Counter Culture Coffee Espressofest

All I can say is wow. We really had a blast at Espressofest hosted at and by [Counter Culture Coffee](, based in Durham, NC. We got off on the a few wrong feet getting there. Awake fast and late, assumed a few other factors that made us tardy, not to mention road construction or getting lost for a while. We arrived a bit late, but we caught up to the magic.

[CCC]( “Counter Culture Coffee”) did an exquisit job. We really had no clue what we were in for. CCC setup [tracks]( “Coffee Geeks Post on Tracks”). These included roasting, cupping, commercial equipment/latte art, and home prosumer equipment. They gave us laminated schedule and name passes, very professional (everything was).

We arrived in the middle of the roasting track. Peter Giuliano gave the presentation explaining their process, their quality marks, a bit of history on the regions they visit for procurement, farm relations, etc. Quite amazing dialogue all the while a roast was going on.

Lunch was next then we were scheduled for a prosumer demos which already having the [Oscar](, we all didn’t feel we needed that as much as we wanted to cup and art practice. On to our first cupping hosted by Daryn Berlin, the manager of CCC. We experienced a light Costa Rican, a cherry-tea like Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, an earthy Honduran French Roast, and a bold Sumatra coffees. This was quite an excellent experience which I hope to participate or host more in the future.

Lastly we went to a commercial espresso workshop with Chris Deferio who is an accomplished coffee scholar, Barista, and [latte artist]( “Latte Art Displayed at CCC”). Chris explained the entire process and guided each of us on a La Marzocco. This was fun because comparing it to my Oscar, wow the Oscar again goes very close toe to toe with one of these commercial units. Anyhow, Chris walked me through a preperation which went very smoothly until I had to pour my milk which I found I had been given a bit of the shakes. Psha, well that didn’t help any. Luckily my foam was right on and I poured a heart which was a real first to see a lot of elements come together to give me a vision of the future. This excited me greatly to learn and have adjusted a number of points which I was wrong on. Man I love to learn.

We met Dan Kehn, saw our [local]( coffee geek members, met many many great staff members of CCC along with David Haddock who entertained us with great tales of CCC and the future. I really cannot explain how much fun we had. I was sure that we had missed everything and there was no redemption, but the universe gave me a present and turned my hydrogen bomb into nothing but a big kid grin. CCC hosted an amazing event both in tracks, and huge generosity. Others should pay attention and replicate the educational value of these ideas. A culture coffee revolution in our area is afoot, and we will be a part of its genesis.

Thank you one and all for everything you collectivly brought to the table from a smile and handshake to the imparting of personal knowledge. I look forward to many meetings again.