After a thorough analysis in the roastery and gathering feedback from everyone involved in the Reko Koba tasting box, we came up with extensive feedback for the people in Ethiopia. Catalyst is specialized into translating this feedback into action so we are excited to see what this will bring us in the future.

Natural

The natural blew most people away with its intensity and pungent sweetness. This is mainly caused by overfermentation through slow initial drying and is technically a defect in the processing. However, since most of you and the people who tasted this coffee along found this to be an amazing taste experience, I asked Catalyst to keep the drying procedures the way they are. Of course the amount of overfermentation is affected by weather conditions, so there is no guarantee that the next crop will be exactly the same. It is still the aim.

Washed

The washed coffee was extremely bright and sweet and I perceived it to be the best of the three. I noticed with most cuppings there were some discrepancies between the cups, which is common for Ethiopian coffees. I did ask Catalyst whether it’s possible to do a screen size analysis, either in origin or in the Netherlands, so determine whether it’s feasible to narrow the screen sizes down. This should create a bit more uniformity in the coffee.

Honey

Finally, the honey. It had much more body and nuttyness, but I found it to lack a bit of character. A honey process coffee should be just slightly less complex than a fully washed but with much more body, in my opinion. There was also quite a lot of pulping damage. The body of the coffee was good, so we want to keep the same amount of mucilage before drying. Therefore, I suggested to Catalyst and Reko Koba to set the pulper somewhat coarser to prevent damage and to leave more mucilage on the beans, which they can then remove through natural fermentation. The additional fermentation will increase the coffee’s complexity and bring it closer to the washed, while retaining the body because of the remaining mucilage.

Even though it is already too late to share more feedback with the people in origin, there is still plenty to learn from this tasting box. Experience it for yourself and get involved in the world of Shokunin.