Kii makes a lively cup, loaded with pink grapefruit and fresh orange juice, a cane sugar/simple syrup sweetness, and floral citrus oil. This is "Kenya" coffee all the way, vibrant citric acidity, and a nice flavor of spice orange marmalade. City to City+.
This coffee comes to us from the Kii factory, located in the Kiamabara growing area. This is a cooperative coffee - part of the Rung'eto Farmers Cooperative Society - but in Kenya they're called "factories" which is quite fitting really. I think of factories as an assembly line of sorts, where there is absolute consistency to the product output. This rings true for coffees that come from many of the Kenya factories we deal with. Year after year they have an astonishing ability to consistently produce sweet, clean, and complex coffees. Like most of the cooperatives in the area, members tend to much smaller plots of coffee trees than their estate farm competition, thus having more control over the production of ripe cherry. The average altitude is right around 1900 masl and most of the small holder farmers contributing to this washing station grow SL-28 cultivar (Bourbon hybrid from the 1930's developed by Scot Labs). This Peaberry lot is beautifully prepped, and we think it cupped better than the AA and AB lots we sampled from this same area.
This lot from Kii is so nice and brilliant at lighter roast levels, and has a candied citrus sweetness throughout the profile. Dark roasts are nice too, but at Full City the acidity becomes muted and might be best left for those who enjoy wild and bright espresso. At City to City+ the dry grounds smell like citrus candy - floral orange hard candies and lemon drops come to mind - and have a sweet scent of light brown sugar. A mix of caramel and cinnamon scents are apparent in the wet grounds along with a super sweet smell of orange juice and red honey on the break. This is a bright, lively cup, sensed fully sensed in a hot brew. Citrus flavors are a central characteristic of cup profile at City to C+ roast level, with "Orange Julius" and pink grapefruit juice dominating the cooling cup. There is a floral aspect of citrus too, a retronasal response, like orange essence oil. Sweetness runs deep, these light roasts furnishing cane sugar or simple syrup sweetness. As the cup cools, a vibrant citric acidity is attention-grabbing, and with spiced accents provides a flavor of spiced orange marmalade spread. If the tone is too bright, edging toward Full City roast tames the acidity "punch" (also adding cocoa roast tones), but City to City+ is where this coffee really sings. It's a bodied Kenya cup and definitely one that stood out in this year's early-arriving Kenya selections.