Counter Culture Coffee is introducing its revamped “Pro Dev” workshop and lecture series at each of its regional training centers, including fancy guests, brand new equipment and some serious discussions on issues at origin. Free to coffee professionals, the series will now take place the last Wednesday of each month.
This month, the Pro Dev series will include a visit from four-time Irish Barista Champion and 3fe founder Colin Harmon, a tasting with Big East Regional 2014 Champion J. Park Brannen (of the CC New York campus), and discussions on the government-led changes threatening coffee farms in the renowned Nyeri region of Kenya.
Brannen and Harmon will be part of two New York-only events, scheduled for April 18 and April 22, respectively. Brannen will be live-polishing his routine for the upcoming U.S. Barista Championship in Seattle, while Harmon’s visit is part of a multi-city tour (also including Kansas City, Seattle and Oakland) in which he is showing off the much-buzzed-about Mythos One Clima-Pro grinder from Nuova Simonelli.
The grinder, which debuted at the Host show in Milan earlier this year actually includes a heating element for temperature control, which Harmon, for one, believes represents the next development in “dialing in” grinder temperature for maximum consistency in espresso extraction. In a personal blog post late last year before HOST, Harmon did offer some disclosure about his relationship to the Nuova Simonelli team:
- I do a lot of work with Nuova Simonelli, coming to a town very near you
- I was involved in the project that spat this grinder out
- I count the people at Nuova Simonelli amongst my favourite people anywhere
On April 30, at each of Counter Culture’s regional training centers (Asheville, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., Durham, New York and Philadelphia), the company will host a discussion on the situation in Nyeri, which we first reported on in January:
Nyeri’s specialty-grade coffees have an impeccable reputation, one that has some say has been built by a kind of anti-centralization model. Independent coffee societies (cooperatives) tend to provide organizational support a handful of individual factories (wet mills) aligned with them, allowing for traceability to the society or even down to the mill. This structure has benefitted farmers by allowing for premiums associated with high-minded roasters and buyers like Tim Wendelboe, The Coffee Collective, Coffee Shrub, and James Hoffmann’s Square Mile.
Counter Culture has a vested interest in Nyeri, where it has previously purchased lots from Thiriku and Kangocho. The discussion will be followed by tastings of some other Kenyan coffees that resulted from a recent green-buying trip from CC’s Tim Hill.