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|Drying Method||Raised Bed Sun-Dried|
|Arrival date||August 2017 Arrival|
|Cultivar Detail||SL-28, SL-34, Ruiru 11|
|Appearance||.8 d/300gr, 15-17 Screen|
|Roast Recommendations||City to City+; this recommendation is in order to achieve the floral aspect I describe - Full City roasts are still delicious, but the perfumed jasmine will be mostly lost|
This "Nyeri FCS" coffee is a blend of AB screen size coffees from the factories of a few different Farmer Cooperative Societies ("FCS") in Nyeri County. These factories are where hundreds to thousands of farmer members deliver their coffee to a central washing station where it is then processed, separated by screen size, and then blended into separate process batches. Farmer Cooperative Societies are the umbrella organizations who help their member factories with matters of agronomical support, logistics, interacting with marketing agencies, transparency, and much more. We were pretty blown away by the quality of this coffee, as the physical condition is not what we'd necessarily equate with our typical 92 point cup. It's not that the coffee looks defective of anything, but there are several beans that are what we consider "secondary defects", which means they are technically a defective bean but with a high allowance as they have little to no effect on the cup flavor. You'll see several shell beans, which look like a hollowed out bean, a genetic defect that for some reason seem to be more common in the SL varieties grown in Kenya. They're typically sorted out during dry milling, but this lot still has quite a few (hence the higher .8d/300 gr defect count). I personally wouldn't worry too much about them, as we did not remove before cupping and were pleased with the beautiful cup. There are a lot of chipped beans too, and while they didn't affect the cup of my light roasts, the smaller pieces could impart an ashy roast taste to more developed roasts since they are less dense than the regular sized beans, and are likely to develop more rapidly during roasting.
The dry fragrance of our lightest roast (City) showed dark grape and berry smells, and underscored by malty sweetness, like caramel malted grains. The former aspects are strengthened in the wet aromatics, and a scent of orange comes up in the steam, along with winey berry accents. Full City roasts boost bittersweet chocolate smells, and a hint of raspberry chocolate syrup is revealed. Intense fruited flavors are undeniable in the brewed coffee, and build in strength as the cup cools. A Concord grape flavor is unearthed as you move through the cup, as are flavor accents of passionfruit, and dried raspberry. But what's perhaps most unexpected with this Kenya, is the complex floral aroma. A distinct floral top note that's like stargazer lily, adds an elegant perfumed quality to the cup in a way that few Kenya's share. It reminds me a lot of Yirga Cheffee coffee actually, and what seems like a delicate aromatic top note, thankfully lingers on into the finish. The sweetness is like unrefined sugar, and somewhere between rice syrup and fresh pressed cane juice that settles in nicely with moderate lemon-like brightness. Full City roasts manage to pull out pungent roast tones that add a layer of cocoa to the fruited flavors, and actually muted the floral aspect quite a bit. Still a delicious, fruited Kenya cup, but having tasted the blossomy complexity of a City roast, I'll be steering clear of darker roast levels myself.