A delicate and refined Kenya, with citrus brightness, lemon-like notes, maple syrupy mouthfeel, pink grapefruit as it cools. With the right roast the cup shimmers; it is a matter of developing the sweetness as a counterpoint to the refined acidity, without overdoing it with roast taste. City+.
Kiunyu is one of two coffee "factories" of the Karithathi Farmer Cooperative Society in Kianyaga town, Kirinyaga district of the Kenya highlands. A factory is a wet mill in Kenya vernacular, where to cooperative farmers bring their coffee cherry fruit for processing. The fact is, in blind cupping we found that both of the Karithathi coops, Kiunyu and the other one, Kabingara, were just excellent this year. Kiunyu is situated at 1644 meters, and serves farmers in the villages of Kianduma, Kiambuku, Kiambatha, Gature and Kiamuki. Its membership currently stands at 1100, making it one of the larger coops in the area, quite near the protected forests of Mount Kenya. The region has deep, fertile well drained red volcanic soils which are ideal for coffee production. The farms in the area are planted with the SL-34 Kenya Bourbon varietal. It was a very competitive year in the Kenya auctions, and the prices reflected the high demand for a much smaller than average harvest. We found many great coffees from the Kirinyaga district, and were pretty excited with the quality of this lot from Kiunyu.
The fragrance from the dry grounds have a delicate sweetness, pear juice, sweet flame grape and malt syrup in the lighter roasts, and darker caramel notes as the roast approaches Full City. Adding the hot water, the wet aromatics have a restrained fruit sweetness, shifting toward green grape in the light roast and ginger cookie as the roast level darkens. The cup is very refined and perhaps less intense overall than some Kenyas. But what it lacks in heft, it makes up in it's singular refinement. Articulate citrus brightness, delicately lemon-like, make way for a more tartaric grape note as the cup cools off slightly. City+ roast is brilliant. A fine maple syrupy mouthfeel and sweetness are primary to the cup, and provide a great sweet backdrop to the bright notes. The aftertaste seems shorter when the cup is hot, but lengthens considerably as it cools, while the brightness intensifies toward pink grapefruit character. With the right roast the cup shimmers; I feel it is a matter of developing the sweetness in the coffee during roast as a counterpoint to this wonderful and refined acidity, without overdoing it with roast taste.