The cup has citrus brightness with additional citrus rindy notes, grapefruit and true lemon, a bracing brightness. As the cup cools, the lighter roasts seem incredibly potent in their brightness. City+ to Full City offer more balance in the cup.
Guama is a "factory," a coffee mill in Kenya terminology, from the Kirinyaga growing district. It is a cooperative coffee, one of the processing stations of the Baragwi Farmers Cooperative Society located in Kianyaga town. While we like estate coffees, oftentimes the qualities from cooperatives is superior. In a coop, each member is tending to only 200-500 trees on less than a hectare, as opposed to a huge estate that uses agribusiness growing methods. I think it shows in the cup too. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to visit Guama, as it is the first time we have offered this specific coop coffee. I usually head in the direction of Nyeri to visit coops we have worked with more extensively, and Kirinyaga is the opposite way, to the East and away from the Aberdare zone. But we have had so many nice Kirinyaga lots lined up for 2010, I think I must spend more time there! The pictures with this review are SL-28 cultivar, the predominate type in Kirinyaga. This is a Bourbon hybrid from the 1930s developed by Scot Labs, and absolutely the best Kenya cultivar for cup quality.
This is a nicely prepared Peaberry lot, as we have seen many mixed with quite a lot of flatbean (not that it matters if the cup is good!) The fragrance from the dry grounds has a peach scent, and very sweet as well. It reminds me of the canned peaches in syrup, well, not the "can" per se. It's also malty, with a light praline-almond nut character at City roast. The wet aroma is a bit surprising. Light roasts are rather pungent and are marked by a slight tobacco note. Unlike many other coffees, it is actually sweeter at Full City roast, at least aromatically, where the cup has a ginger snap scent to it. There is a honey sweetness as well and it also comes through in the aftertate. In the cup, Guama is of great interest flavor wise because of the complex relation between brightness, sweetness, and this aggressive note particular to Kenyas. Of the later, it is slightly winey, somewhat minerally in accent, and lingering and vivid bright-souring note on the tongue. Sour sounds unattractive, and this is very attractive, but heck, it's sour! I used to call it "tongue-twisting East Africa flavor", something in the cup that seems to grab hold of the tongue and take it for a ride while the coffee sits on the palate. While it might sound unattractive and, well, rude, it's what can make a Kenya complex and unique too. The cup has citrus brightness with additional citrus rindy notes, grapefruit and true lemon, a bracing brightness. As the cup cools, the lighter roasts seem incredibly potent in their brightness. City+ to Full City offer more balance in the cup.