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. We eyed a few quaker beans in the coffee post roast, where this minor defect is most apparent. They're the beans that don't fully roast no matter how far you develop your roast. Tan in color, and often with a "swelled" appearance next to the other beans, they're easily identified and can be picked out, or not! They should not affect your brew batch in very low numbers.
Dark fruits ala blackberry and plum hit full stride at City+, where balance between developed raw sugar sweetness and moderate citrus-like acidity is found. The dry fragrance has a smell of honey and graham cracker crust, along with a subtle cinnamon spice note, and berry juice. The wet crust is candy-like in sweetness, like fresh caramel or toffee, with suggestions of orange spice and cinnamon stick coming up in the steam on the break. City to City+ roasts are the brightest cups, an orange citrus-like flavor as well as acidity, most apparent City and City+ roasts. Central to the profile, this citric aspect cuts through a deep caramel to fruit pectin sweetness, and notes of mixed berry, kumquat, and loads of sugar browning sweetness. Once you pass City+, fruited flavors take on a darker hue, black plum and Mission fig come to mind, while retaining much of the citric brightness sensed in the lighter roasts. Being that acidity is much more moderate than our brightest Kenyas (8.7 as opposed to 9.2+!), this is a good espresso option. Full City roasts produce an inky bodied shot, ushering in flavors of chocolate syrup, which anchor citric top notes, and plum fruit flavors.