Kiaguthu Factory is a washing station located in on the slopes of the Abedares mountain range in Neyri county. The station site sits at about 1800 meters above sea level, and acts as a collection site for member farmers in the surrounding hills to deliver their coffee for processing and export. Factories are effectively cooperatives, in that they're run by a member-appointed committee. Farmers in the region grow mainly Sl-28 and SL-34, with small amounts of Ruiru mixed in, and farms reach as high as 2000 meters above sea level. Kiaguthu is one of several coffees we picked up from Othaya Farmer's Cooperative Society (FCS), an FCS that includes an impressive amount of wet mills, 18 in all, dating back to the late 1950s. Coffee is kept processed and kept separate by day or even weekly deliveries at the factory in order to identify quality. The separated batches are then run through screens in order to separate beans by size, the most common being AA (17-19 screen), AB (15-17 screen), and Peaberry. These are called "outturns". This lot is a peaberry outturn, a genetic defect of sorts, where only one seed receives nourishment, growing into a single, round bean. These are often quite dense, which means they can handle a bit more heat in the roaster than their flat bean counterparts. I found this coffee to achieve fairly even coloring when roasting, even at light roasts, making it fairly easy to judge roast development.
The dry grounds of Kiaguthu have a smell of sweet spices, powdered ginger and clove, backed by refined sweetness that reminds me of ginger chew candies or "Clove" chewing gum. The wet aroma of City roasts shows a combination of orange marmalade and clove soda, with impressive sweetness, and a complex spice-laden baked apple smell punctuating the break. The cup proves to show a sachet of spice notes when hot, giving way to a flavor of pumpkin spice tea, nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon. City roasts were our brightest cups, citrus in both flavor and acidity, notes of pink grapefruit, blood orange, and mandarin come up as the cup cools, along with subtle accents of shaved orange peel, stewed pear, and a plum flavor that recalls both the sweetness of the ripe flesh, and tart outer skin. Our Full City roast had juicy mouthfeel, with dense overlay of cocoa tones, underscored by notes of dark grape juice and a spearmint hint in the finish. A lovely peaberry Kenya that brews incredibly well in the light to middle roast ranges.