I love this Kenya at Full City, rich dark chocolate underscores blueberry and blackberry top notes, and heavy body. City+ works too, where an interplay of tart orange and unrefined sweetness prevail. City+ to Full City.
|Processing||Wet Process Kenya Type|
|Drying Method||Raised Bed Sun-dried|
|Arrival date||August 2018 Arrival|
|Bag size||60 KG|
|Cultivar Detail||SL-28, SL-34|
|Appearance||.4 d/300gr, 15-17 screen - fairly uniform, though I found a few hollow beans ("shells") which don't pose a flavor issue in small amount|
|Roast Recommendations||City+ to Full City|
Ruthagati is a coffee "factory" located on the slopes of Mount Kenya, within Nyeri County. Factories, are effectively the same as farmer's cooperatives, where several hundred members (in this case, close to 900 women and men) organize around a central milling site where their coffee is processed from whole cherry down to parchment covered seed. Ruthagati is part of a larger Farmers Cooperative Society named Rutuma who assist with things like agronomical support, and act as a liaison to the marketing agents who sell the coffee on the international market. Most of the farmers in this region grown SL-28 SL-34, and Ruiru 11, and farm altitude starts around 1700 meters near the station, and topping out much higher. This lot is an AB outturn, which means that all the coffee beans between 15 to 17 1/64" are separated by passing through screens which winds up being the majority of most coffee deliveries. A smaller amount of larger beans (17 to 19 1/64") are separated and sold as AA grade, and an even smaller amount of the tiny peaberry beans are separated and sold as such.
Complex fruit and spice smells are of note in the dry fragrance, sweet orange peel, cherry, and a whole clove touch are alluring intermixed with a compact scent of raw sugar. I intended to take two passes in the roaster, one City the other City+, but wound up letting my more developed roast roll right into Full City (roughly 30F beyond the beginning of 1st C). It was a happy accident, as it turned out that Ruthagati AB is fantastic when roasted to a medium-dark roast level. In my opinion, the best dark roasts come from coffees that offer high level of sweetness to counteract the invariable bittering roast tones that come with the territory, as well as have body to add physical structure in the cup (nothing worse than thin, ashy brew!). Ruthagati has both of these characteristics and then some, and my Full City roast cooled to fruited flavors of blueberry and blackberry, and a deeply rich chocolate flavor underscoring it all. City+ roasting works well too, and Ruthagati in this context offers an interplay between tart citrus (think orange that's not quite ripe) and unrefined sweetness. Body is more moderate in this light, acidity a bit more vibrant, and subtle spice notes highlight the aftertaste.