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 the past few seasons, since we have bought many small lots over time from Tekangu. 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 immatures 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 of Tegu has a malt sugar smell, with layers of loose leaf tea, and dried citrus peel. The darker roasts have increasingly potent citrus aspects along with a scent of concord grape. The wet aroma has a touch of hop flower, with cardamom spice, brown sugar, and orange juice. At City+ the break is loaded with caramel and a touch of sweet basil. The cup has a pungent fruited character: papaya, and plum, and with tart hints of pomegranate too. Let this coffee rest after roasting! I really can't state enough what even one more extra day of rest does for this coffee, the jammy acidity is fully integrated into the syrupy body and there's more complexity to the sweetness, with caramel and vanilla present. C+ is really where this coffee's sweet spot is found (and even just beyond that point!), with nice body, orange marmalade, muscovado sugar, herb tea...so sweet.
|Processing||Wet Process (Washed)|
|Arrival date||August 2014 Arrival|
|Appearance||.2 d/300gr, PB screen|
|Intensity/Prime attribute||Medium Intensity / Complex fruit notes, pectin sweetness, herbal tea|
|Roast||City+ is nice for this Tegu coffee, and I enjoy the darker fruit tones and balance of Full City too.|
|Recommended for Espresso||No|