This coffee was processed as decaf at the Swiss Water plant in Vancouver BC, where a non-solvent based method is used to remove 99.9% of the caffeine from green coffee beans, while leaving much of the original flavor intact. The Karatina factory sits in east Nyeri county, named after the surrounding Karatina town. It's another member of the Barichu Farmer's Cooperative Society ("FCS"), where we've purchased many lots in the past - Gatomboya, Gaturiri, etc - whose name to us is synonymous with quality and consistency. The society has topped 1000 members, all of whom grow varietals SL-28, SL-34, and Ruiri-11. These individual factories are responsible for wet milling - pulping, fermenting, washing, and raised bed drying.
Kenya Karatina's as decaf makes for an interesting cup, unlike most other decafs in acidity level, and with a balanced sweetness that is especially showcased in the City+ to Full City roast levels. The dry fragrance has a smell of dried orange peel, with graham cracker crumble, and black tea leaf highlights. The wetted crust has palm sugar smell to it, with shaved orange peel and light berry notes coming up in the steam. When brewed, the lighter roasts show a nice lemon/citric aspect in the cup, zesty and tart. I think City+ is about as light as I'd go with this coffee (and most decafs in general), a level of roast conducive to bringing about balanced bittersweetness, with plenty of citric-like acidity still shining bright. As the cup cools it opens up to a sweetness that's like date sugar, and with citrus and ripe apple elements. The finish has a barley maltiness, and though an aftertaste of bran and wheat cereals remind us this is decaf, herbal accents and bright acidity are what's most memorable about the cup.