Complex flavor matrix, transparent simple syrup sweetness, tart lemon-lime, cranberry sauce, concord grape juice, and orange zest, and a grabby citric acidity. Great at a fairly wide roast range. City to Full City.
Riakiberu Factory is located in Muranga District in Kenya's Central Province. The wet mill is very old, built up in the late 1950's for members in the surrounding villages. Like most factories, the wet mill site is where farmers deliver whole coffee cherry to be processed through the wet mill, then dried before moving to dry milling facilities where the coffee is prepared for export. Riakiberu sits at roughly 1750 meters above sea level (some farmers at much higher elevations), and situated near the Ndurumo River from which they are able to channel fresh water to be used for wet processing, which is then re-circulated withou being put back into the river. Riakiberu is part of the Kamacharia Farmers Cooperative Society who currently serves over 1500 farmer members. This is the AB separation from this particular outturn, and we bought the slightly larger screen size AA outturn as well, as well as a Peaberry selection coming to Shrub in a few days.
The AB selection of Riakiberu has a sweet-fruited mix in terms of fragrance and aroma, layers of unrefined sugars like turbinado and sucanat are woven through a patchwork of dark grape and rindy citrus aromatics. It's an alluring set of smells to say the least, a complex matrix of tart to sweet fruits, baking spice hints, and inherent core coffee sweetness in the light and middle roasts. The stage is set for an exciting brew, which is what you'll get in a City to Full City roast range, a fairly wide roast range. As you move into tasting the brewed coffee at City level, the sweetness takes on more of a transparent characteristic, which makes me think of simple syrup, a persistent sweetness, but much less "pungent" than say molasses or sugarcane juice. This level of sweetness is more than sufficient to prop up layers of tart citrus, lemon-lime, and a rindy-ness that also defines a "grabby" acidity. A juicy red fruit flavor comes through in these light roasts as well, like sweetened cranberry juice or sauce. I roasted one batch to somewhere in between City+/Full City (about 25 - 27 degrees of development past the beginning of 1st crack), and the fruit flavors make a return to the grape that was sensed in the aromatics, a flavor of concord grape juice, along with dark berry accents, and boost in body as well. Acidity is moderate in these deeper roasts too, like orange juice with a dash of shaved orange zest.