January’s featured roaster in my Kurasu x Good Coffee subscription from Japan is Taoca Coffee in Kurakuen, Japan. I was looking forward to both selections this month because Taoca offered a somewhat darker roasted Guatemala that I reviewed previously as well as a Kenyan, which I’m looking at today. Previous coffees in the subscription have been very good, but they’ve been very Ethiopian-centric, so I was really curious how these coffees would be.
This selection is listed as “Ivego Factory” but I believe that’s a typo and it’s actually from the Iyego Factory in Muranga, Kenya. In any case it’s an AA “grade” (Kenyan coffees are graded by size of the beans, with AA being the largest… but bigger doesn’t always mean better!) consisting of SL-28 and SL34 varietals grown around 1400masl. As most Kenyan coffees are, this one is washed. Taoca offers tasting notes of, “Floral, orange, black cherry, sweet chocolate” on this coffee.
I prepared my samples using my standard 1:15 ratio in my Gino pourover with Kalita 185 filters. My total brew time on this came out a bit under 4:00 with a 30 second bloom each time. I got a nice, sweet aroma from this one, but it was pretty light. There is a bright orange, almost tangerine/clementine (we’ve been eating a lot of citrus later, so I’m a little more dialed-in on my citric acidity descriptors! LOL) acidity to this cup and I was getting a lot of plum flavors, too. The finish has a lingering bitterness which is nice, and it’s accompanied by floral notes that add a lot of complexity. At lower temps, approaching room temperature, I started to notice the “sweet chocolate” descriptor appear. A couple of my sips were dang near chocolate milk in flavor, so if you are patient with this coffee it’ll yield a wide range of flavors as it cools down. It’s definitely sweeter and more chocolatey as it cools!
To my palate this is a bit more like a “classic” Kenyan coffee, with bright acidity, than the sweeter cups I was getting in a lot of 2015, although there is good sweetness here to balance those citrus notes. I am really happy with both of these coffees from Taoca this month. I think Taoca san’s selections show how he roasts to get different origin attributes highlighted in the cup (darker to bring up the sweetness and chocolate of the Guatemala, lighter to highlight the acidity and fruitiness of this Kenyan) and both were handled masterfully.