A carefully harvested and sorted lot from one of Kenya's top cooperatives. Lively and bright with balanced ripe, sweet orange notes, moderate acidity, and a mulling spice blend (cinnamon, allspice, a touch of clove). Secondary layer of apricot, and as it cools a touch of pink grapefruit and mature meyer lemon. It strikes a perfect sweet and sour balance, with cane sugar and lemon juice evident in the aftertaste. City to Full City, but don't go beyond that or the origin character will be lost.
Kiamabara is one of the "factories", or wet-processing mills, that is part of the Mugaga cooperative cluster. Coops are called "societies" in Kenya. Kiamabara was one of the stars of our Kenya line-up in '09, with the Peaberry and the fancier AA lot coming in amazing. On returning to Kenya the second time in late 2009, I made sure to spend a full day with the Mugaga coop officers, and see the coffee harvest in full swing at their factories. Kiamabara was just starting to be harvested, since Nyeri is picked a bit later than the lower and larger farms of Kiambu, Embu, Ruiru, Etc. I visited some of the small-holder farmers to see the coffee on the trees, as well as the factory itself to see parchment coffee drying on the beds. One of the main factors that elevate the quality of Kenya coffees is the fact that the pickers harvest selectively, then, before they turn their coffee in at the mill, re-sort the cherry again, removing under-ripes and over-ripes. It's a critical step, and one you can taste in the cup. This AA lot was one of our more expensive coffees out of Kenya, but well worth it. (And when we pay more, the premium is returned directly to the cooperative and it's farmers, so we don't mind!) It is a interesting and balanced Kenya flavor profile. The Kiamabara has a very sweet, brown sugar-like dry fragrance, with citrus flower accents. There's a suggestion of orange spice tea, and that comes into focus in the wet aroma. There's also a very sweet rose bloom aromatic on the break. The cup is lively and bright but proportionally balanced too. Orange and spice are the main theme with the cup flavors. Ripe and sweet orange notes with moderate acidity provide the fruit, and a mulling spice blend (cinnamon, allspice, a touch of clove) provide the zest. There is a secondary layer of apricot fruit, and as it cools a touch of pink grapefruit and mature meyer lemon. It strikes a perfect sweet and sour balance, with cane sugar and lemon juice evident in the aftertaste.