The last two high-profile coffeehouses to open in Charleston aren’t pouring Counter Culture (Stumptown is the house brand at The Daily, while Saint Alban brews La Colombe), but the North Carolina-based roaster is about to reassert its local visibility with the opening of a downtown training center.
Opening next month in the former Fuzzco space at 85½ Spring Street, the coffee classroom is the ninth such center nationwide. Counter Culture already operates facilities in cities including Asheville, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. It last opened a center in New York City, and is planning to soon launch its first West Coast outpost: The Emeryville, Calif. location is scheduled to open in April.
Unlike cafes, Counter Culture training centers don’t sell coffee by the cup or bean. Instead, they serve as headquarters for Counter Culture instructors and staff. But the center isn’t an employees-only area: Members of the public are invited to free tastings offered Fridays at 10 a.m. Additionally, publicist Kelsey Snell says, the centers offer hands-on trainings and certifications for baristas, “as well as informative coffee courses open to the public, like Espresso Fundamentals, Milk Science, and Manual Brewing.”
Baristas are invited to take the in-depth courses for free.
Counter Culture, an industry pioneer in sustainability, was founded in Durham in 1995. Its products are served throughout the Lowcountry, including at Kudu Coffee and Black Tap Coffee.
According to Snell, the training center will open in April. To learn more about Counter Culture, visit counterculturecoffee.com.