This is now the second year we've carried "C" grade Kenya coffee. AA, AB, PB, are all just screen selections, not necessarily correlating to quality. C is also a screen separation (generally around 14 screen), but there also tends to a higher allowance of defects. That being said, the cup quality of this Ichuga C from the Kiama FCS (Farmer's Cooperative Society) just couldn't be denied, and thus an opportunity for us to offer a really nice Kenya at quite an attractive price. Ichuga is one of a few washing stations or "factories" that form the Kiama coop group. By "factory", we mean 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. It also means we paid a bit more, premiums which go back to the coop for distribution.
This C grade outturn from the Ichuga Factory has a convincing level of fruited sweetness from the start, the dry grounds offering up a tropical fruit punch smell. Adding hot water builds a bittersweet baked sugar smell, with more of the spiced fruit smell sensed in the ground coffee. Dark roasts have a nice grape smell, winey in character. A pleasant burned sugar flavor laces together plum fruited notes of ripe red apple and blueberry. Cooling cups of CIty+ roasts turn out flavors of dark currant and black cherry. It has a much milder acidity than most Kenyas, making this a really nice option for espresso. a really nice grape flavor at Full City, verging on the floral side of Concord. Really an impressive C grade Kenya, that can be easily elevated with a little post-roast sorting. You can spot a few defects in the green itself, mostly broken beans that won't really affect cup. But after roasting quaker beans are easily spotted, as they're the beans that never take on a darker color than light tan. Definitely worth the small amount of extra work!