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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

Photo Menu: Campos Coffee

Last week we welcomed Campos Coffee from Sydney, Australia as our fourth Roaster in Residence to the La Marzocco Cafe in Seattle. Owners Will Young and Raf Bartkowski are long-time partners of La Marzocco; they opened their first cafe in 2002 with a 3-group Linea Classic. Today, Campos has eight company-owned cafes, and wholesales their coffee to 300 cafes throughout Australia. They are already winning over Seattle coffee lovers with their menu options, high-quality coffees, and commitment to creating a positive experience for every guest.

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When navigating Campos’s menu, guests will see some options they may not be used to. For a shot of espresso, order a “Short Black” and for an Americano a “Long Black.” A Piccolo Latte has a single shot of espresso, like a macchiato, but has more steamed milk and is served in a 4.5 oz glass. A debate over the differences between the Australian Flat White and the Cappuccino rages on, but this month you’ll be able to try the two side by side and draw your own conclusions as they are both on the Campos menu.

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Brew ratios for espresso and espresso-based beverages during Campos’s residency are quintessentially Australian. Espresso brewed as a Short Black or for other espresso-based beverages is prepared with 23 grams of dry coffee in the portafilter, with a target brew ratio of 1:1.7 (by comparison, Italian cafes prepare espresso with 5-7 grams of coffee in the portafilter). Campos’s Long Black is prepared with a brew ratio closer to 1:1, yielding a thick, striking crema on the top of the beverage.

Campos uses their signature Superior Blend in all their milk beverages as well as for espresso, and has a rotation of single-origin coffees that are used for espresso and filter coffee. No matter the drink, Campos is committed to quality and they are being rewarded for it. Most recently, Coffee Review gave them the top score in a comparison of single-origin coffees from around Australia. Campos’ Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Goro scored a 94 and is available to order during their residence at the cafe.

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Perhaps one of Campos’ most endearing offerings is their Barista Kids Menu. When asked how this came about Bartkowski explained, “We noticed a lot of moms coming into our cafes, so to keep their kids occupied, we’d make them special drinks. Many times we even give these to kids for free. It lets people with kids know they are welcome. It’s crazy popular.” The Kids menu includes a Babycino (steamed milk with cocoa powder), hot chocolate, and iced chocolate.

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For the kid in everyone, Campos is offering their signature drink, the Affogato, all month long. They’ll be served with one of three ice cream flavors including Toasted White Chocolate made exclusively for La Marzocco Cafe by Portland’s beloved Salt & Straw.

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Finally, to go along with their drinks, guests will find several savory food options popular in Australia such as pork meat pie (La Marzocco Cafe’s version is made by the London Plane), smashed “avo” toast and Vegemite toast. Vegemite is a dark, savory and salty spread that is very nutritious and according to Bartkowski. It is the most popular choice in Campos’s cafes.

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Campos’s menu will be featured at the La Marzocco Cafe until August 29th. Check out their full menu here and be sure to stop by!

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