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Counter Culture Slow Motion Decaf

Roaster: Counter Culture
Roast: Medium
Origin: Guatemala and Peru (Blend)
Decaffeination Method: Swiss Water Process
Taste: Dark chocolate, cherry, cream

The Roaster

Counter Culture Coffee has been a major player in the third wave coffee world for almost 30 years now. In fact, they were on the ground floor of the very movement. Since its founding in 1995, Counter Culture has helped blaze the trail for carefully sourced coffee. 

They’ve also played a major role in coffee development and production. Their regional training centers and their Counter Intelligence coffee education program have been crucial resources for coffee lovers. In 2008, they created the ​​Counter Culture Direct Trade Certification, which has found acclaim as a benchmark for sustainability, fairness, and transparency in coffee production. And their beans have remained tasty throughout.

But we here at DecafLife have to set this aside as we address our most important concern: The Decaf Question. How does Counter Culture’s decaf blend stack up against the competition? Is their decaf on par with their caffeinated offerings?

Counter Culture Decaf

The Roast

To answer this, I recently sampled their Slow Motion Decaf. Slow Motion is a medium roast, made from a 50/50 blend of Guatemalan La Voz, and Peruvian Decaf. Counter Culture’s website also offers blend information dating back for months. This kind of touch is always welcome, and speaks to strong roaster values. Even better, the bag informed me that the coffee was roasted only eight days before I purchased it. 

Slow Motion is decaffeinated with the Swiss Water Process. The aroma first gave me hints of vanilla and milk chocolate. It also contained a lovely note of fruitiness, specifically hints of raisin and figs.

Flavor Notes

I brewed the coffee in a pour over, my preferred method for reviewing beans and drinking coffee, using an OXO Brew Gooseneck at 201°. I was immediately struck by the silky-smooth mouthfeel, which came on with a distinctly creamy texture. This is one of the most notable aspects of Slow Motion, and it’s a key reason I recommend the beans.

The milk chocolate aroma became a strong dark chocolate taste as I sipped. To my palette, it tasted fairly dark, perhaps in the range of 80% chocolate. I found similarly dark tones of smoke throughout, with enough tartness to provide balance. It presents as quite acidic to me, which was my only complaint. It doesn’t come on as very sweet either. When I tried some with a splash of half ‘n half, the acidity balanced quite nicely. If you drink your coffee with cream, the bold flavors of Slow Motion will make it a great option for you.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I’m quite impressed by Counter Culture’s Slow Motion Decaf. Although the acidity felt a tad strong, this was easily balanced out by the pleasant combination of strong dark chocolate and a near cherry-like tartness. I certainly recommend Slow Motion, and I look forward to reviewing their second decaf offering, Decaf Urcunina.

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