Kangocho Factory is near Karatina town in the Nyeri District of central Kenya and is part of the Gikanda Cooperative Society, which is made up from the Gichatha-ini, Kangocho, and Ndaro-ini Cooperatives. The name takes the first few letters of each factory/wet mill to arrive at GiKaNda. Through Sweet Maria’s, we have offered coffees from both the Gichatha-ini and Ndaro-ini factories, but Kangocho has been a relatively recent addition. The Gikanda Farmers Coop Society consistently delivers phenomenal coffees and we’re always excited to add their coffees to our offer list. They have a system where pickers are graded as A or B. “A” pickers are those who have been proven to deliver well-selected and sorted cherry, and they are invited to submit coffee on the “A” day, when a higher price is paid. “B” pickers are still yet-to-be-proven, or have had more immature beans and over-matures in their bags. They must come on the lowly “B” day and are paid less. Maybe it seems harsh, but there is no better way I have seen to create an incentive for quality harvesting, rather than mindless strip-picking of the coffee tree. (By the way, this A and B picker system has nothing to do with the AA or AB grade, that refers to screen size of the coffee at the dry mill only).
The profile of the dry fragrance is discernible in the ground coffee, red fruits like berry and stone fruit, and a touch of warming spices. These sweet and potent smells carry over into the wet aroma, where a smell of cooked fruit is bolstered, as well as brown sugar and butter smell that adds wafts of deep caramelizing sugars. When brewing City and City+ roasts you are rewarded with sweet raw sugary flavors that come off in layers: sucanat, brown sugar, and even molasses when roasting south of City+. The cooling coffee shifts to more fruit-forward tones and a complex array of blueberry, orange zest, grape juice, and more is revealed. For Kenya this coffee isn’t screaming bright, and it has a mouthfeel that reminds me of blackberry juice. This aspect is one reason this is a good option for Kenyan espresso. Another is that Full City roasts do very little to mute the fruited aspects, instead, adding a rich chocolate bittersweet flavor that helps pull it all together.