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Counter Culture Coffee

Counter Culture Coffee
Industry Retail coffee
Founded 1995
Durham, North Carolina
Founder Brett Smith and Fred Houk
Headquarters Durham, North Carolina
Products Coffee beans, Coffee drinks, Educational programs

Counter Culture Coffee is a Durham, North Carolina based coffee roasting company founded in 1995. It has regional training locations in Asheville, NC; Atlanta; Boston; Charleston, SC; Chicago; Durham, NC; Emeryville, CA; New York City; Philadelphia; and Washington D.C. Counter Culture training centers provide education in the fundamentals of preparing and serving coffee and serve as classrooms and event spaces. Training centers are not only for vendors of Counter Culture Coffee, but are also available to anyone that is interested in the production of coffee. Training centers also host competition training, food events with guest chefs, and professional workshops.

Counter Culture Coffee buys primarily from small coffee producers at a wide range of prices between $1.30 and $25 a pound. As such, they are regarded as a "boutique" coffee roaster, a company which sources from multiple small estates and cooperatives rather than a single large grower.

Counter Culture Coffee first started roasting coffee in Durham in 1995. Founded by Brett Smith and Fred Houk, their main focus was creating custom coffee blends for some of Durham and Chapel Hill's southern restaurants. Houk had been working in the local North Carolina coffee industry for a few years when he met recent business graduate, Smith, who was looking for a new venture. With the boom of Starbucks the two saw opportunity to make their own mark on the coffee industry. They sold their first coffee to Pop's Restaurant in Durham in 1995. The company has grown to expanding its business operations to areas along the East Coast of the United States. Coffee beans are now imported from more regions including Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. In addition to a geographical expansion, Counter Culture Coffee has diversified their line of products and services. The company offers seasonal coffee selections and educational programs that focus on sustainability and the coffee brewing process.



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