Punch bowl full of currant, cranberry, cantaloupe, ripe cherries with a long hard-candy dissolve in the finish. After proper rest winey and jammy acidity is fully integrated into the syrupy body with more complex sweetness; caramel and vanilla at FC. City+ to Full City.
Tegu is a coffee washing station, a wet mill, a coffee factory. Well, it's all three. 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. Tegu is part of Tekangu Farmers Cooperative Society (FCS) which combines the names for their 3 factories: Tegu, Karagoto and Ngunguru. I visited them this season and the previous as well, since we have bought many small lots over time from Tekangu. While most of the lots this year grade out as the smaller AB preparation, the quality from Tegu has been remarkable. And of the 2 lots we secured this season, this chop is the truly the best. What I saw at Tegu was excellent sorting of cherry at the mill by each picker, before they submit the coffee to be processed. Over-ripe and immature cherries are culled out. They also have a system where pickers are graded as A or B. "A" pickers are those who have been proven to deliver well-selected and sorted cherry, and they are invited to submit coffee on the "A" day, when a higher price is paid. "B" pickers are still yet-to-be-proven, or have had more immature beans and over-matures in their bags. They must come on the lowly "B" day and are paid less. Maybe it seems harsh, but there is no better way I have seen to create an incentive for quality harvesting, rather than mindless strip-picking of the coffee tree. (By the way, this A and B picker system has nothing to do with the AA or AB grade, that refers to screen size of the coffee at the dry mill only. AA, AB and PB all comes from the exact same lot submitted to the dry mill, and is separated only by the coffee size screening equipment).
The dry fragrance is sweet with cherry, raspberry, citrus, and floral elements that one day out of the roaster have a slight fresh hops character. The darker roasts have increasingly potent brown sugar note on the grounds. The wet aroma opens up the hoppyness on the young roasts, but winey black currant and sweet citrus fruit are present on the break along with melon rind at City roast that at C+ is increasingly candied, especially a couple more days out of the roaster. At FC the break is caramel with just a hint of rindy sharpness hiding in the back. The cup is a punch bowl full of currant, cranberry, cantaloupe, ripe cherries with a long hard-candy dissolve in the finish. I really can't state enough what even one more extra day of rest does for this coffee, the winey and jammy acidity is fully integrated into the syrupy body and there's more complexity to the sweetness with caramel and vanilla present at FC. FC+ is too deep for this coffee, the vanilla is there and there is still some fruit in the finish, but the front of the cup begins to show some unwelcome smokiness. At the right roast, the mouthfeel has this interesting "fatty" confectionery quality, like white chocolate solids on the palate, but this could be an effect of the flavors. C+ is where I got this coffee to sing for me, the body is nice and the melon is intense with a muscovado sugar... so sweet. I really love this coffee, one of the best Kenyas of the year.