La Marzocco Cafe News – October: Thank-you Counter Culture and Intelligentsia Preview

It’s been an incredible summer at the La Marzocco Café, and our friends at Counter Culture Coffee helped send summer off in the best way. They began by showing our guests Southern hospitality with a launch party full of North Carolina BBQ, beer and all the sides. The La Marzocco crew had a great time mingling with guests as well as the good people of Counter Culture.

ccc launch party

Brian Ludviksen (left), with La Marzocco USA President Joe Monaghan and Counter Culture President Brett Smith (right).

From Q&A’s to their “Tastings at 10” each week, Counter Culture brought the classroom to the cafe and both our staff and guests benefited by being able to taste coffees and hear what makes each of them special. Their weekly “Champ’s Corner” has been an incredible opportunity for us to learn about the processing, varieties, and flavors of coffee, taught by some of specialty coffee’s biggest Champs. We’d like to extend a huge thank-you to everyone at Counter Culture who worked so hard to make this residency a success!


Next up, we have the privilege of hosting Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea, a company La Marzocco has been working with since they began more than 20 years ago, as our next Roaster in Residence! For the month of October, guests will be able to taste Intelligentsia’s coffees and teas and experience their impeccable service.

intelligentsia coffee bags

Photo Credit: Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea

Intelligentsia began in 1995 as an in-store coffee roaster-retailer in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, operating with just a 12-kilogram roaster. Over the past 21 years they have grown from their original shop to now having 10 unique coffeebars in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City, three roasting works with over 600 wholesale accounts, and training labs in New York and Atlanta.

intelligentsia coffee cup

Photo Credit: Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea

Direct Trade has become somewhat of a specialty coffee industry standard, and Intelligentsia was truly a pioneer of this movement. Cumulatively, their buyers spend 365+ days a year working alongside farmers in origin countries. Many of the coffees Intelligentsia procures are exclusive to Intelligentsia. Intelligentsia pays its coffee-producing partners higher prices than prices regulated by Fair Trade standards, with the goal of improving farmers’ lives; improving infrastructure and quality-of-life in coffee-producing communities; and improving growing and production practices to yield higher-quality coffee. All of this work and investment is reflected in every cup enjoyed by the consumer.

intelligentsia coffee and espresso

Photo Credit: Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea

While at the La Marzocco Cafe, Intelligentsia will be hosting a party celebrating their 21st birthday. Details will follow, but we hear there are plans for a cocktail competition, pizza and beer! Each week a special guest from Intelligentsia will be teaching classes on their practices, and on coffee and tea. The menu will include an extensive tea program from Intelligentsia’s team company, Kilogram Tea. Make sure to follow along on the cafe’s Instagram and Twitter as we’ll be posting more information about these events throughout Intelligentsia’s residency.

Again, we want to thank Counter Culture for a super month and for all the effort that went into making their residency a great one. To close their residency, current US Barista Champion and Counter Culture mainstay, Lem Butler will be serving his specialty drink in the Champ’s Corner. The full Counter Culture menu will be available through September 26th.

See you at the New York Coffee Festival


La Marzocco is excited to participate in the second edition of the New York Coffee Festival. September 16-18, we will be on site at the 69th Regiment Armory for a weekend of espresso and coffee celebration.

The New York Coffee Festival is an exciting event, as it is consumer facing, giving ourselves and our partners the opportunity to spread the good word of specialty coffee to the masses. This year, we’ll be doing this in two ways; the La Marzocco Home DIY Experience Bar and the True Artisan Cafe.


DIY Experience Bar

For those curious to learn more about the craft of making espresso, La Marzocco Home is running a hands-on Experience Bar, giving attendees the opportunity to learn the steps to making espresso on a La Marzocco GS3 and Linea Mini. For many, this is the first opportunity to get hands-on with an extraction method that is usually experienced from the other side of a counter in a cafe or coffee shop.

The La Marzocco Home Experience Bar will feature four home espresso machines—two Linea Minis and two GS3s, and will feature coffees from Counter Culture Coffee, Toby’s Estate, Gregory’s Coffee, Joe NYC, and Blue Stone Lane throughout the weekend.


The True Artisan Cafe

La Marzocco machines are nothing without great roasted coffee. Throughout the weekend, stop by and try espresso drinks made by some of the best coffee roasters New York has to offer.

Our roasting partners will be sharing delicious blends, single origin coffee, and creative espresso drinks. See the schedule at the end of this post to know when to stop by for your favorites.


Strada AV

The True Artisan Cafe will feature the newly released, newly available Strada AV. This machine features the forward-thinking La Marzocco electronics platform, giving baristas easy-to-navigate, precision control of the volume of water to flow through an extraction.

The Strada AV is also the first espresso machine to feature our all-new Pro Touch steam wand. This new steam wand stays cools to the touch, without compromising steam quality or volume.

No matter how big the crowds get at the New York Coffee Festival, the Strada AV will be the machine to help our baristas make consistent, delicious drinks with ease.



Our Partners

Thank you to Counter Culture whose staff will be guiding folks through our Experience Bar. We also want to thank all of the following for taking a part in the True Artisan Cafe. (The most current True Artisan Cafe schedule is also listed.)

Intelligentsia Coffee (Friday, 1:45-3:45)
The Pulley Collective (Friday, 1:45-3:45)
Stumptown Coffee Roasters (Saturday, 9:45-11:30)
La Colombe (Saturday, 9:45-11:30)
Parlor Coffee (Saturday, 11:45-1:15)
Irving Farm (Saturday, 11:45-1:15)
Coffee Labs 
Super Crown Coffee (Saturday, 1:30-3:00)
Gotham Coffee (Saturday, 3:15-4:45)
Toby’s Estate
Gregory’s Coffee
Ceremony Coffee (Sunday, 9:45-11:30)
George Howell (Sunday, 9:45-11:30)
Ninth Street (Sunday, 11:45-1:30)
Square One (Sunday, 11:45-1:30)
Green Street (Sunday, 1:30-3:30)
Third Rail Coffee (Sunday, 1:30-3:30)
Blue Stone Lane

Photo Menu: Counter Culture Coffee

A week ago we welcomed Counter Culture Coffee, headquartered in Durham, NC to the La Marzocco Cafe with a launch party inspired by their home state. La Marzocco and Counter Culture have been long-time partners and we couldn’t be happier to host them in our space. The beautiful blue 2-Group La Marzocco Linea PB that we’ll be using at the cafe this month will eventually find a permanent home when Counter Culture opens their Seattle Training Center later this year. Counter Culture has an exciting month planned, read on for the highlights:


In addition to their incredible lineup of coffees, Counter Culture’s menu includes Rishi Teas, affogatos made with Salt and Straw ice cream, and three North Carolina inspired pastries from The London Plane: Toasted Pecan and Bourbon Shortbread, Pimento Cheese Pies and Buttermilk Cornbread with a kick of cayenne and pepper.


Counter Culture’s Conception Huista is a coffee that comes from the high mountains of Western Guatemala and is one of the most highly-anticipated coffees from Central America that they offer. The coffee has notes of fruit and nougat that finishes with a syrupy mouthfeel and is served mainly as espresso or with milk drinks, but is also great as a made-to-order drip. “The Warm Up” which is a trio of sparkling water, espresso, and a cappuccino, is a perfect way to sample this coffee.


Idido is the main coffee on Counter Culture’s menu for drip and iced drinks. Counter Culture has been purchasing this coffee from the Idido Cooperative, located near the town of Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia, and has been working with farmers there to prepare special selections for a decade. This coffee happens to be a fan favorite, and sports its own Instagram following! Try it as drip, or in Counter Culture’s flash-brewed iced coffee.


Taza Chocolate is a company based in Somerville, MA that produces unrefined, stone-ground chocolate and is the partner of choice for Counter Culture’s mocha. Staff at the La Marzocco Cafe will be making a chocolate syrup in-house using this distinct and bittersweet chocolate.


During their Residence, Counter Culture will have a special menu called “Champs Corner.” The featured drink each week will be inspired by the winner of one of six international coffee competitions – each with ties to, or employees of Counter Culture. For the first week of their Residence, Seattle’s own Laila Ghambari of Cherry Street Coffee, and USBC 2014 Champ was here to serve up her winning signature drink “The Cherry on Top.”


Counter Culture’s award-winning team members take over from Laila. Next up we have Erin McCarthy, 2013 World Brewers Cup Champ serving his Finca El Puente or Finca Nuguo Flights. Then, guests will get to sample “The Champagne of Coffee,” USBC 2013 Champ Katie Carguilo’s signature drink. Finally, the current USBC Champ, Lem Butler will be here serving his Southernplayalysticcadillac Coffee! This is an exceptional opportunity to taste coffees grown and prepared by some of the world’s best. These drinks will be prepared slowly on our back bar and are meant to be a very special coffee experience. If you see a trophy on the front counter, the beverage will prepared by that week’s Champ! All proceeds from the Champs Corner drinks will benefit KEXP.

We can’t wait to see you this month at the La Marzocco Cafe! For more specific information about each Champ’s drink and to see Counter Culture’s full menu please follow this link.

La Marzocco Cafe News – September: A thank you Campos, and Counter Culture Preview

For the month of August our staff and guests to the La Marzocco Cafe have been delighted with the coffees and menu items offered by Campos Coffee of Sydney, Australia. As our fourth Roaster in Residence in our monthly changing line-up, we want to say thanks to the entire Campos team for a successful and seamless month. Campos provided Seattleites, and those who traveled from beyond, a true representation of the Australian coffee scene with their high-quality coffees, toast, and signature affogato.


Looking ahead to September, we are pleased to welcome Counter Culture Coffee as our next Roaster in Residence! Headquartered in Durham, NC, Counter Culture focuses on sourcing quality coffee, roasting, sustainability and education. Counter Culture does not operate their own cafes, but offer exemplary coffee education and support to their wholesale partners and to the public by operating training centers that span 11 cities across the country.


Counter Culture’s residency at the La Marzocco Cafe is shaping up to be filled with fun events, education, and special guests. They will be hosting a launch party on Wednesday, August 31st where they will be introducing themselves and sharing free coffee with the Seattle community.  As an extension of what they do in their training centers, representatives from Counter Culture will be hosting Friday Tastings each week at 10 am. One of their featured coffees, Idido, comes from a small village in Ethiopia where Counter Culture has been purchasing and forming relationships for a decade. Special guests will arrive throughout the month including USBC Champions Lem Butler (2016), Laila Willbur (2014), Katie Carguilo (2012) and the 2013 World Brewers Cup Champion Erin McCarthy. Each will be serving the signature drink/brew method that won them their title.


For the past 20+ years, Counter Culture has strived to build their business with a continued focus on sustainability. In their 2015 Transparency Report, Counter Culture Founder and President, Brett Smith states, “As part of our efforts to build a business through the lens of sustainability we first made it a part of our vision statement. By clearly stating, “Counter Culture is committed to real social, environmental and fiscal sustainability” we made it real. From the supply chain, to the building materials used in our facilities, to employee benefits, we have tried to filter our decisions through the sustainability lens.”

By sharing their Transparency Report, Counter Culture holds itself accountable to push for environmental, fiscal and social improvements. In the report, they share details such as their annual carbon offset, Free On Board pricing, dollars donated to employees to support their own sustainability projects, and set goals for future years–a degree of transparency that is unique in the coffee industry. To read more about it, go to the sustainability section on their website.


Counter Culture takes over the cafe beginning Tuesday, August 30th. Make sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter for more details as they emerge!

Thanks again to Campos Coffee for the huge effort that was put into making their residency a success. We’ll be serving their menu through Monday, August 29th.

La Marzocco On The Road


We are excited to announce a new series of events which will be coming to a city near you. Join us as La Marzocco goes On The Road.

On The Road events are an opportunity for us to meet up with partners, customers, baristas, and the coffee community at large in your city. We look forward to getting to know you and your unique communities, and hear what’s on your mind. With each stop, we’ll be providing some food and drink, and if you get there early, we might even have a t-shirt for you.

We’re bringing two of our newest products on the road with us as we travel. Join us to get hands on with the Linea Mini and the Lux-D grinder. The Linea Mini made quite the splash at the SCAA Expo in April, even winning a Best New Product Award. Come see us On The Road to try the machine and see what all the excitement is about.

Below is the list of cities we’ll be visiting and where you can find us. These events are for baristas, roasters, technicians, and everyone who loves good coffee. We hope you can make it.

Please RSVP by clicking on the links below. Your response will help us establish a head count for food and beverage.


May 18, 2015, 6:00 PM

Tout Suite

Houston, Texas


May 20, 2015, 8:00 PM

Cuvee Coffee Bar

Austin, Texas


May 22, 2015, 6:00 PM

Oakcliff Coffee Roasters

Dallas, Texas


May 28, 2015, 6:00 PM

Ultimo Coffee

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


June 4, 2015, 7:00 PM

La Colombe Logan Square Roastery

Chicago, Illinois


June 11, 2015, 6:00 PM

Blueprint Coffee

St. Louis, Missouri

Event season has officially arrived!

We wanted to share with all of you a list and brief explanation of our upcoming events. It’s already been a busy Septmember, but the action isn’t over yet and will continue well into the Fall.

Last week, we enjoyed three great events, titled Meet the Makers, partnering with Stumptown Coffee Roasters. The editors from Sprudge, who were able to attend the events in both Seattle & Portland, captured the content well in this post.  Additionally, there was a last event at Stumptown’s location in NYC.

Next week is quite possibly our busiest week of the year (maybe next to SCAA). Kicking off on 9/17 we have partnered with Counter Culture Coffee for a road show (titled Fruitbombs and Fermentation) starting in Boston, then heading to Philly, D.C. , and ending in Durham. If you are in any of these cities, you won’t want to miss the event – especially because we’ll be raffling off a custom-edition GS/3! For more details, please visit the FB events page

And of course we can’t forget Coffee Fest 2012, next weekend, 9/21-23. Although we aren’t exhibiting this year, we have partnered with Ladro at their 8th and Pine location (right next to the convention center) to provide complimentary coffee and snacks for all guests from 7-11am each day of the show. Ladro will be featuring a single origin espresso and brewing via chemex; come and share a drink  with us as we celebrate many years of working together.   More info on Coffee Fest here.


There’s more to come in October, but we’ll wait for that. If you’re a total planner, take a look at registrations for MANE  and West Coast Camp-Pull-A-Shot.  We’re not planning on missing either of these gems.


Coffee Common X NYC

From January 19th through 22nd, Coffee Common held their first public event in North America at A Startup Store in Chelsea. A selection of the world’s best baristas gathered to make delicious coffee and help people understand how they can too. Demand for quality coffee is on the rise, but a market filled with strange devices and alien vernacular can sometimes be intimidating. Read more…

Smell, Slurp, Spit

Today at La Marzocco we did something that we’re going to start doing more often: CUPPINGS. Read more…

Strada MP Video by Lem

Lemuel Butler, Counter Culture Coffee’s Customer Relations Manager and 2010 SE Regional Barista Champion, showcases his DJ and video editing talents in a short video he made when he first received their Strada MP. Check it out: