The first, freshly harvested, wet-processed Yirgacheffe of the season is a lively and vibrant coffee with notes of peach and black tea. The Reko washing station was named after the nearby Reko Mountain, which means “challenge” in the local Afaan Oromo language. Masreshu Sima’s and Faysel A Yonis’ challenge is to produce the best coffees in the region.
We first encountered the coffee of the Reko washing station in 2014. The wet-processed Yirgacheffe was among the very first coffees we bought from Ethiopia, making it quite memorable for us, so it is a great joy to start this season with Reko again. During the harvest, which spans from October until the end of January, about 850 smallholders bring their ripe coffee cherries to the Reko station. The cherries are wet processed using water from the nearby river. The layer of mucilage covering the beans are broken down by conventional fermentation lasting 36-48 hours. This is followed by washing, after which the beans are dried for 10-12 days on African raised beds. Reko’s key to success is the continued education of staff and farmers, and the sorting process which separates the batches based on the date and location of the harvest.