|Dry Fragrance (1-5)
||Notes: This is our last lot that we won in the Kenya Main Crop auctions and the last to arrive here on the west coast. Somehow, the Nyeri district comes to auction last, which is definitely a case of ending on a bang! Nyeri coffees are extremely lively cups, fruited, citric, zesty, intense. Ndaroini is right along those lines, but also a malleable, versatile coffee in the roaster. The dry fragrance of the grounds has a sweet caramel to it, with berry and raisin. Add water, and a corriader spice emerges, with brown bread sweetness, becoming more citrus, like lemon custard as it brews. Cup flavors are nicely fruited; floral and citrus at City-City+ and a little more berry-like (blackberry and currant) at FC roast. There’s a distinct red apple/apple cider at the City+ roast I really appreciate. There is a rindy zest to the cup, and spice accent (again, a bit of corriander, with the FC+ roast having a more pungent clove spiciness). The body is silky, a nice mouthfeel that is missing in some Kenyas. I like the balance between brightness, body and intensity here, and the long, sweetness in the aftertaste. The darker roasts have a persistent dark plum aftertaste, a bit of noir that makes me think this coffee shifts its character greatly from the lighter roast treatment to the dark. Read into that what you will, its versatile coffee that is great no matter how you color it in the roaster. We recupped this arrival against a flight of Kenya and Tanzania samples from brokers, and the magnitude of this cup became more apparent. Maybe we just become enured to the remarkabley lively character of these special Auction Lot selections, but they really are, in the vast array of coffee offerings, something in a league of their own. Each day that the Ndaroini rested, each time we brewed it, new cup qualities were unveiled, and to me that is the hallmark of a complex, exemplary coffee.