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Coffees of Rwanda

Coffees of Rwanda

Everything leading up to the coffee you get in each Grace Hightower pouch is done by hand

All four of their blends: Medium Light, Dark, Espresso, and a Signature Series roast are sold at retailers like Whole Foods and Fresh Market.

Do you remember the 2004 movie Hotel Rwanda starring actor Don Cheadle who played Paul Rusesabagina, a hotelier trying to save his fellow citizens from the Rwandan Genocide? Well, Grace Hightower De Niro, wife of Robert, was hugely inspired by this film to harness the power of coffee, Rwanda's number one commodity, for fueling positive change in a challenged country.

No stranger to farming, Grace grew up on one in Kilmichael, Miss. and knew she had to visit Rwanda's existing coffee growers to walk the fields, meet the farmers & their families, and smell the beans as they were being dried and roasted. “The people stole my heart. They are just so genuine and want to work. They want to do for themselves and they speak from their hearts,” says De Niro.

Everything leading up to the coffee you get in each Grace Hightower pouch is done by hand. She sources all her beans from either women-owned co-ops or ones that have women on their boards. They grow the coffee trees, pick the beans, and then carry them on their head, sometimes with a baby on their back walking 1-3 hours.

All four of their blends: Medium Light, Dark, Espresso, and a Signature Series roast are sold at retailers like Whole Foods and Fresh Market or you can order online for $12.50 a bag. A percentage of each sale goes back to these farmers who are paid immediately upon bringing their cherries (coffee beans) to the washing station.

A Beginner’s Guide to African Coffee Varieties and Flavors

When winemakers wax poetic about the places that turned them on to grapes, they often cite regions in France. African coffees, like a perfumed Charmes-Chambertin from Burgundy or a haunting Chenin Blanc from Savennières in the Loire Valley, have the same indelible sway over coffee pros. Indeed, Africa may be the most exciting coffee-producing continent in the world, boasting incredible variety, history, and high quality. Although nearly a dozen African countries produce coffee, accounting for 12 percent of global production, most is bulk supply. Specialty-grade coffee, the focus here, is concentrated in East Africa.


The birthplace of coffee, Ethiopia is home to stunning diversity in coffee varieties, perhaps thousands, many wild and uncataloged. Coffee roasters sometimes label coffee bags for consumers as “heirloom,” indicating the unknown genetic provenance. (Interestingly, Counter Culture took up a project to catalog many of the varieties that Western exporters label as “heirloom.”)

Unlike the rest of Africa, most of which has barely a century of history in coffee production, Ethiopia has been growing, brewing, and exporting coffee for over a millennium. Ethiopia is the fifth-largest coffee producer globally, accounting for 3 percent of the world’s supply and employing 15 million people in the country — amounting to more than a quarter of the working-age population and 60 percent of foreign income.

36 Gifts and Gadgets For Anyone Who Loves Drinks

While most African countries rely on wet (washed) processing, Ethiopia also produces substantial volumes of dry-processed coffees known as “natural” coffees. Dry processing is labor-intensive, but can impart heavy, fruity flavors – blueberry is a common descriptor – braced with citrus-like acidity.

In contrast, Ethiopian washed coffees evoke a cup of tea due to their delicate, floral flavor profile (think bergamot oil in Earl Grey). The differences are not all due to processing, however, as regions such as Sidamo, Yirgacheffe, and Harrar have become storied for their terroir and the individual flavors of their coffees.


Ethiopia’s southern neighbor, Kenya, employs 6 million in the coffee industry. Unlike Ethiopia, it has a relatively short coffee-production history, dating back to the late 19th century. Nevertheless, the country, whose population is 47.6 million, has developed a reputation for the quality of its specialty-grade coffee, much of which is grown at high elevation around Mount Kenya.

Kenya has traditionally sold production through a relatively transparent auction system that rewards higher- quality lots with higher prices, an unusual but effective platform for the African industry.

Specialty Kenyan coffees tend to have a medium-to-full body, dazzling acidity, and characteristics that have been likened to black currant (think Cabernet Sauvignon), plus tropical flavors, berry notes, and citrus undertones. Its famous cultivars read like codes — SL28 and SL34 (SL denoting Scott Laboratories, the progenitor of the National Agricultural Lab) — that were found to be tolerant of drought, some diseases, and many pests.


Grown on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania specialty coffee has developed a reputation for bright, clean, medium-bodied, and complex cups. Though the Haya tribe is thought to have brought coffee to Tanzania from Ethiopia, commercial coffee cultivation was introduced by German colonists nearly a century ago and today accounts for approximately 20 percent of the country’s export value.

In the U.S., Tanzania has become known for its peaberry. This moniker refers to a coffee cherry that has only one seed instead of the normal two. Occurring in 5 to 10 percent of coffee cherries, peaberry beans are smaller and rounder than regular coffee beans, which have a flat side.


For a country with less than a 20-year history of producing specialty coffee, Rwanda has developed an outsized reputation. Nearly 80 percent of its total production is specialty-grade. Rwandan coffees, typically based on mutations of Bourbon, a coffee variety, tend toward a sweet and full-bodied experience boasting a wide range of flavor profiles, from red fruit notes (apples, grapes) to a distinct floral character. The country’s high elevation (all of Rwanda is 3,000 feet above sea level) produces dense beans. Roasters with experience know to employ sufficiently high temperatures to avoid an overly acidic profile, as well as roast beans long enough to develop a rich mouthfeel.


Like its northern neighbor Rwanda, tiny Burundi (the size of Maryland) farms the Bourbon variety on mountainous terrain. Farmers often fully wash seeds, soaking both during fermentation and afterward. The practice promotes a clean taste as the protective mucilage is thoroughly removed. Burundi coffees are known for their sweet fig and berry flavors and juicy acidity.

In the 1990s, civil war devastated Burundi’s coffee industry. Drawing inspiration from Rwanda’s post-conflict coffee success, however, Burundi has made strides and lifted the quality of its coffees — the best examples astonish buyers, earning high scores from specialty coffee graders around the globe.

East-African Spritz Recipe

This year has been full of fantastically sweet Ethiopian and Rwandan coffees with pronounced citric acidity. With the weather quickly warming up, margaritas have been on our minds. We thought the sweet citrus of this Rwandan coffee which we just selected for Craft Coffee’s next Tasting Box would make an excellent stand-in for the lime in a classic margarita. However, the tequila base in our initial experiments proved too overpowering, so we decided to switch to a golden rum that would blend well with the exaggerated caramel and lemon notes.

The resulting cocktail is somewhat of a hybrid: the sweet, juicy combination of Detour’s Rwandan coffee with the aged rum is reminiscent of a classic daiquiri, while the delicate, sparkling acidity pairs well with the arancello and orange zest, capturing a spritzer’s refreshing balance. Because this is a relatively low-alcohol cocktail designed to be consumed in quantity at brunch or on a summer’s day, we felt that East-African Spritz — referring to the growing region of the coffee — was the most appropriate name.

Preparation Methods for Rwandan Cooking [ edit | edit source ]

Cooking techniques in the Rwandan cuisine often include combining fish and meat. Flaked and dried fish is sometimes cooked with Chicken, yam, onions, various spices and water to prepare a flavored stew or fried in oil. Eggs and Chicken, as well as seafood are preferred. Cooking is done in multiple ways such as roasting, baking, boiling, mashing, and spicing. Such ingredients as cassava, Peanut, and chili pepper arrived along with the slave trade in the 15th century and they influenced the Rwandan cuisine but not so much the preparation methods, which remained mostly traditional. The most used ingredients used in the Rwandan cuisine include cassava and plantains. cassava plants are mostly consumed as cooked greens. The most traditional meats that are still consumed in some parts of Rwanda are those hunted in the forests. Another interesting specific cooking method involves "Isombe", which are the green leaves from the manioc plant. The leaves get finely mashed and look a bit like spinach while the roots of the plant are used to make flour-like ingredients.

The Bottom Line

While this Rwandan likely didn’t stand up to my favorite Ethiopian or Kenyan coffees, it was quite impressive. It and a few others I have had recently have definitely started to change my assumptions of what is possible from Rwanda.

Andrew Pautler

I'm Andrew—a coffee enthusiast, husband, dad, & designer at Pautler Design. Ever since I discovered specialty coffee, I can't get enough. I've made it my goal to continuously explore the amazing world of coffee and share what I learn with others. I live in St. Louis, MO with my beautiful wife and three kids.

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Chocolate, Nutty, Low-Acid Coffees

Many coffees grown around the world have more mild flavor profiles than those of East African and natural processed coffees. Indian, Indonesian, and some South American coffees are known to have flavor notes of chocolate, caramel, and nuttiness.

The longer a bean is roasted, the more likely it is to have these same flavor notes. Medium and Dark roasted coffees often have the traditional “roast-y” flavor along with notes of chocolate and nut.

These 10 Aeropress recipes have a lower water-to-coffee ratio than recipes for bright and fruity coffees, meaning they use more coffee and create stronger cups that punctuate a good chocolatey coffee.

28. Brock Beauclair // Big Mike's Coffee // Denton, TX

“This brew tends to bring out lighter flavor notes without too much acidity while giving the coffee a lot of body”

Suggested Coffee

“A Yemen coffee was use with this recipe to take 3rd in the DFW Aeropress competition, but it would be perfectly suited for a lighter roasted bean that wasn't too heavy on the acidity”


  • Brew Style: Inverted
  • Coffee: 20 grams
  • Grind Size: Setting 4 on Handground
  • Water: 230 grams at 175F
  • Water-to-Coffee Ratio: 12:1
  • Brew Time: 1:30

  1. Add 50 grams of water at 175F
  2. Swirl Aeropress for 15 seconds
  3. Bloom 30 seconds
  4. Add 170g of water in ten seconds
  5. Plunge 30 seconds into a room temperature cup

29. Jai Lott // Bluestone Lane NY // @coffeewithjai

Flavor notes

“Bold, lingering and medium mouthfeel”

Suggested Coffee

“We use a 3 bean blend of South American”

  • Brew Style: Inverted
  • Coffee: 21 grams
  • Grind Size: Setting 3.5 on Handground
  • Water: 200 grams at 203F
  • Water-to-Coffee Ratio: 10:1
  • Brew Time: 2:06
  1. Wet 2 paper filters
  2. Add 60 grams of water
  3. Stir 3 times
  4. Plunge at 1:30

30. Emily Mock // Rising Star Coffee // Cleveland, OH

Cara from Rising Star Coffee in Cleveland, OH

Flavor notes

“This recipe produces a heavy bodied, dynamic cup of coffee that allows for the consumer to enjoy a fuller, richer aspect of the coffee in question than they may with a pour over.”

Suggested Coffee

“Personally, I prefer to use Central and South American coffees with the Aeropress, as it tends to bring out the warmth and nuttiness that is often overlooked when these coffees are made as pour overs/vacuum pots”

  • Brew Style: Inverted
  • Coffee: 36 grams
  • Grind Size: Setting 1.5 on Handground
  • Water: 340 grams at 210F
  • Water-to-Coffee Ratio: 9:1
  • Brew Time: 1:48
  1. Grind 36g coffee
  2. Add coffee and add 130g water at 210F
  3. Stir vigorously for 30 seconds, screw cap on press
  4. Let steep for 1 minute
  5. While coffee is steeping - add 210 g hot water (210F) to separate vessel
  6. At 1 minute, flip and press concentrate into the 210 g hot water
  7. Press should take 20 seconds. Produces 340g coffee
Flavor notes

“Balanced, with fruity notes of berry and a chocolate aftertaste. The Malic acidity is mid to high. Medium body and smooth body”

Suggested Coffee
  • Brew Style: Inverted
  • Coffee: 18.5 grams
  • Grind Size: Setting 6.5 on Handground
  • Water: 285 grams at 194F
  • Water-to-Coffee Ratio: 15:1
  • Brew Time: 1:30
  1. Bloom with 30g of water for 15 seconds
  2. Stir for other 15 seconds
  3. Add the rest of the water at the 45 second mark
  4. Plunge and serve
Flavor notes

“While the volume of the drink is low I appreciate the almost espresso-like extraction with the heavy body and oily consistency of pulling from a machine. If you're going for a quick punch of caffeine the Aeropress is a joyous beverage creator.”

Suggested Coffee

“Obviously coffee that's the freshest roast date possible, de-gassed about 4 days. My personal preference is a single origin that is flavorful at a City+ to Full City. Lighter roasted coffee's are great fun with the Aeropress but I find the taste goes a little sour for my liking.”

  • Brew Style: Standard
  • Coffee: 20 grams
  • Grind Size: Setting 1.5 on Handground
  • Water: 175 grams at 198F
  • Water-to-Coffee Ratio: 9:1
  • Brew Time: 5:00

The exact instruction on the manual inside the Aeropress box. With a little modification to the ratio.

  1. Add coffee to chamber and level out the grounds by giving it a shake
  2. Start timer, add 241 grams of water
  3. Stir for 10 seconds
  4. Place plunger into the chamber and pull up slightly to create vacuum
  5. Let sit until 1:45, then plunge for 30 seconds

33. Phil Cook // Springfield MO

Flavor notes

“Subtle sweetness underlying a heavy body. This was obtained in part by adding additional calcium and magnesium mineralization [to the water source].”

Suggested Coffee

“Don't use a light roast coffee from a third-wave shop. This method needs a little bit of cell degradation and additional caramelization during roasting to contribute to the body-forward profile.”

  • Brew Style: Standard
  • Coffee: 17 grams
  • Grind Size: Setting 5.5 on Handground
  • Water: 250 grams at 205F
  • Water-to-Coffee Ratio: 15:1
  • Brew Time: 2:18

  1. Use paper filter
  2. Add 17g coffee
  3. Add enough water to cover grounds. Let bloom :30
  4. Fill chamber to 250g. Plug with plunger.
  5. At 1:30 give a quick, whirlpooling stir. Plug with plunger.
  6. At 2:30 press. TDS should come in right at 1.30 with the right grind setting.

34. Jai Lott // Bluestone Lane NY // @coffeewithjai

Flavor notes
Suggested Coffee
  • Brew Style: Inverted
  • Coffee: 14 grams
  • Grind Size: Setting 4.5 on Handground
  • Water: 180 grams at 198F
  • Water-to-Coffee Ratio: 13:1
  • Brew Time: 1:24

  1. Add coffee and water
  2. Stir once
  3. Flip onto cup and plunge

35. Lee Sill // Steadfast Coffee // Nashville TN

Flavor notes

“Front end extraction, focusing on sweetness and most obvious flavors, and a syrupy mouth-feel.”

Suggested Coffee

“Slightly more developed coffees, or "medium" roast profiles.”

  • Brew Style: Inverted
  • Coffee: 15 grams
  • Grind Size: Setting 6.5 on Handground
  • Water: 180 grams at 195F
  • Water-to-Coffee Ratio: 12:1
  • Brew Time: 4:00

  1. Pour 100g of water, stir
  2. Bloom for 30 seconds, stir
  3. Pour remaining 80g, stir
  4. Put the top on and wait. Plunge at 3:30
  5. Use a cloth filter

Dalgona Coffee

Dalgona coffee&mdashit started as a Tik Tok trend and has now exploded all over the internet as the It-Drink of the moment. Is it worth the hype? Only one way to find out.

If you've got instant coffee, sugar, and water on hand, you can make this. It'll go by faster if you have a hand mixer, but a humble regular whisk, one powerful arm, and a good dose of patience and endurance will get you there too&mdashjust make sure you're ready to feel the burn in your triceps and biceps and you'll be rewarded with a nice tall glass of cold, creamy coffee that's sweetened just right. Depending on how much of a caffeine rush you want, this recipe makes enough dalgona fluff for one or two servings. It's delicious but very strong: drink at your own discretion!

If you've made this, let us know in the comments below how you liked it! Love iced coffee? Make sure you give these sweet coffee hacks a try!

A very very Irish Coffee - Best Irish Coffee recipe

This recipe makes one cocktail, so make sure you multiply it if you’ve got a f ew guests round!

  • 4 oz (120 ml) of our Irish Whiskey infused coffee
  • 1 oz (30 ml) of Irish Whiskey. We obviously recommend Egan’s
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • Coffee beans or grounds for garnish
  • Spoon
  • Glass
  • Cocktail shaker with Hawthorne strainer

1. Keep your glass hot

For the best results (which is what you want, right?), pour some hot boiling water into the glass. This will keep your cocktail piping hot for longer! We recommend using a tall cocktail glass for a bar-style Irish coffee.

2. Brew your Irish Whiskey infused coffee

Using a method of your choice such as a French press or an automatic dripper, brew around 4 ounces of our Irish Whiskey infused coffee.

3. Get the cream ready

Whip the cream, but just enough to thicken it a bit. You don’t want to turn it into a fluffy cloud, or else you’ll no longer be able to pour it properly! The best way? Remove the metal spring from your Hawthorne strainer, add it to the shaker, and don’t forget to put on a show.

4. Mix your ingredients

Discard the hot water and make sure that your barman mode is still on. Start by pouring the coffee and adding 1 oz of Egan’s Irish Whiskey. Tip in the sugar, and stir until they’re perfectly combined (check the bottom of the glass to avoid unpleasant granules).

Now grab the spoon and hold it on top of the glass. Got it? Right.

Pour the whipped cream onto it so that it doesn’t sink to the bottom of your glass. This simple trick will allow you to obtain a proper bar-style Irish Coffee with a thin white layer clearly separated from the main black part.

5. Garnish it and enjoy it

If you want to impress your guests or make your cocktail as instagrammable as possible, you can also add a couple of coffee beans or a sprinkle of grounds on top. That’s it. Not too hard, right?

As well as to make the best Irish coffee recipe (or Cold Fashioned or Affogato), our Irish Whiskey infused coffee is also a delight on its own. Whether you want to complement your breakfast with a sweeter taste or indulge in an evening drink that combines the strong flavor of coffee and the toffee and vanilla notes of Irish whiskey, it always ensures the perfect balance.

You can either get it as whole beans or grounds. Or why not make sure you never run out of it with a customizable subscription?

Promoting a New Coffee With a PurposePromoting Coffee With A Purpose

Mike Vilensky

Grace Hightower De Niro, actress, TriBeCa socialite and the wife of actor Robert De Niro, has added coffee entrepreneur to her resume.

Ms. De Niro this year launched Grace Hightower & Coffees of Rwanda, a line of coffees farmed in Rwanda and roasted in Connecticut, that are now being sold at stores like Whole Foods, Union Market and Brooklyn Fare, as well as online. She said she plans to open up a TriBeCa storefront for her coffee within the year.

But before she founded the business, "I had no idea about coffee," she said in an interview. "Other than drinking it."

Ms. De Niro began the company as a philanthropic effort. Coffee, she said, is a cash crop in Rwanda, a country she has been to twice. She said her "resourceful" attorneys and friends helped her put together a business model that benefits Rwandans. "I know a lot more now," she said.

Coffee businesses in New York anchored by celebrities and socialites have been springing up frequently of late.


You can make your own cold brew with any of the recipes here. We chose to nitrogenate our coffee to give it a frothy body, but I’m sure it will taste good still as well.

Combine the water and the sugar in a pan. H eat until the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat, and then add the orange blossom water. Avoid simmering the syrup very long: on one test, I found that a longer cooking time gave the syrup a caramelized flavor that overwhelmed the orange blossom.

Combine the orange juice, sugar, and orange zest in a pan. Simmer the sweetened orange juice with the orange zest for about five minutes, or longer if you’d like, and then pass it through a sieve to remove the solids.

Watch the video: #pickacup #energylove Ο καφές της Παρασκευής! (January 2022).