Kenya Nyeri Gachatha AA is a bold cup, multi-layered fruit flavors, juicy body, and with a pectin sweetness. Pineapple, citrus, apple, pear, red grape, mango, lychee_‹_quite a bit packed into the cup! Acidity is more sweet than tart citrus, not as aggressive as many other Kenyas. City to Full City.
I love opening vacuum packaged coffees. The smell is really difficult to understand without firsthand experience (though I think the definition is synonymous to "fresh" in the dictionary). But thankfully, you don't need to smell the freshly opened bags to get a sense of how fresh these vacuum stored coffees taste. It costs a bit more to prepare this way, but in the end, this AA lot from Gachatha is worth the extra cost. Gachatha is the name of the factory, or wet mill, where members deliver coffee cherry for processing, and sorting before being delivered to the dry-mill where it is finally prepared for export. Gachatha used to be part of the much larger Tetu FCS, but broke away on it's own almost 10 years ago. There are over 800 members to date, extremely "small-holder" farmers, most with less than 100 trees - SL-28 and SL-34, French Mission hybrids produced by Scott Laboratories in the 1930s. This is an AA separation, the larger 17-19 screen bean size range. It's worth mention that despite the turmoil in Nyeri this year, there was good competition for the coffee, and we wound up paying a premium over what was expected for this one.
Gachatha is loaded with fruited sweetness top to bottom. The dry fragrance has a spiced plum sauce smell to it, candied orange peel, and Concord grape jelly. Hot water makes for a candy sweet set of aromatics, blackberry, lychee, mango, and more, along with a base sweetness of maple syrup. Incredibly sweet and complex, the break even shows a slight floral jasmine tea note. As a brewed coffee, this Kenya boasts big fruit notes, heavy body, and complex flavors in the finish. Malic fruits like apple and pear are tasted in City/City+ roasts, blending well with notes of flame grape and orange juice as the coffee cools a bit. There's a floral aspect to, akin to that of Belgian ale, a floral, fresh hoppy flavor. Baking spices are a big part of this coffee's flavor too, resting somewhere in the realm of cardamom spice and clove, reminding me a bit of an orange-spice tea. Roasting this coffee toward Full City sees a shift toward tropical fruit, a pineapple-citrus juice flavor, mango nectar, and the floral side of papaya (not the more musky variety). And being a Kenya, we have to talk acidity, though this one is not super aggressive, more in-line with sweet citrus rather than near-puckering citric highs. It's a very complex Kenya cup, shows quite a bit of body, and this wide array of flavors continue to trade places in the long aftertaste.