Gakui has everything we hope for in Kenya coffee. Rich developed sugar sweetness, fruit juice flavors, ripe tropical and stone fruits, mandarin orange, brilliant acidity, and even a floral rose water note on top. The complexity builds as it cools, and finishes in such a clean fashion. Well deserving of the 94 point score. City to Full City.
Gakui is located in the town of Embu, at the base of Mount Kenya, just east of Nyeri. THey are part of the Gakundu Farmers Cooperative Society (FCS), which consists of four wet mills in total. The Gakui wet mill (or "factory") was build in 1996, and sits right around 1800 meters on the slopes of the mountain. These wet mill/factories, are collection stations where members deliver coffee cherry for processing and drying. There is careful attention to coffee quality all the way through the pulping, washing, and drying stages at the factory, with members sorting out defects by hand at the raised drying tables (see third photo). The FCS recently purchased a few computers with internet access, affording members with market data as well as vastly speeding up processing of farmer payments. Other benefits to the collective include access to agro-inputs as well as agronomists to help advise on maximizing production. This lot was shipped to us in nitrogen flushed, vacuum sealed bags, ensuring absolute freshness upon arrival.
This PB lot has everything we hope for in a Kenya. A deep and complex sweetness, fresh fruit notes that seem to pile up as the coffee cools, and a heightened acidity level that's necessary to add structure to this complex cup profile. The dry fragrance of City roasts have red berry and dried pineapple, sweet spices and punchy fruits, while the focus of Full City is developed sugar smells and dark fruit and berries. Hot water really sweetens the deal - tropical fruit candy, ripe raspberry, and such a thick scent of creamy caramels. The break is intense too, pectin-sugar sweet, wafting fruit juice smells in the steam and an unmistakable floral note. It's normal for Kenyas to be "highlight" coffees, and for us, this is our most prized Kenya this year. City roasts sparkle with fresh fruit flavors, lots of mandarin orange, honey, and pluot showing in the hot cup. As the cup dips a bit in temp, this coffee comes alive with ripe stone fruit flavors, mango and pineapple juice, tart citrus, and a healthy dose of mulling spices, really bringing about a spiced holiday punch feel. There's a slight rose water note too, especially in lighter roasts, and tops off what is already a superb cup. Roasting toward Full City hides much of the tropical aspects described, and brings out more plum and red grape flavors, dark fruit sweetness, and even a bit! of high % cacao bar (fruited in nature). It's still very "juicy" at this roast level, acidity a bit more integrated, and body bolstered. An absolutely amazing brewed coffee, well-deserving of the 94 points we've given it.