The Koke washing station is named for the Koke Kebele town, where it is located in the Yirgacheffe district of the Gedeo Zone. We have had a long-standing relationship with the family-owned Koke washing station, surprisingly through our Brazilian connection. The mill was built in 2011 and has seen many improvements since 2015, when the washing station staff began providing guidance to contributing producers regarding steps to increase coffee quality. We have been providing feedback to Koke and sourcing with them for more than five years, and we look forward to many more years of fruitful partnership.
The Koke station stands on the side of a hill, with coffee grown above and below the station. For the last three years, the Koke station managers have been separating out the higher elevation cherries for these top lot chops, and the quality clearly shows. 96 small scale farmers provided cherries to Koke this harvest most of them multi-generational family farmers.
Tasting Notes: A very smooth, super clean top lot that is bound to impress Ethiopian fans. Wonderful aromatics with hints of soft fruit and jasmine. Lighter roasts show decent peachy acidity and can be quite floral balanced with a nice and smooth chocolaty undertone, very little tea like spice in this cup at lighter roasts, which most will love! A bit reminiscent of a Guji top lot like the stellar Kayon Mountain washed we had earlier in the season. Medium roast are lower acidity and a bit smoother defining the chocolate richness and adding a couple hint of spice notes. Darker roasts get a bit edgy and smoky but retain those unique chocolaty spice notes that only an Ethiopian will provide.
Roasting Notes: Easy to roast, to see this cup shine, keep it lighter. Tasty from light to dark. Looks a shade or two darker than it really is, make sure to get past the expansion in size and most of the chaff coming off for lighter roasts.
Ripe coffee cherries are freshly sorted before depulping. Over-ripe and under-ripe beans are handpicked and separated before processing. After depulping, coffee is allowed to ferment naturally for 36-72 hours in the washing station’s 10 cement fermentation tanks. The fermented coffee is washed with clean running water, soaked in clean water with a pH of 7.8, and then dried for 18-21 days on Koke’s 89 raised beds to retain around 11.5% moisture. Dried parchment coffee is stored at the washing station warehouse until it is transported to Addis Ababa for further processing. The parchment coffee is processed at the dry mill to remove the husks and the clean beans are packaged in clearly marked 60kg bags for export.
Coffee is prepared for export at Tracon Trading’s coffee cleaning and storage plant on 30,000 sq meters of land in Addis Ababa. The plant is equipped with modern Pinhalense coffee processing machines and a Buhler Z+ color sorter. The machine has the capacity of processing six tons per hour. Beans pass through a final hand sort on conveyor belts. The plant’s six storage silos have a capacity of roughly 15,000 metric tons. The warehouses are clean, with ample lighting and ventilation, which are ideal for maintaining the quality of the coffee.