If you’re anything like us, getting a great cup of coffee in the morning means finding a pair of clean pants and schlepping over to your neighborhood cafe, where you watch through bleary eyes as a calm, smug barista pulls at what seems like an absurd number of knobs and levers.
If, however, you’re a more ambitious caffeine fiend than us, you might have higher hopes for yourself. Maybe you dream of a day when you can shuffle into your own kitchen, pants-less, and emerge with a cup of joe so fierce the Chemex-heads on your block have begun to ask you for tips and that smug barista finds herself out of a job.
Of course, the fine art of brewing isn’t quite as easy as dumping a pot of hot water over some crushed beans, which is why the term barista exists in the first place. Not to worry, North Carolina-born grassroots beans company Counter Culture Coffee (now with locations nationwide) is ready to be the Obi-Wan to your Luke Skywalker (Luke Chaiwalker — ha!) with their new series of one-day only Brewing Basics workshops.
The labs — part of Counter Culture’s Counter Intelligence Program, which aims to educate customers and industry workers alike about the origins of and best techniques for brewing coffee — take on every aspect of brewing in order to fine-tune your borderline maniacal need for caffeine into a Zen garden of precision art.
As it turns out, as in life, coffee brewing is all about balance. "Coffee is an incredibly complex beverage, and when one element stands out more than the others, that cup isn't balanced," says Counter Culture manager Lydia Iannetti. "You can absolutely affect those flavors and achieve balance, and the perfect cup of coffee, by brewing thoughtfully.”
The workshop will also help you to identify appropriate grind sizes and wax poetic at your next cocktail party about brewing time. Can’t tell the difference between single-origin and blends? You’ll be well-versed on the topic soon enough. Plus, you'll walk away with a brand-spankin’ new ceramic pour-over brewer with which to practice (read: show off) your new skills.
Follow the espresso-ground road, friends, because it’s too hot for pants.
Saturday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Boston: 374 Somerville Ave., Somerville
New York City: 37 W. 26th St., Suite 400, New York
Philadelphia: 2149 Unit B Catharine St., Philadelphia