An amazing cup of coffee begins with a seed. High Five Coffee partners exclusively with Counter Culture when it comes to handling those seeds. We know that the planting, cultivation, harvest, farmers' wages, transportation, storage and roasting of these seeds are at the center of this transparent and passionate group of professionals. Counter Culture Coffee is esteemed in the industry as a pioneer of sustainable farming methods, developers of direct trade standards and a relationally centered approach to business.
At High Five, we the baristas have done our homework. Before we take the helm of that shiny espresso-yielding beast, we have each completed the High Five written and practical tests. Thanks to our friends at Counter Culture we have a coffee playground at our fingertips via the Asheville Training Center and we use this space to become familiar with the variables of a beautiful brew. Through education, baristas become familiar with variables like dose, temperature, time, water quality, technique and milk texture, which can all hinder or enhance a beautiful brew. We continue our education through the Counter Culture Certification program, and as we complete this process successfully you can see our certifications framed proudly on the shop wall ~ bragging rights!
Coffee is a craft, which requires quite a bit of attention. The technical side of brewing involves cleanliness and consistency. We need to be constantly aware of how things like humidity and roast date can affect the volume of and flavors in your espresso. Subtleties like the difference between the texture of a latte versus a cappuccino are always on our radar. Coffee stewardship involves defending against the three threats to fresh coffee: light, heat, and moisture. Counter Culture does an incredible job enhancing the true flavors of each coffee through the roasting. At the shop level respecting coffee of this quality really begins with machine maintenance. We deep clean our espresso machine three times daily and take care to remove the oils and residue in our brewing equipment each night. Cleanliness is next to godliness in a cup!
Finding outlets for creativity and autonomy in a workplace is a basic desire for all of us. At High Five, we take any opportunity we can to experiment with house-made syrups for our 'Crafted' menu. We keep the selection dynamic through a seasonally driven coffee program. Our staff has collectively spent close to 50 years working in the coffee industry from shops as far as Arizona to Washington State. We are proud to be at the center of a thriving coffee community in Asheville, which boasts regular latte art Throw Downs, events discussing sustainability in coffee, and several stellar local and regional roasters. From the farmers to you the customer, the pulse of coffee connects us worldwide. We love coffee and it shows!