A Kenya with high highs, tart citrus: pink grapefruit, honey tangerine, sweet limes. Raw honey backdrop, Earl Grey accent, and dark fruit with roast development. Fantastic pour-over. City to Full City.
Ichuga is part of Kiama Farmers_‹_ Cooperative Society Limited (FCS), one of a few washing stations or "factories" that form the coop group. By "factory", it doesn't mean it is industrial, aside from the coffee de-pulping machine. A "factory" is a wet mill where the coop members bring coffee cherry for pulping, fermenting, washing, drying. It's not the factory as we might imagine it. Small washing stations are aligned with a particular "society" which is what they call a cooperative in Kenya. We keep returning to the societies who seem to regularly produce some of the best Kenya coffees we see, such as Kiama and Barichu societies. This coffee 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 a peaberry lot, the small rounded bean that forms when only one of the two seeds inside the coffee cherry are fertilized. They're often a bit more fruit-forward than the flat beans, which I think putting this up against the AB lot from this same outturn can attest to.
This Peaberry outturn from the Ichuga Factory has a complex fragrance in the dry grounds, unrefined sugar and cinnamon spice mix, along with red raisin and fig. The wet crust of a City+ roast smells has a nice fruited sweetness, like cherry pie filling with cardamom spice. In the cup, the fruited characteristics of City to City+ brewed coffees have a juiciness in mouthfeel which helps buoy flavors of honey tangerine and pink grapefruit. The light to middle roasts are tart, citrus-like in every way, and propped up against a backdrop of raw honey sweetness. In general, there's a nice interplay of sweet and tart flavors that makes for a slight puckering mouthfeel, and along with weighty body adds tactile appeal to the cup. Ichuga's acidity is fairly high too, and citric (sweet limes, or Meyer lemon), sure to please those looking for a bright Kenya cup. Look for notes of Earl Grey and citrus essence in the finish, a surprisingly sweet-to-bittersweet aftertaste. Full City roasts pull out some darker fruit notes - plum, fig - but don't quite shake the citric intensity found at lighter roast shades.