Karimikui a cooperative from the Kirinyaga district. A complex cup with layers of taste: sweet "sugar browning" notes, tropical fruit, herbal, and slight rustic notes, orange marmalade, mango, syrupy body, caramel-butterscotch sweetness, candied fruit ... a classic Kenya tongue twister in name and flavor! City to Full City+ roast levels.
It was a very competitive year in the Kenya auctions, and the prices reflected the high demand for a much smaller than average harvest. We found many great coffees from the Kirinyaga district, and were pretty excited when one of the lots, this Karimikui, turned out to be quite large. That means we can offer it for a longer time, and being vacuum packed at origin like it is, you can be assured the green coffee will remain spectacularly fresh. This is an Peaberry preparation, which comes from the exact same lot sent to the dry mill, which is then screened into AA, AB and PB sizes. These are called "Outturns" in Kenya. Karimikui is one of the washing stations (a sub-coop wet mill) of the Rugento Farmers Cooperative Society, which is in the town of Embu. We have bought some amazing lots from this station in the past as well, and I think this ranks up with the best. The name seems so Asian, Karimikui from Kirinyaga! And it is a classic Kenya tongue twister, in name and in flavor!
Caramel and graham cracker sweetness are the main theme of the dry fragrance, butterscotch at City+ roast but more sharp at FC. There is a canned pineapple fruit note, with banana hints; a tropical theme. That carries over in the wet aromatics of the coffee: mango and banana, caramelly sweetness, with a darker (but still a very sweet) toffee tone from the FC roasts. There's a hint of herbal scent on the break. I find this cup very complex because it has several different layers of taste: sweet "sugar browning" notes, tropical fruit, herbal hints (think Riccola), and a somewhat rustic suggestion as well. There is an orange marmalade sweetness, accented with clean mango fruit notes on the lighter roasts. The body is syrupy which pairs well with the caramel-butterscotch sweetness. In the finish, the sweet candied fruit flavors turn toward an aggressive, half-herbal and half-foresty character. It's a classic Kenya twist of the tongue. Some in the trade describe it unfavorably as "sweaty" and some quite favorably call it ... "sweaty"! It adds interest and complexity to the cup, and I find it rindy, and makes for a long fading aftertaste. As the cup cools, the fruits seem more winey, and tropical makes way for a black currant and pomegranate-laced syrup. I enjoy this lot so much because it's not just a simple sweet-fruited dessert coffee. It has much more than that and the longer I taste it, the more adjectives seem to flow.