"Counterbalance" is a reference to the original counterbalance trolley that operated on Queen Anne Hill. It is also loosely a reference to the style of roasting Rafael & Mercedes are pursuing. They source one bean from one farm and roast to different degrees before blending, Currently they are working direct with a farm in Costa Rica to create a medium-dark roast for espresso or home brewing. The final cup is a balanced full bodied coffee.
Mercedes Carrabba began in coffee in high school on Bainbridge Island in the late 1980s. She worked as a barista through college. She is a child of the Market, having grown up around the vendors, crafts community and many food entrepreneurs. She opened her own coffee shop in Pike Place Market in 2012. In order to stay competitive and successfully employee five people at her shop she decided to roast her own coffee. Counterbalance was born in April 2017 after a year of planning for it with her husband.
Rafael Carrabba is a professional luthier and varnish maker. Many skills he has learned in his career lend themselves well to roasting coffee. For example; understanding color and moisture after years of working with wood has given him a unique understanding of how to roast and blend.
Together Rafael and Mercedes seek out unique coffees from around the world. They travel to farms to develop personal relationships with the farmers they buy from .
“People with great gifts are easy to find, but symmetrical and balanced ones never.”
— RALPH WALDO EMERSON