We get our beans from Counter Culture Coffee, an amazing roaster that shares our vision of quality, education, transparency, fair practices and (most importantly) kick-ass coffee.
Counter Culture Coffee is dedicated to finding and bringing to market the most exciting and delicious coffees in the world. They approach their work with a passion for the ideal of coffee perfection, a dedication to real sustainability, and a commitment to cutting-edge education throughout the coffee chain.
Since their founding in 1995, Counter Culture Coffee has represented a new way of bringing coffee to market: sourcing the greatest handcrafted coffees in the world directly from the farmers themselves, celebrating the farms and cultures that create those coffees, and roasting skillfully to bring out their delicious, unique flavors. They celebrate these great coffees as the fresh, seasonal fruits they are, and only sell coffee at the peak of flavor and freshness. Thus, the selection of coffees they offer will grow and change as they find other spectacular coffees to share.
In addition to their continual search for quality-driven coffee artisans around the world, they engage in quality development at every stage of the coffee chain—from initiatives at origin and brewing experimentation at home to honing the craft of roasting and improving the information on our packaging. They recognize that freshness is paramount to quality, and we keep as little roasted coffee on hand as possible. They also roast to order, and our coffee is roasted, bagged, and shipped on the same day. All this dedication to quality allows us to trade in the real thing: intensely delicious coffees straight from the amazing farms on which they were grown. Counter Culture proudly identifies each coffee with the farm or co-op’s real name, never obscuring the origin of coffee with marketing hype. They are fanatics for traceability and transparency, but at the end of the day, they measure success by the astounding flavor of great coffees in the cup. Please visit the Coffee section of the Counter Culture page to browse the current seasonal selection and learn more about their extraordinary farmer partners.
Fairness and sustainability are core values for Counter Culture, and these concepts guide every decision they make. They believe that everyone in the chain of great coffee deserves to prosper. In fact, they go far beyond the basics of fairness to real collaboration with the artisans who create great coffees. It is this sense of partnership with farmers that forms the basis for our sustainable coffee model. They strive for real environmental, social, and fiscal sustainability in everything we do, and are proud to work with some of the most progressive and environmentally sensitive farms in the coffee trade.
This commitment to sustainability also encompasses their work here at home—within the roastery and training centers, with their community retail partners, and with like-minded organizations with which they work to serve common causes. Furthermore, they establish collaborative, personal relationships with their farmer partners, whom they treat with respect and share their interdependent success. In 2008, they launched a groundbreaking 3rd-party certified Counter Culture Direct Trade Certification, which established pioneering direct trade standards for sustainability, fairness, quality, and transparency in the coffee chain. Learn more about their ongoing efforts toward sustainability on the Sustainability section of their website.
Counter Culture is passionate about coffee education, and their mission to create cutting-edge coffee people extends beyond the organization and into their relationships with partnering artisan farmers, customers, vendors, and local communities. An essential element of their business model, the inclusive approach to coffee education aims to empower everyone in the coffee chain with the skills and knowledge necessary to ensure quality stewardship and sustainability from farm to cup. They believe that constant innovation, best practices development, and dedicated craftsmanship are elemental to success, and since they know that education, quality, and sustainability go hand in hand, they feel a responsibility to share their discoveries and expertise with the world.
It is with this in mind that they created the Counter Intelligence coffee education program, an ever-evolving curricula of courses, seminars, and hands-on training labs designed to impart the knowledge and skills required to craft the most extraordinary coffee experiences possible. Their regional training centers, including one located at 177 N Ada St in Chicago’s West Loop, serve not only as classrooms and training labs for Counter Intelligence, but also as community hubs of knowledge, exploration, and cultural exchange. Their weekly public coffee cuppings, held every Friday at 10 a.m. in our training centers provide coffee lovers of all skill levels the opportunity to experience, compare, and discuss a wide variety of coffees and their myriad, fascinating characteristics. For more information about cuppings and training labs, visit the Education section on the Counter Culture website.