Counter Culture Coffee
|Durham, North Carolina
|Butare, southern Rwanda.
Co-cupper Jim Reynolds (88): "This coffee had a complex, well-balanced aroma that reminded me of a vanilla flower, although I?ve never smelled a vanilla flower. I wish more of this had carried over into the cup, because the flavor was not as complex [nor] as interesting." Ken (92), on the other hand, found the floral and prune-toned fruit character of the aroma carried well into the cup, joined by cocoa and a slight, not unpleasant, salt or savory note. Ken and Jim agreed, however, in praising the richly resonant finish.
Rwanda's tremendous potential as fine coffee producer has only come to fruition over the past four to five years owing to generous support from international aid agencies, the specialty coffee community and the industry of its growers. Produced entirely from trees of the heirloom French Mission Bourbon variety by members of the Nyakizu community. Counter Culture is a small-batch wholesale specialty roaster with an informative and lively website, a commitment to fine coffee and youthful, enthusiastic leadership. Visit
Who Should Drink It
Those who can easily imagine the smell of vanilla flowers.
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This review originally appeared in the June, 2009 tasting report: Alternative Africas: Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania