A little over 3 years ago we were in a bind. The Ethiopian coffees we had coming in for the season were all running late and we really wanted a fresh vibrant Ethiopian coffee to get on our menu for the interim. In that search, we stumbled upon Reko, a coffee that ended up being so much more than we could ever have expected and we bought up as much of that harvest as we could. Now, Reko has become a staple in our line-up.
Our Director of Coffee, Ryan Knapp, had the chance to visit the mill a few months after we purchased our first harvest from Reko and he has cupped through nearly every batch of coffee they have produced each season. Aside from the elevation of the mill, which is as high as we’ve ever seen (at up to 2,200 meters), the mill itself operates very similarly to others in the area. They have long 36-hour fermentation times after the coffee is pulped, they thoroughly wash the coffee in long channels followed by a 12-hour soak, and then the coffee is dried on raised beds for about 2 weeks while workers pick through the parchment to clean it up.
Like many excellent coffees, what really separates Reko from the others is in the details. The first thing we noticed was the pride the team at Reko took in their product. The specific care taken when evaluating the fermentation tanks, the strenuous effort placed into the washing, and the precision used at the drying tables demonstrate their passion for their work. All along, the workers were smiling, often singing and chanting as they processed the coffee. The team at Reko has a lot to be proud of as they continue to produce such a special coffee year after year. In 2015 our Reko was a Good Food Award winner, and we’ve secured a large amount of Reko this season and expect to have it around through 2017.