Kiangoi is a "factory," a coffee mill in Kenya terminology, from the Kirinyaga growing district. It is a cooperative coffee, one of the processing stations of the Rung'eto Farmers Cooperative Society. In a coop, each member is tending to only 200-500 trees on less than a hectare, as opposed to a huge estate that uses agribusiness growing methods. I think it shows in the cup too. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to visit Kiangoi, as it is the second time we have offered this specific coop coffee. I usually head in the direction of Nyeri to visit coops we have worked with more extensively, and Kirinyaga is the opposite way, to the East and away from the Aberdare zone. But we have had so many nice Kirinyaga lots lined up for 2010, I think I must spend more time there! The pictures with this review are SL-28 cultivar, the predominate type in Kirinyaga, which is a Bourbon hybrid from the 1930s developed by Scot Labs, and absolutely the best Kenya cultivar for cup quality. This is a nicely prepared Peaberry lot from the same out-turn as our other Kiangoi offerings.
Aromatically, this coffee has bold fruit and dark sugar smells, not-so distant baking spices, and is reminiscent of red tropical punch. Hot water brings up a strong smell of raw sugar, and a note of vanilla extract. There's a syrupy sweetness found in the crust, caramel and grape, and breaking the crust finds dark sugars and maple below. The cup is bright and sweet, with aspects of tart fruit like pomegranate and pink grapefruit, as well as mingling of red berries and tropical fruits. It's a high-toned coffee, citric acidity in full force. Sweetness runs deep, and flavors of brown, burned sugars ride out through the long finish. Darker roasts have a muscat grape flavor, a floral retronasal response. There's a nice bittering touch of citrus zest in the finish too, along with mouth-cleansing black tea. This Kiangoi PB is a nicely bodied coffee but not heavy per se, and will the potent sweetness and fruit juice flavors will make a surprising and very bright espresso given a long post-roast rest period of 3-4 days.