Thageini Factory is part of Aghuti Farmers Cooperative Society (FCS), an FCS that includes a few other stations we buy from: Gititu and Kagumo. It's not the "factory" as we might imagine it. "Factories" are essentially small washing stations aligned with a particular "society" in Kenya, what we would call a "cooperative". We return to the societies who seem to regularly produce some of the best Kenya coffees, and each year we come across societies that are new to us as well: such as Aghuti. This coffee was purchased direct, not through the Kenya auction system, so we could avoid the risk of losing it. To do this we pay a price that is higher than what the top auction bid might be, but it means we get the exact lot we want. Thageini has over 900 members, many with less than 1 hectare of coffee trees, the majority a mix of SL-28 and SL-34 cultivars. Farmers deliver their coffee cherry to the factory where it is bought as whole coffee cherry, sorted by ripeness, wet processed, and dried on raised beds. There is hand sorting all along the way, and even more hand sorting after the thin parchment layer is removed at the dry mill. This is an AA outturn, meaning the big bean size, 17-19 screen. This does not always translate to better cup quality, but in the case of the AA, AB, and PB lots we tasted, this was clearly the best of the bunch!
Thageini is a 'big' smelling coffee, tropical fruit and citrus notes lining the aromatic profile. The fragrance of City roasts are perfumed with a smell of passion fruit and apple juice, followed by a spiced accent that gives off the impression of mulling spiced apple cider. It's a super sweet smelling coffee, sugary smells are candy-sweet, and the wet aroma is blossoming with maple-backed fruit smells like pomegranate and juicing oranges. Citrus is the first flavor I can think of when sipping the hot cup, like pink grapefruit, brilliant, tart, and sweet. Sweetness is bolstered with allusions to raw sugar, a 'clean' sweetness, easily supporting the weight of fruited top notes. The cool cup reveals many, many fruit flavor - fresh plum, boysenberry, Valencia oranges (common "juicing" orange), Welch's grape juice, and pineapple name a few. Complex fruit flavors are followed closely by ground cinnamon, and to much lighter degree, all-spice notes. Acidity is bright, citric, especially in the City to City+ roast region and cleanses the palate like orange juice. Darker roasts show a milk chocolate and hazelnut side in the finish too, that we found to add elegance to an already complex cup. Being an AA outturn, the beans are large, and in this case mean a little deceiving to judge the lightest roasts. I recommend waiting til the end of 1st snaps to pull if trying to achieve something close to City in order to make sure the interior is roasted. If using a popper, or a machine with limited heat control, pulling closer to the end of 1st crack (not stopped altogether) is safe for City.