Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee! Coffee grows naturally in Ethiopia, so there's an incredible genetic diversity in coffee plants, which you can see reflected in the cup. Most Ethiopian coffee is from wild, heirloom varieties that have been growing and mutating naturally in the forests for centuries.
Those incredible heirloom varieties are part of what gives coffee from Ethiopia its beautiful, floral and fruity profile. They bring unique and complex acidity to the cup. Combine those amazing plants with careful, dedicated producers and you get some absolutely stunning coffees. Ethiopia also has ideal conditions for natural processing, so there are a lot of really wonderful naturals like our Daye Bensa from Ethiopia.
Asefa Dukamo grew up in the Sidamo region of Ethiopia. As a child, he and his brother MuluGeta (a co-founder of Daye Bensa) helped their parents cultivate coffee and other crops on their farm. As they grew up, Asefa began working as a coffee supplier and was frustrated by the long distances he had to travel to find a market for his coffee, due to a lack of washing stations. He solved this problem by setting up his own washing station, less than a mile from his parents’ house, and opened another, 30kms away, a year later.
In 2002, Asefa set up a mother washing station called Qonqana, as a place to offer not only washing, but educational opportunities for local farmers. Asefa and MuluGeta also built a dry mill to add to their capabilities as a production group. Today, the Daye Bensa group operates in 6 districts of Sidamo and own 3 coffee farms, 20 washing stations, and 5 mills, as well as a large coffee farm in the Kaffa region.
For his contributions to the region’s economy, Asefa has received many awards. He continues to mentor young business people in the region. In 2006, he and his brother started their own exporting company. The company has added Asefa’s son to their leadership, becoming a multi-generational family business.
In the future, Daye Bensa hopes to work with many more farmers, encourage female farmers, and work with Hawassa University to help student researchers improve coffee quality.