Rukira is a wet mill, what is referred to as a “factory” in Kenya terms. Basically this is where members bring coffee cherry for processing – pulping, fermenting, washing, and drying. It’s a cooperative setup where these different stations are aligned with farmer members, and the stations belong to a much larger cooperative society: in this case Othaya Farmers Cooperative Society (“FCS”). Rukira is one of several member stations, and is comprised of over 500 members delivering coffee cherry to the mill. The Othaya FCS started in the mid-1950s, ballooning from 250 original members to 15,000 strong today. Altitude of the washing station is just shy of 1900 meters, and you mostly see SL-28 and SL-34, along with a little Ruiru mixed in. Several years back we bought an AB auction lot of Rukira, and we’re glad to see it’s return. Fruited, bright, sweet, juicy – a real stunner Kenya. This is the AA, larger bean selection (17 – 19 screen size). Because of the large size, I like to let the roast roll a few seconds beyond what my normal expectation, allowing for proper internal bean development. Overall, I found this coffee to roast easily, color quite uniform as you pass a City roast level. You’ll find the occasional “shell”, or “hollow bean” post roasting. These beans have an oversized cavity and look like a shell, and don’t have an affect on the cup flavor.
There’s nothing understated about Rukira’s profile. Cup complexity runs high, and aromatics are heady, which makes the job of coming up with descriptors a lot easier! Spiced fruit punch fragrance lingers when grinding the coffee, and the cup has dense pectin sugar sweetness, with an array of fruit and baking spice complexity. The wet grounds have a caramel candy and buttery toffee sweetness, along with a sprinkling of baking spices, and breaking the crust reveals a scent of orange marmalade, with mace and cardamom spice. The cup is like sweet mixed berry juice – blueberry, raspberry, blackberry – full of flavor and also providing a tartness in light roasts. The cooling cup shifts toward pomegranate, along with juicy citrus flavors like pink grapefruit and orange. The acidity is on the citric side too, like pulpy orange juice, and provides a “refreshing” aspect to the cup. The fruits are very sweet and juicy, and seem to change along the way. Much of the jammy fruits alluded to in the aromatics fill out the cup profile, and traces of candied lemon peel and cardamom hang on into the long finish. There is also an element of black tea in the finish that provides a sort of cleansing/tannic mouthfeel. City to Full City will show well, but up to City+ is where you’ll see the most complexity.