Tambaya C was a really nice surprise on our cupping table. All the fruit and sweetness of AB counterpart - red berry, fruit punch, tropicals, as well as pulpy citrus and tea in the finish. Body, sweetness, and price make it a great option for blending too!
This is a first for us, in that we've never 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 Tambaya C just couldn't be denied, and thus an opportunity for us to offer a really nice Kenya at quite an attractive price. Tambaya is one of the Coffee Factories (wet-mills that are organized as cooperatives) within the Rumukia Coffee Farmer Society in Karatina area of Nyeri. Tambaya is close to Mukurwe-ini, and was formerly part of this society until it fell apart in the '90s. Within the same Rumukia group are some other fantastic farms we have offered in the past: Kiawamururu, Gatura, and Thunguri to name a few. The area of Tambaya is 1550 meter altitude, in the fertile foothills of Mt. Kenya and Aberdare ranges. The Tambaya coop has 1093 members and the average number of coffee trees per member is just 250. Again, in Kenya coffee "societies" the farmer's plots are so small, they are measured in numbers of trees, not in area of land as they are in other coffee origins. But this means that co-ops provide micro-management of every coffee tree by the owner of the land, not by a large-scale agriculture operation like the big estates of Kiambu or Thika. The member farmers have the two preferred coffee varieties under cultivation, SL-28 and SL-34, with the vast majority of trees being SL-28.
The dry fragrance of Tambaya C has sweet red berry and heavy browning sugar, and dark roasts have a fruit pie filling smell with a nice smoky overlay from roast. Adding hot water shows a heavy aroma of caramel and butterscotch, deeply saturating the wet grounds, and the break smells like honey and fragrant red apple. Attractive aromatics, yes, and like all coffee, it's really what's in the cup that counts - and this one does not disappoint. There's more than a hint of cardamom and orange spice in the cup, with red punch, and caramel candy emerging from the cooled cup. Taking the roast closer to Full City bolsters berry notes, adding a bit of tropical fruit, and even a hint of bubblegum. The finish is surprisingly clean, with pulpy citrus flavors and black tea hanging on long. Tambaya C makes a really nice brewed coffee, and an attractive blending option at this price.