2021 Iridescent Counter Culture Winter Blend is a Gift to All

Counter Culture does it again! Another year, another great coffee blend.
iridescent counter culture

This year’s Iridescent Counter Culture Winter Blend is a special coffee. It includes coffees from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Latin America that have been combined to create something truly amazing. The flavor profile of this coffee is full-bodied and features notes of dark chocolate and berry. This is the perfect blend for those who enjoy a good cup in their morning routine or want to share it with friends and family around the holidays!

The Iridescent blend is all part of Counter Culture’s Seeds fund project. It’s their way of giving back to the people and places that have given them and you such incredible coffee over the years. Want to know more? Read on!


What is Iridescent Counter Culture Winter Blend?

Each year, Counter Culture created a special Iridescent winter blend to raise awareness for their Seeds program. This year, they’ve gifted us with the Iridescent Blend which includes coffees from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Latin America.

This seasonal winter blend is meant to celebrate the people and places that have given Counter Culture such incredible coffee over the years. The flavor profile is full-bodied and has a creamy finish.


How can I get my hands on some Iridescent Blend Coffee?

Counter Culture has limited quantities of this year’s Iridescent blend, so be sure to grab some while you still can! You can find it at your local Counter Culture retailer or online. I grabbed the last bag at my local Whole Foods. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be available online everywhere, but there are plenty of other delicious Counter Culture options available.


Flavor: Does it taste good?

My love for Ethiopian coffees has blossomed in the past year. It’s my go-to variety when I try a new brand of coffee. So, when I learned that this year’s Iridescent blend heavily featured coffees from that origin, I was really looking forward to trying it.

Counter Culture did not let me down. This coffee is flavorful and complex with notes of dark chocolate and berry. The fruity flavor is quite pronounced (happy noises). When I first opened the sealed bag I was immediately engulfed by the sweet fruity aroma and it tasted even better than it smelled.


Roast: How dark do we get?

Like many specialty coffees, this is a light roast. The short roast time brings out the sweet flavors of this special blend. I was able to taste all three origin’s characteristics in every cup. There aren’t any dark or smokey flavors, so if you’re a fan of dark roasts look elsewhere on Counter Culture’s site.

I would recommend this coffee to people who enjoy light roast coffees or those looking for an Ethiopian flavored cup without getting too crazy on the acidity. I also think it’d make a great gift! This is true especially if you know someone with a sweet tooth because they’ll be obsessed (okay, maybe not obsessed but definitely really like).


Body: Heavy or Smooth?

This coffee has a medium body. It’s not too heavy and it’s quite creamy. I had this as my afternoon brew and it was perfect for a relaxing cup. I didn’t feel weighed down after drinking it and the flavor profile was sweet enough to offset my desire for an afternoon sugary treat.


Strength: Does it lift?

While it’s not a weak coffee, it also won’t knock you out of your chair. The caffeine content is about average for a light roast coffee. I would say it has enough caffeine to give you a lift without making you feel jittery or anxious.


What Is Counter-Culture’s Seeds Program?

A portion of all sales goes back into these communities through funding projects in clean water, healthcare & medical training, education initiatives, agricultural development like livestock care and sustainable farming techniques, and gender equity.

The Seeds program is Counter Culture’s way of giving back to the people and places that have given them and you such incredible coffee over the years. Want to know more? Read on!

Each year, Counter Culture creates a special blend to raise awareness for their Seeds program. This year, they’ve gifted us with the Iridescent Blend which includes coffees from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Latin America.


The Counter Culture Coffee Story

There are many great coffee brands on the market today, but one story stands out among them: The Counter Culture journey has spanned over 25 years and four generations of passionate people who love what they do; it is a company that focuses on people before profits—and their motto says it best: “We’re not in business for our health.” TCC believes that small farmer co-ops should be paid fairly for their labor (which isn’t always the case with other companies), which helps improve quality while also ensuring economic fairness across entire communities. They believe everyone deserves excellent coffee, and it’s high quality ingredients that make a cup special.


Get to Know Counter Culture Coffee!

I’ve been drinking Counter Culture Coffee since I started blogging about specialty coffee. They have been one of my go-to companies for beans from day one because of their commitment to helping small farmer co-ops by paying them fairly. When you buy a bag of Iridescent blend or any other Seeds program coffees not only are you getting an excellent product but also supporting the work they do in bringing farmers together through shared values and commitments to quality. Past year’s seed blends allowed Counter Culture to support Women’s Education Through Farm Training (Uganda), The Bean Growing & Processing Co-op (Lacandon, Mexico), and the Finca el Suelo Project (El Salvador).


iridescent counter culture

How to brew it

I ground the beans just a little finer than medium (as I do with most light roasts). I find that this consistency allows specialty light roasts to shine. The brew time was around three minutes total (including the bloom). I set my gooseneck electric water kettle set to a temperature of 209 degrees Fahrenheit.

I don’t like to go full boiling when brewing with a pour over. I would rather grind a little finer and use that as the way the flavor is extracted instead of searing the flavor out of my precious beans. I used a #2 filter and then I did the pour over dance.

I am very pleased at how this coffee turned out. It’s fruity and tasty with notes of dark chocolate (and not bitter). That makes it good in my book! This is definitely one to try if you like lighter roasts or are looking for an introduction to specialty coffees from Ethiopia. If you aren’t sure where to start, give Counter Culture a try and they’ll send their delicious coffee right to your door.


The verdict

This coffee is a real winner in my book! I will definitely be purchasing more of it when it becomes available again. If you’re a fan of Ethiopian coffees, or just looking for something new and different to try, I highly recommend giving this Counter Culture blend a shot. You won’t regret it. Take a drink and with good cheer!

In case you missed this great coffee, read some of our other coffee bean reviews that stay around all year.

Kris Silvey

I've been drinking coffee my entire life, from a little boy stealing coffee off the counter to an adult (who still steals his wife's coffee occasionally). I'm passionate about exploring the world of coffee and finding another great roast to experience.