Silver Lake's Counter Culture Coffee Teaches People How To Be Coffee Geeks


Counter Culture Coffee opens tomorrow in Silver Lake, but it isn't another coffee shop. Rather, it's a coffee training facility.

If this sounds particularly Silver Lake to you, you might be right. But hear it out: Counter Culture was co-founded by Brett Smith in Durham, North Carolina in 1995 as a roaster for shops, restaurants and other markets, though Smith tells LAist that they soon learned they could "take our knowledge and use it to help [our clients] become better coffee people."

They've since expanded to 11 cities, with plans for three more. In North Carolina and in the Bay Area, they roast coffee. Elsewhere, they teach baristas and coffee pros about coffee via their Counter Intelligence program, allowing them hands-on experience without the early morning caffeine rush or having to deal with a group of six that all want blended drinks at once.

"Typically, the staff of a coffee shop, the baristas, will come in and learn everything from the fundamentals of brewing to some really advanced classes. We have some certifications and some different things to help them be better coffee professionals—everything form single-cup brewing, to pour over, to espresso. We can also really dive deep and be total coffee geeks," Smith says.

They also allow the public to come in geek out, too, on occasion. Every Friday morning at 10 a.m., starting July 22, they'll offer tastings—coffee tastings are actually called cuppings—for people to stop by and sample and learn about various coffees. They also offer Brewing Basics courses, and will appear at the Hollywood Farmer's Market on August 21 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. And you can stop by their open house on Saturday, July 16.

The space was designed by Design, Bitches, and it is very pretty. It's a big turquoise building with a sunny patio and plenty of counter space for experimentation with espresso, coffee and foamed milk, among other things. We had a cappuccino, expertly prepared by Counter Culture's Keaton Violet and it was most delicious.

If you stop by on Saturday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., you will be able to taste their coffee, including their Cold Hearted, which they consider their summer blend. There will also be food via Guerrilla Tacos and Uli Gelateria. The event is free to attend.

Counter Culture Coffee is located at 1601 Griffith Park Blvd. in Silver Lake.