Reko Station & Rugeju Factory.
We’re ushering in fall with a couple of new coffees on the menu, and we couldn’t be more stoked. Our gaze has been captured by Eastern Africa lately as some of this years samples have been rolling in. We’ve selected two coffees to be released immediately that we’re particularly excited about.
Reko Station is a small washing station in the Kochere region of Ethiopia that has seen very little publicity in recent years. Reko Station has been milling coffees from the surrounding hills for just over a decade. The Station services about 850 smallholder families, typically only having a couple hundred coffee trees producing varied, heirloom varietals of coffee. These small farms range in altitude between 1850 and 2100 MASL. Reko adheres to a fairly typical Washed Process, with a fermentation time that lasts between 36-48 full hours.
This particular lot blew us away immediately on the cupping table with a strong aroma dripping of jasmine, perfume and citrine notes. The body is layered with several different citrus zones of meyer lemon and candied mandarin. The finish is crisp, sharp, and has a beautiful ginger-snap bite at the end. This has become a quick favorite around the shop for an after-dinner cup; it plays so nice with desert.
Even though Ethiopia borders Kenya, the Reko Station and the Rugeju Factory couldn’t be any more different. At a still-high-but-lower altitude, the Rugeju factory sits at 1550 MASL, and services a much smaller geographic area. Rugeju services around 400 smallholder farms that are part of the Mkumbune Cooperative, growing a mix of Scott Labs 28 and Scott Labs 34 varietals; two very common varietals for Kenya.
This offering struck us immediately with mellow tones of sweet redfruit and wine in the nose; think a well balanced sangria. A sweet muscat grape snap lives in the relatively full body, alongside a rich milk-chocolate. The finish has a lovely raisin quality to it, and is long as satisfying. A very classic Kenyan offering to enjoy this fall as the mornings cool off, but makes a lovely cold brew if the days get too warm.
Looking to get your hands on these coffees? They both hit the shelves at Pastaworks in Northwest Portland in City Market this week.