  • Paying more for coffee—$3.10 weighted average FOB price during a time when the average C market price was $1.42.
  • Offering a high-quality product through amazing partnership—the coffees we purchased scored an average of 86.5 points and 71% were from partners we’ve worked with for over 5 years.
  • Spending thousands of hours in classes, trainings, and facilitating the licensure of 10 of our educators as Authorized SCA Trainers.
  • Keeping people brewing—our technicians completed 1,019 service calls and 820 preventative maintenance visits.

Priorities For Improvement

  • Increasing participation in surveys to gather employee feedback and inform our diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy.
  • Working in teams to improve our B Corp Impact Assessment score.
  • Being more thoughtful about managing the waste at our 12 facilities.
  • Reducing and offsetting our carbon footprint.
  • Mindfully managing the rising cost of green coffee.
  • Increasing participation in the Specialty Coffee Association’s Coffee Skills Program in each of our regions.Gathering with and positively impacting our communities through in-person events at our Training Centers.
  • Increasing participation in surveys to gather employee feedback and inform our diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy. 
  • Promoting career sustainability by continuing to improve our technical services program.

This report was created by a team of transparency-driven individuals at Counter Culture Coffee. It strives for balance, but was prepared internally and therefore has a bias. If you would like to send questions, suggestions, or comments about this report please email us at 

Read the full 2021 Transparency Report

** FOB or Free on Board refers to the contracted price of a coffee at the time of export from a country or area of origin. The New York “C” market price is expressed in terms of FOB, as is Fairtrade’s minimum price. FOB represents the price paid after farming, processing, milling, and preparation for export, but before overseas shipping, importation, overland transport, and roasting. 

*** Coffees we purchased for Single-Origin, Limited Release, or Exclusive products.


Counter Culture is
  • pushing potential
  • freshly roasted
  • quality coffee
  • sustainably sourced
  • coffee-driven
  • people-driven
  • independently owned