Theodore’s Coffee Roasters Reko

posted in: 2017, reviews | 0

Theodore’s Coffee Roasters sent me some samples of some of their current Ethiopian coffees and, today, I’m checking out their Reko, a famed coffee universally loved by fans of Ethiopian coffees! I was absolutely stunned by Theodore’s Wush Wush, too (link to the review just below) and so I’d highly recommend you add that to your cart, too. It was amazing and I have high hopes for this Reko, so let’s drink!

Theodore’s Coffee Roasters

Purchase this coffee directly for $19/12oz (and free shipping!)

Theodore’s Coffee Wush Wush review


Theodore’s Coffee Roasting has consistently impressed me with their excellent sourcing and roasting. Darwin Pavon has a long history in coffee and Theodore’s has earned an excellent reputation in specialty coffee the right way. Darwin tends to roast for sweetness, in my opinion, and I love his interpretation of the coffees he has available. He has the Midas touch for sure! This morning’s coffee is one of a handful of Ethiopian coffees Theodore’s has in right now, and it’s from Reko. Most Ethiopian coffee fans know the word, “Reko,” very well as this coffee is well-loved. Reko Koba is a washing station located in the Gedeo zone of the Kochere district of southern Ethiopia (same location as Yirgachefe, the birthplace of coffee). Reko translates roughly to “challenging” or “difficult,” a reference to the mountain, Reko, which features an arduous climb often traversed for religious reasons.

Reko double washed this coffee and the washing station is well-known for their attention to detail and careful handling of coffees. There are some nice photos of Reko Koba on Theodore’s website, so check that link out, and big ups to my friend, Emily, whose Catalyst Coffee Consulting is partly responsible for getting this coffee into Darwin’s hands. Read her fantastic story and see her photos from the months she spent in Ethiopia recently. Theodore’s gives us tasting notes of, “Sparkly blueberry lemonade, strawberry, key lime pie, jasmine, black tea” for this coffee and it sounds amazing!

I used my standard pourover setup for this coffee… 1:16 ratio of 28g of coffee to 450g of water, Handground grinder set to 3, notNeutral Gino dripper and Third Wave Water. As I brew this coffee I’m getting a ton of floral aromas from the brew bed, promises of good things to come! There are still some nice florals in the nose from the cup, but not to the degree I was getting while brewing. This is a medium-light bodied coffee with a tea-like moughtfeel, especially in the second half of the sip and finish. It leaves my tongue a little dry, like black tea, which is commonplace for Ethiopian washed coffees.

Right up front there is a lot of fruity sweetness, maybe some overripe strawberry and raspberry, while a gentle, sweet lemon acidity climbs up in the middle of the sip. Lemonade is not a bad descriptor here, although I think this lemon acidity is even sweeter and easier going than lemonade. There are hints of lime in the acidity, too, and I get a limeade character in the aftertaste, too. There is a floral note in the aftertaste, which lingers for quite a long time for such a light coffee. I’m not getting much in the way of blueberry, but raspberry lemonade would not be out of bounds for this coffee as a description, for my palate. As the coffee cools and if I agitate the coffee more in my mought with each sip I get a flavor that reminds me of cucumber again, like I did with the Wush Wush! LOL It’s cool and crisp, vegetal (in a good way), and for my palate, unmistakebly similar to a summer bumper crop of cukes! It’s not as obvious and in the forefront as it was in the Wush Wush, but it’s definitely there and I love it.

The flavors are clean and well-structured and this is a delightful coffee to drink. I think it’s a lot more along the lines of a standard washed Ethiopian flavor profile than the Wush Wush I got from Theodore’s, but that isn’t to say one is better than the other… they’re simply very different. I’d recommend the Wush Wush for anyone looking for a singularly exceptional coffee experience whereas the Reko is an absolutely beautiful example of the more classic washed Ethiopian flavor profile. Both of these are killer coffees and I’d take advantage of the free shipping and get them both!