Welcome back to Joyride's Chemex of the Week series! Today, we're brewing up a batch of Counter Culture's Reko, a delicious seasonal offering from Ethiopia.
Once you realize that coffee is very much a crop (coffee beans are the seeds of coffee cherries), it makes sense that coffees can be seasonal. Single origin coffees--coffees that have been grown on a single farm or cooperative--are typically grown on smaller (and sadly) finite lots. In other words, coffees can and do go out of season.
Counter Culture’s answer to this problem is to temporarily replace out of season coffees with other, equally fantastic lots, letting customers try new flavors while they’re waiting for the old favorites. The Reko is one such limited offering. This coffee was grown in a small Ethiopian town called Kochere, a subsidiary of the more well-known region of Yirgacheffe, and derives its name from the Reko washing station where it was processed.
Yirgacheffe, Counter Culture suggests, is particularly well-known to the coffee industry for its sweet, complex, tea-like washed coffees. Although it is small in size, it has revolutionized the coffee production process in Ethiopia by building a washing station similar to those which the Latin American regions use. Initially, most Ethiopian coffees used the natural process, which gives coffee a heavier mouthfeel and more intense, exotic flavors. Thus, introducing the washing technology has not only allowed experimentation with different processing methods, but also added a different flavor profile (bright, clean, and mild) to Ethiopian coffees.
The Reko has subtle nuances of fruit, and mildly acidic taste that lingers on the tongue. With a full body and good balance, it goes down with a slightly sweet finish. Give it a try. Can you taste rosehips, melon, and citrus?
P.S. If you’re not quite sure what rosehips are...this is what they look like: