Encouraging experimentation in coffee production, uplifting our wholesale partners, and creating sustainable products are vital to Counter Culture Coffee's mission. That’s why we created GEM, an innovative new product line exclusively found in cafes and restaurants that serve Counter Culture Coffee.
An Introduction To GEM
Our newest product series, GEM is a line of limited-release coffees exclusively available at our wholesale partner businesses. Each coffee tells a unique story about cutting-edge coffee production, giving producers a platform to showcase their most innovative coffees. Whether achieved by growing unconventional plant varieties or using experimental processing methods, GEM puts the spotlight on interesting coffees and showcases them in a manner that ensures a spectacular drinking experience.
“The idea for GEM came from tasting unique single-variety lots…I noticed they tasted even better when blended,” says coffee-buying manager Katie Carguilo. “We wanted to share this exceptional offering, and my colleague Kyle Tush suggested the name GEM to highlight its uniqueness.”
The Meaning Of "GEM"
In agriculture, GEM is a framework that focuses on understanding factors that affect how plants grow and produce. It's an acronym that stands for Genetics, Environment, and Management, with each letter signifying a unique aspect of analysis.
The biological aspect of the plant. In coffee, this typically refers to the plant’s species and variety. While all of the coffee we purchase belongs to the Coffea arabica species, there are dozens of varieties of the plant that we feature, each with its own particular flavor profile.
The conditions under which the plant is grown, elements like weather, elevation, and other environmental variables often beyond human control. Coffee growers and buyers alike have long sought the finest microclimates that make coffee thrive.
The production practices of the crop, especially those that can be controlled. In coffee, this includes factors such as shade provision, pruning techniques, fertilization methods, and processing protocols.
How GEM Plays Into Counter Culture Coffee’s Mission
Each coffee we source is methodically slotted, highlighting a particular flavor profile to ensure consistency for our customers. While this meticulousness results in cup-after-cup excellence, it’s also limited our ability to feature some of the more unique coffees we’ve encountered. GEM creates a space for adventurous coffee drinkers to find mind-expanding coffee that lives up to our quality standards.
As a product only available for purchase through wholesale partners, we believe GEM finds a home in the quality-pushing cafes and restaurants that we love. We guarantee GEM will stand out on the menu of the most innovative coffee bars while also translating into a dazzling cup at home.
GEM also allows us to double down on our commitment to purchasing coffee from our producer partners. “Supporting experimentation is crucial because it allows coffee producers to explore ways to add value to their coffee,” says Katie. “However, not every experiment can be scaled up due to the risks involved. GEM provides a platform to showcase these innovative small lots, making them accessible and delicious.”
Where To Find GEM
Any of our wholesale partners are able to order GEM! Check out our store locator to find a Counter Culture Coffee partner near you.
Learn more about our first release GEM 001 from Marcala, Honduras.