Chinga is one of several coffees we picked up from Othaya Farmer's Cooperative Society (FCS), an FCS that includes an impressive amount of wet mills, 18 in all, dating back to the late 1950s. Chinga Factory was the second mill to be developed under Othaya umbrella in 1960. "Factories" are essentially small washing stations aligned with a particular "society" in Kenya, what we would call a "cooperative". We return to the societies who seem to regularly produce some of the best Kenya coffees, and each year we come across societies that are new to us as well. Being one of the older Kenya FCS, we are well aware of the quality coming out of Othaya, and have had the good fortune to buy a few stellar lots the past two years. We bought three lots from the Chinga station this year alone, two peaberries, and this AA lot. This coffee's sweetness just blew us away, fresh fruit flavors and acidity too. It was purchased direct, not through the Kenya auction system, so we could avoid the risk of losing it. To do this we pay a price that is higher than what the top auction bid might be, but it means we get the exact lot we want.
Chinga gives off "big" smells in the dry fragrance (actually all along the cup experience!), heavily weighted in layers of dark berry and dried stone fruit, and with an underlying molasses-like sugar sweetness. In our City+ roast, we noted smells of blackberry fruit roll up and even a dried prune, a strong fruit pectin sweetness in the ground coffee. It's a super sweet smelling coffee, the wet aromatics verging on red honey florals, and blossoming with raw sugar backed fruit smells papaya nectar. Citrus brilliance is sensed in the warm cup of coffee, not overly bright like fresh-squeezed juice per se, but like lemon water, or black tea with lemon spritz. Brightness is at a moderate level for Kenya, and strings together flavors of cherry and pomegranate, caramel-like sweetness, and a banana puree flavor in the finish. Our City+ roast as brewed coffee was delicious: dark berry flavors, fruit syrups, and chocolate covered coconut. In my opinion City+ is where complexity really shines, berry-to-tropical fruit flavors, and a developed underlying sweetness which does well to prop up the cup profile. Being an AA outturn, the beans are large, and in this case mean a little deceiving to judge the lightest roasts. I recommend waiting until the first pops have completely finished in order to make sure the interior is roasted. This can be difficult for those using poppers since the time between 1st and 2nd snaps is often short (or practically non-existant!), so pulling when 1st snaps have slowed significantly is a good place to start.