Counter Culture Coffee: Beginner Espresso Class

Last Thursday, we had the awesome opportunity to attend a Counter Culture Coffee Beginner Espresso Course.

Why it was so cool:

1. We met people from all different backgrounds, whether they own a shop, work as a barista or are just home brewers/enthusiast.

We had a 10 student class; three girls from a coffee shop in South Carolina, two guys from one in VA, an owner of Not Just Coffee in Charlotte plus her daughter and a home enthusiast. We had a really good mix of people who where ready to learn, engage and just soak in the whole experience.

Its so refreshing and encouraging to be amongst peers who share a similar level of love, enthusiasm, passion and expect nothing else than going above and beyond when it comes to coffee. In traditional Japanese Culture, it is very honorable to select a profession/trade and stick with it your whole life. Even an occupation that involves standing all day cutting perfectly sized noodles is respected because that person has devoted their whole life to perfecting something that benefits their community and in turn, their nation. I remember watching the documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi where Jiro has perfected sushi so much that even when charging his customers $300 for a single dinner service, he still has a waiting list of at least one year.

I know we have friends and family members, or even just people on our Facebook or Instagram that probably think we take coffee way to seriously. That we might even seem a little pretentious, which we wouldn’t blame them at all. Its the reason why I started this blog, to educate, inform and even entertain(or try to at least)  It was awesome to spend some time with like-minded peers, share knowledge and encouragement as well as network. I hope to visit Miracle and Destiny at Not Just Coffee in Charlotte soon!

2. The instructors are amazing, down to earth, knowledgeable and just are great representatives of such a great company.

Of course there is no way to perfect coffee. It is a constant journey and along that that journey, we are able to elevate coffee little by little. Fo this beginner course, the instructors at Counter Culture emphasize this point and try to give their students and tools and foundation to get further along in that journey without dictating it.

We had classmates who weren’t accustomed to drinking espresso shots, but our instructor made sure to emphasize that it was perfectly ok! Which is really cool because it can be intimidating being around people who are soo good with coffee and have been working on it a lot longer than you have. But it was all cool! We all felt like we belonged!

3. It was really hands on and we got the opportunity to use both the La Marzocco Linea and Strada.

Yes, it was really hands on. More hands on than no hands on. To be honest, it almost felt like I was driving a beautiful, top of the line luxury car or maybe a classic car without knowing how to work a manual transmission at first. I felt like I was insulting the Strada with my lack of skill. Jimmy did a really good job though! He was a natural! The years of working at Starbucks did prove helpful, and I’m glad that he finally got praised for this sexy looking milk, instead of being scolded by his manager, who obviously didn’t know what the f*$k she was talking about =P.

However, get ready to pour really delicious, sexy milk down the drain. Its just an unfortunate by-product of the learning experience. We really appreciate the cows for all their hard work!

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Tips if you decide on attending a class:

Speak up! Ask lots of questions. It helps to engage with the instructors and get the most out of the experience.

Network! Talk, get to know everyone in your class. You never know where it might lead.

Final thoughts

The class was totally worth it. It allowed us to figure out what machine we want for the mobile cafe. We learned from people who have us in their best interest. Its in CC’s best interest for us to make the best coffee out of their beans and they are ready to educate their customers!


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