The Table is, as a collective whole, a massive fan of coffee from the Kochere Cooperative; it has seen several of their coffees served upon it over the past couple years. I remain impressed with the care and pride the members take in the cultivation and preparation of their coffees, as it shows beautifully in the cup on a very consistent basis.
Kochere is growing in popularity, showcasing the consistent diversity of Yirgacheffe’s unique terroir.
Close to 100,000 local inhabitants rely on coffee as their main crop with which to feed their families. Of those 100,000 residents, the Kochere Cooperative consists of about 500 smallholder farmers who use 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. So much so, in fact, that now, about 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.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Ethiopia Kochere, from Roseline Coffee in Portland, Oregon. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Ch’elelek’tu, Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
farm: Kochere Washing Station
producer: smallholder farmers
association: Kochere Coffee Cooperative
elevation: 1875 – 2050 meters above sea level
cultivars: Ethiopia Heirloom
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
The aroma of this Ethiopia Kochere is bright and lively, with tropical fruit scents jumping out of the cup and bouncing off my kitchen walls like bouncy balls in a Jose Gonzalez music video. Passion fruit and kiwi collide with citrus and cherry, making for an aroma more similar to fruit punch than coffee.
As I take my first few sips of the coffee, immediately, my palate is greeted by really bright, sweet, tart, lively, pungent, candied fruit flavors. There’s something of a honeyed flavor/texture that spreads over the tongue, which provides a foundation for the coffee to build on. There’s a tremendous red fruit or fruit punch flavor up front—cherry, cranberry, pink lady apple, pomegranate, passion fruit—that combines with floral and tea leaf aromatics to create a really memorable sipping experience: cherry blossom, rose petals, Darjeeling tea.
As the coffee cools off, it gets even sweeter, more pungent, tarter, and even a little sour as more fruits come to the forefront and the ones already present take on more of a candied flavor. Now I’m tasting Gummi Bears, Sour Patch Kids, licorice, and gumdrops, combined with the citric tartness of mandarin orange and lemon rind and the juicy sweetness of apricot and nectarine.
Full body; honey mouthfeel; citrus acidity; clean finish.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Coffee from the Kochere Cooperative has been very popular over the past few years; personally, this has been the most popular coffee here at the Table, making an appearance seven times. The thing about it, though, is that it’s never the same coffee twice—so each of its appearances kinda sorta represent a new coffee. While, with most other coffees I review, if there’s something about it I can’t put my finger on I can go back into my archives and read earlier reviews of it to jog my memory, that’s practically impossible with the Kochere.
This Ethiopia Kochere, this time from Roseline Coffee, was a beautiful and extremely, profoundly memorable coffee. Absolutely dynamite. It was elegant, but not necessarily delicate; complex, but not inaccessible. Pungently sweet, aromatic, sour, tart, tremendously balanced, and crystal clarity…
This coffee had it all and was delicious, to boot!
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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.