My husband actually gets the credit for finding RĀKO Coffee Roasters in Virginia.
For my birthday in August, he gave me a few bags of their coffee (plus other coffee gifts, because it’s kinda my thing…especially now that I’m blogging about it!).
But, he did awesome this birthday because he spent time researching different coffee roasters in Virginia before settling on RĀKO.
Since I live in Virginia and have most of my life, I enjoy finding and reviewing coffee roasters from my state in particular.
I’ve got more coffee roasters lined up from Virginia too, but I’m really excited to bring RĀKO Coffee Roasters to you for this monthly review.
Founded in 2021, RĀKO Coffee Roasters is headquartered in Lorton, VA with a coffee shop in Arlington and a coffee kiosk in the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.
They are women-owned by sisters Lisa and Melissa Gerben.
From RĀKO I tried the following flavors:
- Sidamo Kercha (in a whole bean)
- Luleesa Limu (ground)
This might sound like a strange way to start a review, but I really loved their coffee bags.
The packaging was different from any other coffee I’ve had thus far. I loved the ease of opening and closing the bags (especially while holding a toddler…which is normally how I brew my coffee in the morning!).
I’m not sure why their bags are different, but it’s because they are different that they stood out to me.
I imagine someone at the company put thought into how the average person uses a coffee bag and that these specific bags allow for easy use/access and as a consumer, I appreciate that.
As a whole, I enjoyed RĀKO, both blends produced a quality, enjoyable cup of coffee.
And, that might sound basic, but that’s really what I look for in the coffees I try. It doesn’t need to be fancy, it just needs to taste good.
Between the two blends that I specifically tried, I liked the Sidamo Kercha a bit better. It wasn’t strong or overpowering and made for some good iced coffees too.
The Sidamo Kercha is a single-origin with notes of butter croissant, ginger snap, and strawberry.
It was a nice, balanced coffee that would be enjoyed by any coffee lover no matter how you drink it (black, milk, cream, etc.).
One thing I love about RĀKO’s website is they give some information about the coffee and where it comes from.
So, for example, this is what makes the Sidamo Kercha different:
“The mountainside Kedir Hassen Sibu washing stations where this coffee is grown have been family owned and operated for over 20 years. The family are pillars of the local community that employ almost 200 people, providing on and off-site medical care, extending micro-loans, and in both Sidamo and Guji, built primary schools that continue to educate hundreds of students from grades 1-4.”– RĀKO Coffee Roasters
It is special when you can connect the coffee to the people and learn more about where the coffee beans come from. So, I appreciate that RĀKO provides that information and background for each blend.
The second blend, Luleesa Limu, is described as a medium-light roast, single-origin, with balanced and bright flavors that include graham cracker, butterscotch, and pomegranate.
The coffee is named for the brothers who supply the beans, Mussa and Mustafa Aba Luleesa.
As a whole, RĀKO was enjoyable and I can see how it is a popular coffee roaster in Virginia where they are based (you can even find their bagged beans in some grocery stores locally!).
It was a bit nuttier flavor profile-wise (which is how it’s described), but I liked the flavor combination. Just not as much as the Sidamo Kercha above.
It’s way better than a chain like Starbucks or Dunkin, and I love the versatility of their coffee. It would be great for anyone who likes just a standard cup of coffee or perfect for someone to make a specialty latte or iced beverage at home.
I’d love to check them out sometime I’m back in the NOVA area! You can find RĀKO at the below locations:
2016 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
US Capitol Pop-Up
27 Independence Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003
You can also find them on Instagram, @rakocoffee.