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The Variety Show – the second installment of Counter Culture Coffee's annual Works in Progress series – will explore botanical coffee varieties with the owners of Finca El Puente, Moisés Herrera and Marysabel Caballero, and celebrate the championship of Erin McCarthy at the 2013 World Brewers Cup!
 
The Variety Show team will travel from city to city stopping at each Counter Culture Training Center along the way over the course of two weeks in October – starting this weekend in Durham and ending in New York at our new flagship Training Center.
 
Along the way, we'll be selling raffle tickets to benefit World Coffee Research, and each stop will include drawings for prizes like Kalita brewers, Baratza grinders, Bonavita kettles, and custom Counter Culture wares – a winner for the Grand Prize drawing from all entries gets a personal coffee brewing experience in your home – or coffee shop – with 2013 World Brewers Cup Champion Erin McCarthy [some restrictions apply*].
 
Light food + beverages. Free + open to the public. #CCCVarietyShow
 

All events 7 - 9 p.m.

Saturday, October 5 – Durham Training Center
Monday, October 7 – Atlanta Training Center
Wednesday, October 9 – Asheville Training Center
Friday, October 11 – Chicago Training Center
Sunday, October 13 – Washington, DC Training Center
Tuesday, October 15 – Philadelphia Training Center
Thursday, October 17 – Boston Training Center
Saturday, October 19 – New York Training Center


Big thanks to event sponsors Kalita USA, Bonavita, Baratza, and ESPRO!


*Continental US only. Subject to availability.


Luis Huayhua from the Cenaproc cooperative in Las Yungas, Bolivia.
Right after our August company meeting, Coffee Buyer's Agent Hannah Popish headed out Las Yungas, Bolivia, to visit our friends at the Cenaproc cooperative – producers of our Nueva Llusta coffee.
 
"After cupping some initial samples in our ... lab this past week," Hannah says. "I'm feeling more hopeful than ever about their coffee this year."
 
After starting strong in June, the first harvest was just finishing as Hannah arrived. Along with plenty of photos, read her trip report on Flickr to learn about her visit to the co-op dry mill and yields for this harvest – and her visti with a potential new cooperative partner, Union Pro Agro.
 
Thanks,
Nathan
 
Welcome back, Thiriku!
For 4 year now, we have been purchasing coffee from the Thiriku Farmers Cooperative – located just outside the town of Nyeri and right off the Aberdare Mountain range in Central Kenya. Thiriku was established as a cooperative in 2000, and currently has around 1,900 members.
 
Thiriku never fails to innovate while delivering incredible quality. This year, the cooperative completely changed all of their systems for processing coffee, but still delivered a great lot. This harvest of Thiriku offers impeccable notes of grapefruit, hibiscus, red grape, followed up with a light sweet savoriness.
 
Holiday Shipping Note: Our delivery carriers will not pickup or deliver on Monday, September 2, in observance of the Labor Day holiday. As such, orders received after midnight Eastern Thursday, August 29, will be roasted packaged, and shipped on Tuesday, September 3. Orders in transit may experience a very slight delay.
 
Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!
 
Sincerely,
Nathan
 
POSTED IN: coffee
Hola dos grandes de Guatemala!We're very happy to welcome back two organic offerings from the famous Huehuetenango district in Guatemala!

One of the most highly anticipated Central American coffees we offer, Concepción Huista delivers yet again. This is our third year of working with the cooperative, and, this year, we focused on buying smaller lots – trying to capture higher quality from particular areas within the cooperative. As always, bright fruit tones are the hallmark of this coffee, accentuated by a nice, lingering sweetness with notes of pomegranate, brown sugar, and apple.

"Grotto" is the very highest point on the beautiful Finca Nueva Armenia coffee farm. High altitudes often lead to spectacular quality, and keeping coffee from the area called Grotto separate paid big rewards for us again this year; this Finca Nueva Armenia Grotto Microlot is complex yet smooth with notes of black cherry and chocolate.

Thanks,
Nathan
POSTED IN: coffee
Aida Batlle is an inspiring coffee producer.
Thanks to coffee producer Aida Batlle's persistent quality focus, meticulous picking and sorting, and expert processing, Finca Mauritania from Santa Ana, El Salvador, continues to be among our all-time favorites. We offer this year's harvest of Finca Mauritania with pride, respect, and gratitude. And, we hope that you enjoy Finca Mauritania as much as we do with its perfect balance of sweetness and brightness, notes of sweet pastry, and a hint of fruit over a light and creamy body. And, again, this year's harvest arrived earlier than ever before!
 
Buying coffee from the Productores Indígenas de la Sierra Chiapaneca (PROISCH) cooperative in 2010 allowed us to realize our long-held desire to explore the coffees from small-scale producers in Chiapas, Mexico. Farmhouse and Apollo benefited greatly that first year from PROISCH's quality and provided the perfect showcase for this coffee. Since then, we visited the co-op for the first time and worked on quality initiatives – and then visited the co-op again. Having overcome some challenges along the way, we're finally able to offer caffeinated coffee from PROISCH as a single-origin coffee called Las Milpas. We hope that you'll agree that this harvest's notes of vanilla, fig, and nougat were worth the wait.
 
Thanks,
Nathan
 
POSTED IN: coffee
Aklilu Kassa, owner of Kilenso Mokonisa, has invested heavily in the southern Ethiopian town.
The rush of new arrivals continues with a wide range of flavors. This week, we welcome back the berry-heavy Kilenso Mokonisa Natural Sundried, sweetly crisp Haru, brightly complex Karatu Peaberry, and spicy-sweet Atu Lintang.
 
Kilenso Mokonisa Natural Sundried, from Aklilu Kassa's washing station in Kilenso Mokonisa in southern Ethiopia, showcases what natural sundried processed Ethiopian coffee is all about. Big flavors of blueberry and blackberry are accentuated by a juicy body.
 
This year, we worked with Haru and the Yirgacheffe Farmers Cooperative Union in Ethiopia to recreate the immaculate coffee we bought last year. Better cherry selection and better processing resulted in another lot exclusively for Counter Culture that hits the hallmarks of a great Yirgacheffe coffee. Bright, crisp flavors of lime, jasmine, and sweet honey.
 
The Gitwe Farmers cooperative – near the eastern slope of the Aberdare mountain range in Kenya – impressed us with an amazing coffee two years ago. This tiny, few-hundred pound Karatu Peaberry lot proves that was not just a fluke. Complex tropical fruit, hibiscus, and citrus notes.
 
Atu Lintang grew out of a conversation about improving quality at the Jagong mill in Sumatra a few years back. Weather and mitigating circumstances prevented us from accessing it again for a few years, and we feel fortunate to have revived this project and excited to feature a coffee from Sumatra that reflects our commitment to quality there as everywhere else we work. Look for notes of bell pepper, green grape and spice.
 
Thanks,
Nathan
 
POSTED IN: coffee
Solid organization in the Union el Triunfo cooperative as seen here in community-specific records.
Thanks to the timing of the coffee harvest season in the Northen hemisphere, we have a ton of new coffees arriving almost every week (perhaps literally). We're very happy to welcome the return of two recent favorites alongside a new offering about which we're quite excited, as well.
 
We worked with the Chiapas Mountains Cooperative – a group of small, organic, indigenous farmers in southern Mexico – to bring you Decaf Las Milpas, which boasts rich chocolate notes, almond, and a unifying sweet, perfect coffee flavor. All-natural, organic decaffeination.
 
Don Fernando Lima separated the Pacamara variety coffees from Finca Santa Elena in Santa Ana, El Salvador, for us again this year. Finca Santa Elena Pacamara Microlot gives us a glimpse of the spicy, savory, fruity character of this quintessentially Salvadoran variety.
 
Our new Union el Triunfo offering represents our exciting first foray into partnering with the cooperative of the same name in Chiapas, Mexico, and we are excited to share their coffee with you. The cup is very balanced with notes of bittersweet cocoa and maple syrup.
 
Thanks,
Nathan
 
POSTED IN: coffee
Don Fernando Lima at Finca Santa Elena in Santa Ana, El Salvador.
Every year, we have worked increasingly well with Don Fernando Lima – owner of Finca Santa Elena in Santa Ana, El Salvador – to keep perfecting his coffee. This year, he built an impressive area for raised bed drying based on some feedback from us and even implemented fermentation and processing techniques that we had seen used successfully at other farms. One lot using these techniques placed 5th in the El Salvador Cup of Excellence this year. We are super-proud of Don Fernando and Finca Santa Elena this year, and think it is the best coffee the farm has output for us yet: an extraordinary Bourbon variety coffee with notes of pear, nougat, and orange.
 
Banko Gotiti happened to be shipped to our cupping lab by an exporter working in Ethiopia. We have never been to the farm and don't know the producers, but we know through taste alone that some great things are happening here, and we are looking forward to learning more about the area and producers around Banko Gotiti. It is likely you will see a few more coffees from this tiny village offered from Counter Culture this year. This particular lot of coffee comes from a private washing station focused on quality and offers notes of honeysuckle, lemonade, and raspberry-peach that simply wowed us.
 
Thanks,
Nathan
 
POSTED IN: coffee

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