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 one AA lot (which is on our next container). 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.
This is our second lot from the Chinga factory in Nyeri, a wonderfully complex peaberry outturn, flavor and aroma spanning a range from fruits at peak ripeness, to smattering of sweet baking spices. The dry fragrance at City roast level has a scent of cascara tea (similar to dried jamaica flower), red fruits, honey sweetness, and tropical fruit accents. An agressive honey smell wafts up in the steam off the coffee crust after pouring hot water, and the break lets off aromatic notes of cinnamon-spiced sugar, along with cooked mango, blackberry, and hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks. A Full City roast saw a boost in tropical aromatics, like the mixture of cooked sugar and pineapple in upside down cake. This is an intense Kenya cup, City and City+ roasts are bursting with sweet-to-tart citrus flavors, lemon and honey tangerine, and an underlying sweetness that comes off like sweetened black tea. As the cup cools, this fruited profile expands, tart huckleberry, red apple, lychee fruit, and raspberry all come to mind. Full City roasting tones down the citrus a touch, but the cup is still quite vibrant, with flavors of plum-mango fruit nectar, cocoa covered coconut chips, and a candied citrus rind finish. An incredible brewed coffee, and Full City roasts promise distilled fruit and dark cocoa flavors, and of course a resonant high note, in espresso application.