Gatomboya is a coffee washing station, a wet mill, a coffee factory. By "factory", it does NOT mean they make mugs, custom hats and vacuum bottles. A "factory" is a wet mill where the coop members bring coffee cherry for pulping, fermenting, washing, drying. It's not the factory as we might imagine it. Small washing stations are aligned with a particular "society" which is what they call a cooperative in Kenya. We've had great lots of Gatomboya the past few years, which is part of the same cooperative group as Gaturiri: Barichu FCS (Farmers Cooperative Society). This has been one of the most expensive coffees from Kenya in previous seasons we bought it, partly because it was sourced direct from the cooperative to secure it's purchase. We don't want to risk entering the auction with a great coffee like this, but it means paying a premium to ensure the final cost is at or above what the auction price might be. This year we brought in 46 and 60 KG bags as opposed to the vacuum sealed again. It gives us more flexibility with the volumes we offer on Shrub, and the quality remains intact with grain-pro just fine.
This AB lot of Gatomboya really 'pops' on the cupping table, a myriad of fruited notes and developed sugar sweetness. The dry fragrance is highlighted by candied sugar and honey, and subtle citruspeel. Hot water brings up a smell of baked sugar (a 'browning' scent) in the steam, some cooked fruit underneath, and a buttery maple sweetness revealed in the steam when breaking through the wet crust. Allusions to floral notes are apparent in the aroma, and really take shape in the brewed coffee. There's an herbaceous/floral aspect in the cup that's like a mix of pansy and basil. More of an afterthought in the hot cup, but gaining prominence as the temp dips. Acidity rides high in City and City+ roasts (I imagin in Full City too, though I didn't go that dark), orange juice brightness and flavor, tart blackberry juice, and a tropical punch note in the finish. Much more is revealed in the cooling cup, and our notes included anise and mint notes, dark grapefruit, unrefined sugars, and hoppy ale. The profile changes quite a bit along the roast spectrum, and that said, our preferred roasts were on the lighter end of that roast range - City to City+. In past years we've had great results using dark roasts as single-origin espresso, and I have no doubt that this year's lot will shine as well.