Food & Drink

5 Things You Need To Know About Undercurrent Coffee

An overhead shot of two coffee machine portafilters next to coffee beans and a cup of coffee

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Cappuccino in a white cup on a saucer with foam art and a small spoon

5 Things You Need to Know About Undercurrent Coffee

The Faces Behind Undercurrent
First things first. Owners Todd and Erin Huber have a heart-wrenching story on how Undercurrent Coffee came to be. The Hubers lived in Plaza Midwood for 11 years and watched the area grow. They wanted to create something unique to complement the community. It had always been Todd’s dream to open a coffee shop and after 15 years of banking and Erin’s cancer diagnosis, he realized it was time to take the risk. Todd witnessed how short life could be and how disconnected he had gotten from the community. Erin thankfully fought a successful battle and has not only been so supportive of her husband’s dramatic decision but has worked hard to help him put the business together.

It was then when Todd met the intelligent Diana Mnatsakanyan-Sapp at a coffee throw-down in Davidson and instantly saw her potential. Diana is the Director of Operations and Coffee Specialist of Undercurrent. She is a Level 2 certified instructor for the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) which has an incredibly developed curriculum. It is evident how passionate she is about coffee and the future of Undercurrent. I learned so much information about coffee after just talking to her for 10 minutes. Undercurrent has been thriving since their May opening, and the whole team and community is to thank.

The Oceanic Theme
The name Undercurrent was unearthed when Erin asked Todd about the name of the magazine he had published in high school. The Undercurrent magazine happened to feature a poem about coffee. Plus, the ocean had been a significant part of their lives after living in Florida for 30 years. They found the name would be fitting as the definition of an undercurrent relates to specialty coffee; there is a lot to discover beneath the surface. Erin Huber is the mastermind behind the calming and dynamic interior design with subtle, natural hints of the ocean. The blue, white, and sandy tile around the bar incorporates the sparkle and movement of water. You can converse with your neighbors in their ocean blue tufted chairs in the front and get work done in the quiet area in the back.

Onyx
Todd and Diana spent nine months interviewing, researching, and sampling 14 different coffee roasters. Out of all of them, they chose Onyx, a United States Roasting champion based in Arkansas, to be their primary roaster. They were attracted to Onyx’s culture and quality. They traveled to meet owners Jon and Andrea Allen who proved they perform at the highest caliber and source only the finest coffee beans. Onyx coffee bags will also be for sale at Undercurrent. Undercurrent brews it exceptionally. They also have tea crafted by SPIRIT Tea and cold brew from Pure Intentions.

The Educational Coffee Training Lab
In the back of Undercurrent, you’ll find a rare 200 square foot classroom with state-of-the-art coffee equipment. People from all over the country will be coming to get their SCA Barista and Brewing certifications at this location. Look forward to cheaper public classes in the next few months. Every month the shop will have a guest roaster, and several have offered to teach classes. Diana says, “Specialty coffee is so young, and that means that the people working right now are the same people who will make the big inventions that will change the face of the industry. The lab will be a place to discover, tinker, and get weird.” They’ll show you the difference between specialty and commodity. Diana adds, “coffee can be just as interesting as a beer made by Legion or just as intricate and delicate as a fine wine.” These classes will be where people will learn the complex process, ask questions, and share ideas.

Vegan and Gluten-Free Food
Chef Dwayne Howard, previously Chef at Leroy Fox, curated a healthy, made-from-scratch menu of healthy foods from Chevre and Strawberry Toast to Blueberry Chia Pudding to Bacon Bomblette (the only meat option). The ingredients are sourced from local farms and businesses such as the Goat Lady Dairy, Bush-N-Vine, and Duke’s Bread. Breakfast and lunch will be served from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. They also serve delicious homemade pastries. Erin kindly split one of their savory scones with me while we chatted about our weekend plans. When I came back for a second visit I had to try the sweet cinnamon banana jam scone. I am declaring them as the best scones I’ve ever had. Undercurrent’s food menu is just as mindful as the coffee and should not be overlooked.

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