Named for the Reko washing station which started production in 2001 and is located in Kochere, Yirgacheffe. Kochere is the Westernmost part of Yirgacheffe and boasts some of the highest elevations in the region. This particular lot was grown at a staggering 1850-2100 meters. During harvest, which took place between late October and mid-January, about 850 farmers brought their red cherries to the station for processing.
Cherries are washed with water from a nearby river, after which the cherry is removed from the bean by a vintage Agard pulping machine. The mucilage covered bean then goes through a wet fermentation for 36 to 48 hours depending on the weather. After a wash and an overnight soak, the coffee is finally dried on raised African beds for 10-12 days.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Reko, from Kickapoo Coffee in Viroqua, Wisconsin, courtesy of Craft Coffee. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Kochere, Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
farm: Reko Washing Station
producer: smallholder farmers
association: Ethiopia Commodity Exchange
elevation: 1850 – 2100 meters above sea level
cultivars: Ethiopia Heirloom, Kurume
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
The aroma of the Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Reko is sweet, complex, and dynamic. Scents of cherry blossom, rose hips, and chamomile tickle the tip of the nose, while a push of red berries, honey, and sugary lemonade come in behind.
Taking my first few sips of the coffee immediately post-brew, my palate is greeted by a light-bodied coffee with a silky and delicate rose petal texture. It’s really elegant up front, and features some really nice flavors of cherry, raisin, raspberry, and Twizzlers, while a flutter of cherry blossoms and pink lemonade rounds out the finish.
As it cools, the coffee becomes really dynamic and even more interesting, as it takes on a fruity juiciness and sugary sweetness. Now I’m getting lots of stone fruits and citrus—apricot, nectarine, white peach, and lemon—floating on a foundation of cane sugar and bittersweet dark chocolate.
Light body; silky mouthfeel; lemon acidity; clean finish.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
A good rule of thumb is “Leave it to Kickapoo Coffee to find some of the most interesting, dynamic, and flavorful coffees Africa has to offer.” In my experience here at the Table, their ability to source great African coffees is about as reliable as the sunrise. That’s probably 95% hyperbolic, but it’s at least 5% completely and totally accurate.
The Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Reko is just another feather in their collective cap. This coffee was stunning with its light silkiness, clarity, and beautiful, elegant flavor profile.
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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.