If you check out my past reviews of Perc Coffee, you’ll see I’m a big fan. They sent me two African coffees out of the blue recently and they are finally making it into the posting queue! Today I’m checking out their Tambaya AA, a washed Kenyan coffee from the Nyeri region that you can buy for $17/12oz bag directly from the mothership in Savannah, GA! And, as an added bonus, Perc is doing free shipping on all orders through the month of December, so buy a couple bags and some t-shirts and save $$ on shipping! The code is “PERCFREESHIP.”
Before I begin, Perc has accomplished a nice new look to their website and their bags this year, and I’m a big fan. The bags design is clean, when full they are compact and stack on a shelf nicely and that souped-up “ziploc” in the top is dope. Plus who can’t like a bag with lightning bolts on the side panels???
Alright, on to the coffee! As I said, this is an AA size (Kenyan coffee is sorted and graded by size, with AA being the biggest, followed by AB and etc. It’s simply a sizing standard, so don’t think that AA coffees must be “the best” because they aren’t necessarily) coffee coming from the famed Nyeri region of Kenya. The trees grow in the 1550-1650masl range and it’s a washed coffee, as are most from Kenya. While Perc makes no mention of the varietals in this coffee, I have it on good authority that it’s probably mostly SL-28 and some SL-34. 1
This coffee goes through a lot of changes through it’s temperature range. Perc offers up tasting notes of, “tangelo, juicy, complex” and elaborates on their website with, “This coffee just jumped off the cupping table with notes of pink grapefruit, blood orange, lime zest, a long finish, and a super juicy body.” Perc recommends a 16:1 Kalita with a 3.5 minute brew time. I ran about 4 minutes on my 15:1 Gino, which is standard for me. It uses the same 3-hole design as a Kalita and also uses the same filters.
I did notice the color on this coffee in my server I brewed it into is gorgeous. Super clear with a ton of ruby highlights. It’s a looker. The freshly brewed aroma reminded me of Raisin Bran cereal for some reason… sweetness with a bit of cereal notes and something a little piquant flitting around. The initial sip when still hot was powerfully citrus. I got grapefruit and blood orange and a melange of citrus zests that was a punch in the mouth! Most of the time, for me, a cooling cup creates more acidity and lift, but in the case of this Tambaya from Perc it actually got a lot more sweet and mellowed some for me. It has the obvious citric acid flavors reminiscent of grapefruit and sweet orange juice, but I also get a good hit of malic acidity in this cup. Malic often tastes more apple-like and often hits my cheeks and gives me that sensation of “juiciness.” This coffee has a sweet base that reminds me a lot of fruit juices, both orange and apple (more in mouthfeel for the latter), so I think there is a good hit of malic acidity that is in there, but less obvious than the citrus.
Anyway, for as much acidity as I’m describing this coffee is far from being an enamel-stripper. The acidity really lifts the sweetness and sort of “surrounds” it if I can be so bold as to describe what I’m tasting with a visual metaphor. In the latter end of the sip in the cooler cup I was getting some hints of raisin and a little floral component and then the finish is just on the dry side of neutral with a slightly floral, sweet aftertaste that has hints of baking spices and a tiny bit of tomato savoriness to it.
Kenyan coffees have been crazy-good this year and this one from Perc is no exception. These guys know how to roast a killer coffee, so I expected no less from them, but this is a glorious example of perfect balance in a coffee origin who flavor profile can get out of control if you want it to. It’s bright, but sweet, complex, but still drinkable and inviting. They nailed it. Seriously, take advantage of that free shipping and get hold of this coffee. I revisited this coffee a full month off roast and it was still killer and absolutely delicious to drink, so a bit of age isn’t going to hurt this Kenyan in the least. Buy! Buy! Buy! LOL (and, no, I don’t see a penny from your Perc purchases, so no conflict of interest in my triple-buy recommendation)
For another perspective on this same coffee, check out Corner of the Cafe’s review. Drew lost his mind tasting this coffee!