Complex raw sugar and a variety of citrus flavors highlight Gatuyaini AB, especially at City/City+. Pomegranate, cardamom spice, raisin, and a Darjeeling tea accent. Full City builds cocoa bittersweetness too, making for a wonderful Kenya espresso option. City to Full City+.
This coffee is from the Gatuyaini Factory, a washing station more or less. Nothing industrious about it, except for the machinery to wash and depulp coffee cherries! Gatuyaini is one of 19 washing stations that make up the Othaya Farmer's Coopertive Society, a coop-run organization, one of the older ones I might add. Othaya started in the mid-1950s, ballooning from 250 original members to 15,000 strong today. Altitude of the washing station is just shy of 1900 meters, and you mostly see SL-28 and SL-34, along with a little Ruiru mixed in. We keep returning to the societies who regularly produce some of the best Kenya coffees we see, and each year we come across coffees new to us - like Gatuyaini - and this list continues to grow. 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. Like many of the coffees we buy directly, this coffee shipped to us in 46 kg bags.
Citrus fruit and spiced sugar notes line the profile of this AB outturn from Gatuyaini Factory. A clean smell of cinnamon and all-spice comes up from the ground coffee, with spikes of orange-spice tea and maple syrup. The wet aromatics are heavily-laden with caramel sugar smells, near buttery, and a berry/maple syrup smell comes up on the break. We roasted to both City and Full City roast levels for this review, making for quite different cup experiences. Orange citrus brightness is present from light to dark, but most brilliant on the light end of that spectrum (no surprise). This isn't a fruit-bomb cup, are revolves around built-out raw sugar complexity, and a variety of citrus notes. A steady undercurrent of brown sugar and cinnamon hints provide a solid platform for citrus highlights to shine. As the cup cools down a bit, delicate pomegranate, cardamom spice, and herbal tea top notes come into play. Full City roasts show a departure from bold high tones, though still present, and are more like citrus oil rather than fresh juice. Smokey cocoa fills out the middle and finish and is accompanied by plum, clove, raisin, and a Darjeeling tea accent. These darker roasts will make a great Kenya espresso option, much milder acidity, and complimentary fruited-cocoa bittersweetness.