• Counter Culture Coffee x World Coffee Research


Counter Culture Coffee x World Coffee Research

Our work with World Coffee Research (WCR) is driven by a deep appreciation for coffee, a beloved product that connects people and cultures worldwide.

Our work with World Coffee Research (WCR) is driven by a deep appreciation for coffee, a beloved product that connects people and cultures worldwide.

For the 12.5 million coffee farms globally, particularly the smallholder farmers (producers with less than 20 hectares of coffee) producing two-thirds of the world’s supply, coffee represents more than just a commodity: it is a livelihood, a vital component of ecosystems, and a cultural cornerstone. Yet this cherished resource is facing challenges that threaten its existence. Low yields, the struggle of plants against climate change, and inefficiencies along value chains jeopardize the success of many farmers.

Image of Katie Cargiulo, western coffee buyer and member of the WCR board, evaluating samples for the WCR International Multilocation Variety Trial (IMLVT)

These challenges affect every coffee company, whether they acknowledge it or not. There's room for improvement, as individual businesses and as an industry. It is with these realities in mind that Counter Culture Coffee is a proud founding member and supporter of World Coffee Research (WCR). In addition, Katie Carguilo, our western coffee manager, has served on the World Coffee Research board since 2023.

Improving Coffee Supply Chains

World Coffee Research unites the coffee industry to improve coffee supply chains. They prioritize their efforts in smaller coffee-producing countries that face challenges in competitiveness regarding price and productivity. By focusing on these specific origins, their objective is to reverse the current trend of supply consolidation and uphold the diversity of coffee produced globally. They collaborate with institutions in production countries to identify higher-yield, climate-resistant, and better-quality coffee plants. WCR’s approach empowers people at origin to safeguard the future of coffee, while asking those who benefit the most—mainly roasting companies—to fund the work.

Photo of a coffee cupping at Counter Culture Coffee as part of the World Coffee Research International Multilocation Variety Trial (IMLVT)

International Multilocation Variety Trial

In their International Multilocation Variety Trial (IMLVT), WCR distributed 31 top-performing coffee varieties to 29 test plots across 18 countries. The organization is actively collecting data on coffee yield, disease resistance, and cup quality—an unprecedented study with a highly valuable dataset. This information helps producers weigh various factors and select the best varieties for their farms. In the past year, Counter Culture Coffee bolstered the dataset by evaluating 14 samples. As part of this process, our team roasted, tasted, and provided detailed analysis, scores, and price valuations for each coffee. This feedback enriches the study's analysis of variety attributes by complementing agronomic performance with insights into quality and demand.

Photo of coffee buying Kyle cupping coffee as part of our work with World Coffee Research.

Innovea Global Coffee Breeding Network

Another program, Innovea Global Coffee Breeding Network, fosters collaboration among coffee-producing countries. With backing from WCR, researchers in nine countries are equipped with advanced tools, expanded access to genetic materials, and improved capabilities to breed better coffee plants. This "cooptition" approach, blending cooperation and competition, speeds up the development of customized varieties tailored to each origin's unique environments and preferences. It is an unprecedented effort that aims to safeguard farmer sustainability while maintaining the competitive advantage of each origin.

We support WCR because we recognize the critical importance of preserving coffee’s diversity—diversity in the plant species, in the origins that cultivate it, and in the broader landscape of our industry. We see the need to foster individual and institutional change. WCR aims to "solve problems that matter," and it's inspiring to be counted among a group of coffee companies that believe in that reality for our future.

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