Review: Rival Brothers Rwanda Dukunde Rawa (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Recently, I started a subscription to Craft Coffee, a company based out of Brooklyn, NY. Craft Coffee describes themselves as the Pandora of coffee, where you can tell them what you’re currently drinking and they’ll send you coffees that they think you’ll love based on your preferences. After answering their short questionnaire, it determined that I would be best pleased with their Purple Label (lightest roast), Reserve category ($$$$ – their most expensive coffee). Hahaha. Do they know me or what?

I opted to get a three-coffee sampler to start, and I received three 4-oz bags from different roasters. All the coffee in this shipment happened to be from Africa, but Craft rotates roasters and countries of origin quite regularly so every box is a surprise. So far, over two shipments, 5 of the 6 roasters have been new to me so it’s pretty great to be able to try coffee from small roasters that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

V60: Lots of vanilla in this method with a puckery bit of citrus fruit. Very interesting. I could see this mix of flavors being a Bath and Body Works product – vanilla/lime/grapefruit.

AeroPress: Lovely!! I really like this rendition. This actually smells a lot more like a delicate, mild tea than a coffee. Everything is well-balanced; the subtle richness of vanilla blends nicely with the personality of the fruit. No bitterness or overwhelming tannins. I think I would really like this as an iced coffee – light and refreshing. It has an uncommon elegance to it.

Chemex: Bright, vibrant brew. It tasted like lime juice at the forefront, but once I started slurping and aerating the coffee, I got a lot more apricot flavor. The aroma was pretty light and mild.

French press: Full-bodied and intense. I actually didn’t care for this – it tasted overwhelmingly sour and bitter at the same time. Assertive and rather rude to the palate! I felt like the coffee was a surly teenager.

Summary: My preference is to brew this coffee in an AeroPress – it felt like it had the best balance of flavors and it was the smoothest brew by far of the four methods. The V60 will give you more vanilla; the Chemex will give you more citrus. The French press will sass you.

From the roaster: Vibrant, Lime, Sweet, Vanilla

Rival Bros. Rwanda Dukunde Kawa

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