There is something vibrant and unique that comes from high quality, washed Ethiopian coffee. As you might imagine, there are literally hundreds of mills. For small players (like us) we have to have a reason for buying from a mill, beyond the price that we have paid and quality in the cup. Every bag of coffee that we buy is a shred of meaning somehow, in some way.
We make no secret of working with Trabocca (and have done for most of the last 15 years). I am a big fan of how they operate, build, and reward small producers and mills alike.
If Reko wasn’t coffee (at all) it would be a fresh, sweet fruit juice.
Owner/ partnership: Faysel A. Yonis, founder of Testi Coffee, and Masreshu Sima, the founder of Reko washing station.
Region: Kochere, Yirgacheffe.
Varietals: Kurume and Mixed Heirloom.
Altitude: 1850-2100 Meters above sea level.
Process: Fully washed (by river water) Pulped (with an old Agard pulping-machine) The mucilage is removed by traditional fermentation, which lasts 36-48 hours depending on the weather conditions and dried on raised beds for 10-12 days.
Smallholder farmers: 850 approximately.
Before I write any recipes or flavour potential, I cannot stress enough about the value of letting a washed Ethiopian coffee cool, before tasting it!
Aromatics: Sweet and deep| Body: Light as Tea| Acidity: Lime
When this is hot, this is a shy beverage of lime and black tea. As the liquor cools, the sugars open up, and the fruit more complex. White sugars, lime, sweet grapefruit, and as things really cool down they get jammy.
Starting Recipe: 60-65g/Litre.
Reko washing station is named after Reko-Mountain, a tall and skinny mountain that towers above the hills of Kochere. Reko, translated in Afaan Oromo, means challenge. It refers to the challenge of climbing Reko-mountain. Masreshu and Faysel adopted the name and its symbolic value. It is their challenge to cultivate the best Yirgacheffe coffee.
The success of Reko Washing Station has three main areas.
- Training and education of all members. A good protocol can only be followed if people understand what they are doing.
- Selection and separation. Picking ripe cherries and keeping coffee of the same lot together, with the relevant information. Area and date etc.
- Monitoring and control. Delivering high-quality coffee requires much hard work, experience, and dedication.
We are still early in the season and this coffee will improve over the coming weeks and months (if it is around long enough).