I’m finally getting toward the end of posting the reviews of my Sump Coffee samples that were so graciously given to me when I visited St. Louis in August! Sump Coffee is located in the South City section of St. Louis and it is a must-stop for any coffee lover (or beard lover, as you’ll see if you look up pretty much any photo of Sump and see founder, Scott Carey’s magnificence!). Sump Coffee has a pretty unique way of doing things and this article on Sprudge sums things up pretty well. 1
Today I’m reviewing Sump Coffee’s Reko, their award-winning (Midwest America’s Best Espresso competition, Chicago 2015) washed Ethiopian. This coffee comes from the Reko washing station in the Kochere region of Ethiopia. Kochere consistently produces beautiful washed coffees season after season and this is a prime example of what this amazing coffee growing area has to offer. This coffee is a mix of Ethiopian heirloom varietals (thousands of varieties of Arabica grow in Ethiopia) that grow in the 1850-2000masl altitude range. Like most Kochere’s, this is a fully washed coffee. You can still buy this coffee directly from Sump for $13.50/10oz bag and I would run, not walk, to do so if I were you!
My first exposure to Sump’s Reko was as a single origin espresso at their shop. Pulled from their matte white Slayer espresso machine, this was easily one of the five best espressos I’ve had in my life and I’ve been drinking espresso for 20 years! It was super bright and yet had no harshness in the flavors at all. The aroma from this coffee was of berries (even though it is a washed coffee) and crazy florals and this carried over into the flavor, too. Each sip was overflowing with florals and sweet-tart berries with lime acidity turning the brightness up to 11! There was a purple plum flavor and dark chocolate that reminded me of Mast Bros single origin chocolate, too. I mean, this espresso was ridiculously good and those Heath Ceramics cups cost a small fortune, so from beginning to end I could tell everything I needed to know about Sump from these couple ounces of espresso, and I liked what I was seeing!
My take-home sample of Reko was only a couple ounces of beans, so I had to be frugal with them. I was tempted to try them as espresso but I didn’t have enough to dial them in and the thought of having my Nuova Simonelli eat these for lunch was sad. Plus, I knew I wouldn’t be able to compete with the shot I’d had at Sump Coffee, so I went to the AeroPress with my sample and I was very happy with that! Sump recommends this coffee as espresso, cold brew or immersion methods of brewing, and since I do an inverted AeroPress usually, that counted as immersion brewing!
The florals in the AeroPress were as apparent as they were in my espresso shot. The aroma was just piles of flowers with a bit of spicy herbal-ness and I got a distinct raisin note from this coffee, too. The coffee has a very clean profile and a light mouthfeel. As it cooled those florals just kept coming along with a lemon-lime acidity that was super bright but also round and easy on my palate. The coffee had sweetness enough to balance all the bright notes out and it was just a joy to drink. Sunshine in a cup!
This is a fantastic and unique coffee with incredible versatility. It is one of the best washed Ethiopian coffees I’ve had and you should definitely get in on this coffee before it’s gone!