City+ is where you'll find burned toffee and dark dried fruit flavors like raisin and prune juice, a finish marked by bittering cocoa powder note and a hint of cedar. City+ to Full City.
|Processing||Wet Process Kenya Type|
|Drying Method||Raised Bed Sun-Dried|
|Arrival date||April 2019 Arrival|
|Bag size||60 KG|
|Cultivar Detail||Ruiru-11, SL-28, SL-34|
|Appearance||.6 d/300gr; 17-19 screen|
|Roast Recommendations||City+ to Full City|
This AA grade coffee is from a small group of roughly 30 small farmers in the Eastern highlands of Meru, Kenya. They call their group "Kushikamana" as it roughly translates to "working together", and accurately describes the work that goes into coordinating coffee deliveries and processing. Each small holder depulps, ferments, and dries their own coffee separately, and then work together to deliver as a group in order to construct exportable volumes. This is different than the typical Kenyan "Factory" site we buy from, where coffee is delivered to the central location in whole cherry and then processed in large blended batches. Meru is said to be the first location in Kenya where coffee was grown by the local population going all the way back to the mid 1920s. The cup profiles we're tasting from the region tend to have dark and dried fruit characteristics, mild to moderate acidity, and weighty mouthfeel. Cultivars grown in Meru are typically Ruiru-11 with SL-34 and 28 mixed in. There's quite a range of altitude as well with coffee grown as high as 2000 meters and as low as 1300.
Like our other Meru coffees, this AA lot has a similar cup profile of darker fruit tones, unrefined sugars, and more muted acidity than what we're used to from Nyeri and Kirinyaga regions. Lighter roasts have smells of raisin and dried fig, shifting to more of a prune-like sticky fruit when roasted any darker. A fair amount of dark cocoa tones come through too as you pass City+ and certainly makes their way into the cup. City+ is a good place to start in terms of roast level and establishes core cup flavors of burned toffee and dark dried fruit flavors. These start to really take shape once the coffee cools off and the flavors I pick up on are like dark raisin and prune juice. The finish is marked by a bittering cocoa powder and an aromatic cedar note. I wouldn't venture beyond Full City as you lose much of the dark fruit character that makes this Kenya stand out in the first place.