THIS COFFEE HAS SOLD OUT. Ibutiti has an intoxicating aroma and flavor of spiced grape juice mulled with whole cardamom and clove, along with tart berry juice note and berry-like acidity. Impressive. City to Full City.
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Ibutiti Estate is a privately owned farm by the Murathe family, located in the Kiria-ini area of Murang'a County (see the photos from the grounds below). The Murathe's have roughly 40 hectares of coffee planted, mostly SL bourbon types. We had a chance to tour the farm and milling facility onsite last year, and they run an impressive operation. Their washing station is in good order, tidy and organized, as is their farm. The trees are well spaced and pruned, and appeared to be out-producing others we visited in the area, no doubt as a result of agronomical care. This is the AA outturn, and we also picked up a peaberry selection too. Both show impressive fruit flavors, with enough acidity to structure cup complexity. The physical quality of the green measures out nicely too, and I did not see any full quaker beans in the few hundred grams I roasted, and only a few hollow beans ("shells") which don't have an affect on cup flavor in small number.
"Who doesn't like spiced grape juice?" was the first thing that came to mind when smelling the ground coffee. Now I'm sure there are some out there who would raise their hands, but you'd be hard pressed to not be inticed by the fruit-to-spice characteristics of Ibutiti. The aroma at City roast level is rife with a brown sugar sweetness, as well as a strong grape smell in the steam that's accented by a mix of cardamom and powdered ginger spice smells. Chocolate roast tone command attention at Full City, and bring with them juicy dark fruit smells too. When brewing, the flavor components of mulled grape juice really come through in light roasts: grape juice warmed with cardamom pods, cinnamon, and whole clove. There's a juiciness in weight that along with a tart berry note comes across like mixed berry juice, and the flavors in the finish circle back to a delicious dark Concord grape note. There's a berry-like brightness too in City and City+ roasts that comes off like the subtle tanginess of a slightly underripe blueberry. Full City roasts are still very juicy, and dark fruits remain a focal point, and are bookended by heavy dark chocolate roast tones, along with a dried coconut note in the finish.