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 when one of the lots, this Karimikui, turned out to be quite large. That means we can offer it for a longer time, and being vacuum packed at origin like it is, you can be assured the green coffee will remain spectacularly fresh. This is an Peaberry preparation, which comes from the exact same lot sent to the dry mill, which is then screened into AA, AB and PB sizes. These are called "Outturns" in Kenya. Karimikui is one of the washing stations (a sub-coop wet mill) of the Rugento Farmers Cooperative Society, which is in the town of Embu. We have bought some amazing lots from this station in the past as well, and I think this ranks up with the best. The name seems so Asian, Karimikui from Kirinyaga! And it is a classic Kenya tongue twister, in name and in flavor!
This lot of Karimikui is one of those coffees that you just want to sit with for a while to take in all it has to offer. The fragrance is complex and sweet, with an array of tropical fruits, naturally processed sugars, and sweet spices. Hot water brings on an intense smell of brown sugar and nutmeg, as well as papaya and canned pineapple. The break is floral and carries with it a note of caramel sweetness. This is definitely a profile that is subject to roast and peak complexity is found in the City to City+ range - dark roasts will flatten acidity and tone down the fruit flavors. This isn't a wildly fruity coffee like some other Kenyan coffees, but a balance of well developed sugars and mild fruits that become more apparent as the cup cools. This coffee has plenty of creamy caramel sweetness, like those little square Kraft caramels. Valencia orange (juicing oranges), pink lemonade, guava, fruit punch, and green grape are some of the flavors that come to mind as this coffee cools. It's a bodied Kenya and the saturated sweetness makes for a pleasing, juice-like mouthfeel. This would make a great, and not so wild, Kenya single-origin espresso option.