THIS COFFEE HAS SOLD OUT. Ichuga shows a nice range of fresh citrus to dried fruit flavors. Orange/tangerine, dried blackberry and strawberry, and tart mango. Sweet/tart notes add a puckering mouthfeel. Moderate acidity and dark, deep sweetness make this a great dual-use Kenya. City to Full City. Great Kenya espresso.
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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 AB outturn from the Ichuga Factory turned out to be quite a fruit bomb - from citrus and dried fruit, with much in between - a wide array of fruited notes in both aroma and cup. Grinding the coffee releases a spiced fruit smell, grapefruit and dried plum, along with a nice mix of raw sugars. The wet crust of a City+ roast smells buttery sweet, like butterscotch candy with orange-to-grapefruit citrus smell and pineapple pastry filling. The fruited characteristics of City to City+ brewed coffees have a juiciness in mouthfeel which helps to buoy notes of orange/tangerine as well as dehydrated blackberry, strawberry, and tart mango as it cools. In general, there's a nice interplay of sweet and tart flavors that makes for a slight puckering mouthfeel, along with weighty body adds tactile appeal to the cup. Acidity is moderate, though citric, making this a good option for Kenya espresso in the deeper roast levels. Full City brings about more plum and raisin fruit flavors, still quite a juicy cup, and roast tones showing maximum presence in a hot cup, but eventually succumbing to layers of dark dried-fruit flavors.