One Ethiopian coffee that’s been getting a lot of attention lately comes from the Kochere Cooperative. It seems that every time I’m on Twitter, at least one of the coffee folks I follow mentions Kochere in some way.
I tried a batch of Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Kochere a couple months ago myself—a from Bluebeard Coffee Roasters in Tacoma, Washington—and I absolutely adored it. In fact, I was really, really sad when the bag they sent me went empty.
That’s why I was so happy last week when I got the opportunity to give the Kochere a second sip.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Kochere, from BeanFruit Coffee Company in Flowood, Mississippi. Feel free to pull up a chair.
This coffee hails from Chyalalcktu village in the Kochere District of Southern Oromia. Kochere is one of the districts in the Borena zone. It is found about 25 miles south of the town of Yirgacheffe. The village has a population of 100,000 and has a health center, high school, and many other services.
The cooperative consists of about 500 smallholder farmers in the Kochere region of southern Ethiopia. The Kochere cooperative uses shared wet mills to process their coffee, where it is washed and then dried on elevated drying beds.
The Kochere micro-region has long been known as one of the best origins for fully washed southern Ethiopian coffees. In fact, thirty percent of all coffee bearing the Yirgacheffe name comes from this specific area. The combination of very high altitude and iron-rich, acidic soil creates the ideal growing situation to produce the bright, floral Yirgacheffe profile.
origin: Kochere Beloya, Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
farm: Kochere Cooperative
elevation: 1800-2000 meters above sea level
cultivars: Ethiopia Heirloom
process: fully washed, patio dried
The aroma of this coffee isn’t very overpowering; in fact, it’s actually pretty understated. It has some floral aromatics, some honey sweetness, and a very faint berry vibrancy, but, overall, there’s nothing very exciting here. It’s pleasant, but nothing to shout about.
The flavor immediately greets my palate with a thin coat of milk chocolate, honeysuckle, and clove. This is a pretty sweet cup of coffee, but it’s a very muffled sweetness; there’s a bit of fruitiness in it, but it’s the fruitiness of a raisin or cranberry or other dried fruit. As it cools off a little bit, there’s a very faint blackberry coming through while the juiciness of a red delicious apple propels all of that forward.
The cup is at room temperature and the cup isn’t livening up—it retains its sweetness, its pleasantness, and it wraps up with a long tea-like finish and floral aromatics while a tangerine acidity sits silently underneath all of this sweetness.
Light body; silky mouthfeel; tangerine acidity; clean finish.
the bottom line:
The Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Kochere, from BeanFruit Coffee Company, is a good coffee, but an underdeveloped coffee. I brewed this coffee every which way—with a V60, a Clever, a Chemex, a French press, an Aeropress—and each method yielded similar results: “meh.”
While it does have a nice amount of body and a surprising amount of sweetness, the flavors that I know are in this cup just wouldn’t come out the way I wanted them to. I would be okay with this fact if it were a delicate or complex cup, but I don’t think it is—I just think it isn’t reaching its fullest potential.
This is a good coffee, don’t get me wrong. A pleasant coffee. A fine coffee for what it is.
Ultimately, though, it’s a mostly forgettable coffee.
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.