Counter Culture Coffee debuts in Emeryville with “Tasting at Ten series”, Open House

1 min read

Emeryville, with a long history of coffee roasting lineage that includes Peet’s, Peaberry, Highwire, McLaughlin, Ubuntu, Blue Bottle & Roast (the latter two being mere feet from our border), is ready to welcome another roaster to the family. Durham, North Carolina Based Counter Culture Coffee will be opening its first West Coast facility with its first public tasting today and an open house on Saturday. Counter Culture’s new facility will fortify its West Coast presence and expedite its deliver to its customers. Counter Culture’s Emeryville location will be the first in an ongoing West Coast expansion.


A coffee wholesaler, roastery and training facility, Counter distributes its beans predominantly to coffee shops and restaurants. Counter Culture has a long-standing tradition of opening its doors to the community for tastings of its products. Their “Tasting at Ten series”, held at 10 a.m. on Friday’s at all of their regional training centers, are free and open to the public.

Counter’s Taster’s Flavor Wheel was adapted from the wine aroma wheel developed by famed UC Davis Viticulture professor Ann C. Noble.


Founded in 1995 and just recently celebrating their 20th anniversary, Counter Culture prides itself on working directly with local farmers and cooperatives to source the best beans possible and roasting them to bring out the best flavors possible. Regional training centers, such as the one in Emeryville, are used as an education platform for coffee tastings, brewing fundamentals and overall best practices.

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Counter Culture first unveiled its plans to open its 12,000 sq. ft. space in the refurbished Klinknerville building to the Planning Commission back in 2013 and was attended by president Brett Smith. The Commission advocated for improved landscaping and mitigation of any offensive odors to the neighborhood but ultimately approved the project 6-0. Counter Culture employee Steve Ford, previously a buyer at Ritual Coffee in San Francisco, will be managing the new location and noted that Emeryville was chosen because it is a “nexus” for the Bay Area and it is relatively easy for people to reach be it by car, bike or public transportation. The facility will employee as many as ten full-time employees.

Counter Culture’s trusty and efficient Loring Roaster, manufactured nearby in Santa Rosa.

Having a location on the West Coast cuts down on the need to ship beans across the country, and the training center helps to foster relationships and spread education around the art of coffee brewing. A notable employee to be joining the Emeryville location is Katie Carguilo who comes from the New York Counter Culture facility. Katie was named the U.S. Barista Champion in 2012 beating out 54 contestants in a four-day competition. Her role is focused on West Coast quality analysis.

Counter Culture’s open house will be this Saturday, 4/25 from 10 – 2pm that will include brewing workshops, limited edition giveaways and more.

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Leslie Kurland

grew up in a small town and loves the sense of community she has found in the East Bay. A resident of the Golden Gate neighborhood since 2013, Leslie can be found taking her French Bulldog on walks, finding new places to eat and drink or playing soccer. A marketer by trade, Leslie also enjoys traveling, reading and conducting home improvement projects.


    • Ha! Blue Bottle got it’s start at Halleck/Beach (Again “Technically” in Oakland but more or less recognized as E’ville).

  1. Oh cool, will there be an on-site retail coffee shop or is this mostly just an education, distribution & roasting warehouse?

    • Good Question Tim. I wonder if at their tastings if there will be an opportunity to purchase their product? We’ll inquire.

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