This is actually from the Kibirigwi Farmer's Cooperative in the Kirinyaga region, but they take their coffee up to the Ngugu-ini factory to be washed. The Ngugu-ini factory is on a foothill of Mt. Kenya (tallest mountain in the country), and uses fresh river water from the mountain. So it has those two things going for it. Plus, the farmers grow the SL-28 and SL-34 varietal which has that black currant, red wine taste that you find in the classic legendary Kenya coffees. The varietal is low-producing and hard to grow plant, but the farmers who grow them are well-rewarded for their effort, as you can see in the price for this coffee.
This bean is pretty easy to roast but the landing can be tricky. What I try for is about 30 seconds past the end of the 1st cracks. If you're a couple degrees too light, you get more citrusy flavors, namely grapefruit which is not a bad thing. But if you get it past that, you get the red wine, blackberry, currant, juicy Kenya that I love and look for every year. And if you accidentally go a few degrees too dark you get less juiciness and the flavors flatten out, although it's still a great mug of coffee. But right at the sweet spot you will taste a coffee that starts with tart currant/blackberry, has that Kenya acidic Grapefruit acidity dancing on your tongue, and then it ends with a tart grape dryness much like a dry red wine feels in your mouth.
US Arrival March 2021
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