Reko Washing Station
Reko washing station is named after Reko-Mountain, a tall and skinny mountain that towers above the hills of Kochere. Reko, translated in Afaan Oromo, means challenge. It refers to the challenge of climbing Reko-mountain. Masreshu and Faysel adopted the name and its symbolic value. It is their challenge to cultivate the best Yirgacheffe coffee.
During harvest, which normally takes place between late October and mid-January, about 850 farmers bring their red cherries to the washing station. The Reko washing station is an example for neighbouring washing stations, they sustain coffee communities and deliver amazing coffee, year after year. Incoming coffee is washed with water from a nearby river, after which are pulped with an old Agard pulping-machine. The mucilage is removed by traditional fermentation, which lasts 36-48 hours depending on the weather conditions. The coffee is then dried on raised African beds for 10-12 days.
According to the Reko-team, the success of the washing station is threefold.
- First and foremost, the training and education of staff and suppliers. A good protocol can only be implemented by equipped staff members and farmers. Testi Coffee gives pre-harvest training to all partners.
- Secondly, good selection and separation; only red cherries are selected, and processed coffees are kept separate by harvesting-time (early, mid, late), and geographical area (Onancho, Debo, Shashamene, Hamma, Beloya).
- Finally, monitoring and control; Reko-lots are assigned to professional site managers, whom, with their vast experience in coffee processing, control every aspect of Reko-lots from cherry to warehouse delivery, anticipating on changes and separating deviating lots.