Ndaro-ini has been a favorite from our last season, and I had the chance to visit there after we sold out of the vacuum-packed lot we offered through the holidays in '08. When I visited the mill, the wet-process coffee was all finished for the season, and it was time for the Mbuni (Buni) coffee, the dry-processed pickings at the tail end of the season. It's a true small-holder co-op, so all the farmer-members have 200 or 500 trees, some a generation old. The huge trunks are renewed with aggressive pruning every 7 to 10 years, stumped near the base to encourage new growth. It's truly a sustainable way of farming with long-term vision, and makes up for the fact that they must use some fertilizers and fungal control in Kenya. Organic coffee here is simply not a sustainable practice. Ndaro-ini is one of several coops that are part of the Gikanga Farmers Coop Society. I love this coffee! It is a super-balanced, restrained Kenya that works as a brewed coffee, sweet and resonant, and at FC roast, just to verge of 2nd crack perhaps, produces a beautiful, sweet, bright Single Origin Espresso. Yes, it can be done; Kenya as espresso! The dry fragrance has a resonant berry note, between blackberry and dark currant in character. It's sweet with vanilla and a cane syrup accent to it, and is not overly aggressive, floral or citric as other Nyeri coffees. The wet aroma has more of that syrupy cane sugar sweetness (turbinado sugar), Karo corn syrup too, and a grape candy-like quality. Again, a restrained sweetness and fruit abounds, not the "reach out and attack" type Kenya aromatics that are both so wonderful, but sometimes a bit over-the-top. Again, restraint, balance, body are all immediately impressive in this lot. Mouthfeel is creamy, which compliments the sweetness. Acidity is mild, concord grape, rounded, juicy, with plum and chocolate pudding flavors. Toasted bread notes mark the finish, with caramel, and a slightly winey finish. It's one of the sweetest Kenyas I have cupped this season. As espresso, it is bright, sweet, dynamic, and quite intense too. If you like a vivid and racy "alto" zest to your espresso, clean sweet and soaring in then high notes, this is for you. Mark my roast notes - don't get more than a snap or two into 2nd crack for the espresso, or even a tad before it.