Caribou Coffee Rwanda Nyakarenzo

I was introduced to Caribou Coffee on my first trip to Minnesota eons* ago. 

*by eons, I just mean decades. Point being: this love affair has been going on for awhile.

I have yet to meet a Caribou coffee that I don’t like. Granted, I don’t think I’ve tried any of their dark roasts because, well, I hate dark roasts. I will suck it up for tasting purposes, but thankfully Caribou has a wide variety of coffees in medium and light roasts, so I haven’t needed to venture into the dark roasts yet. Regardless, I would wager that my excitement in seeing a Caribou cafe rivals that of any Minnesotan.

Unfortunately, I live in a place where Starbucks and Dunkin’ reign supreme. However, I have April who is awesomely diligent in sending me regular care packages of Caribou coffee delight!

This is one of my favorites. April sent it to me after a trip we took to Rwanda. In addition to the mountain gorillas, I totally fell in love with all the coffee I drank there. As such, I think she knew it was a safe bet that I would enjoy it. She was definitely not wrong! In fact, I’d probably rank it as my second favorite of all Caribou coffees–and I have tried a lot of types of Caribou (especially for a Texan who lives in NYC!).

According to Caribou, Rwanda Nyakarenzo is a light roast single origin coffee with notes of blackberry, cherry, and aromatic spices with a juicy citrus finish.

My Notes:

  • Brew method: pour over
  • Smells: berries and a hint of sweet orange and lemon
  • Tastes: blackberries, bright, smooth, with light mouthfeel
  • Finishes: a dry cherry finish with a hint of orangeĀ and lemon
  • Pairs: with everything. Okay, okay….it pairs well with breakfast pastries, like cinnamon rolls, cheese danish, doughnuts–you know, all the good stuff!

Sadly, this coffee had a limited run and is not currently not available. BUT before you yell at me for piquing your interest in an unavailable coffee, I am hoping beyond hope that–like most Caribou specialty coffees–this will make its way back into stores soon.

I know you’re still annoyed, but here’s a picture of a cute baby gorilla to make you forget allllll about the coffee!

Starbucks Guatemala Antigua

Because most of Starbucks coffees tend to be darker roasts (don’t get me started on their French roast!), there aren’t many Starbucks coffees that I like to drink regularly, especially since they took Kenya out of the line-up. But their Guatemala Antigua is always a go-to choice for me. It’s from the Antigua Valley and according to Starbucks it tastes like “lemon, chocolate and soft spice notes with an elegant mouthfeel unique.”

My Notes:

  • Brew method: pour over
  • Smells: raspberries, lemon, and chocolate
  • Tastes: raspberries and chocolate with medium mouth feel. As it cools, the chocolate and cardamom become more pronounced along with cinnamon
  • Finishes: lingering cardamom and lemon, but as it cools less lemon and more cinnamon.
  • Pairs: brownies, berry & cream tarts, French toast/waffles/pancakes

Overall, this is a great coffee for brunch–it’s strong enough to pair well with most brunch foods and yet mild enough not to overpower any of the flavors of the food. With their propensity to pull medium roasts when they feel like shaking things up, fingers crossed Starbucks leaves this one in the lineup.