The caffeine gods hath bringeth a new temple of coffee: Counter Culture Coffee’s training center at 3333 Commerce Street in Deep Ellum opens Friday, January 31.
You’re likely good and familiar with the Durham, North Carolina–based company whose roasts you’d find at Fiction Coffee, Sip Stir Coffee House, Brewed and Pressed, and the Joule Hotel’s Third Wave coffee shop, Weekend. After establishing its wide presence in Dallas for four years, Counter Culture Coffee readies its “polished, elevated way to experience coffee,” says regional manager Kathy Altamirano.
The training center, the 13th of its kind across the U.S., is part coffee school and part showroom. Baristas can bolster their professional bona fides through a certification program (basically third party proof that they’ve got the skills when moving from job to job). Meanwhile, the greater coffee-loving public can join in on weekly (every Friday morning at 10) or monthly tastings, take brewing classes, nerd out on coffee acids, and test out at-home machines. So heads up for the amateur baristas out there.
Counter Culture opens these centers when “coffee regions” are big enough to sustain such coffee geekery. When Altamirano came to Dallas a few years ago, some might have claimed there was no cafe thought leader, no one to exalt the city’s evolving cache of coffee houses. “But I think that’s wrong, they just don’t get the credit,” she says. “Doing it out of a passion—that makes a great coffee community.” And it’s clear Dallas has that in spades.
Beyond coffee, Altamirano says the space will host pop-ups with different local chefs. One coming up soon: dinner by chef Josh Harmon, who’s helming the soon-to-open restaurant at the new Belmont Hotel. (There’s no official date or details, yet, but Altamirano says to watch for it on Eventbrite.) As for this weekend’s opening festivities…
Friday, Jan. 31
A coffee tasting begins at 10 a.m., with baked treats from Crumb and Kettle, plus remarks from Counter Culture founder Brett Smith. Hours are a brief 10 a.m. until noon.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. check out the training center open with more free coffee, and a Dallas-specific swag bag giveaway (think bandanas, totes) for the first 100 folks. What else: Oatly ice cream floats and snacks from Fount Board and Table.