Ethiopia – Shantawene by Assefa Dukamo (COE #7 2020 Farm)
"The workmanship of the coffee from Shentawene processed by Assefa Dukamo is a high quality coffee and truly reflected on the cup. Upon grounding the dry aroma is sweet lemon tea, peach, grapefruit jam and bergamot. At first sip, the aroma of Bergamot, the taste of a grapefruit jelly followed by the aroma of lychee and lemongrass. The coffee has a long aftertaste of lychee and bergamot. Solid."
Assefa Dukamo, is the owner of Daye Bensa. He owns a lot of washing station and farm in the Sidama region. At Daye Bensa, traceability is extremely important. Rather than producing a single lots of naturals and washed coffee, they have a long list of micro-lots. Record-keeping, is carefully handled to guarantee highest level of quality.
This coffee is sourced from Shantawene village. It is contributed by 563 Bensa members. Assefa Dukamo manage his company similar to how the Kenyan’s manage their FCS members. This is to ensure that quality procedure is being in place and to ensure cup quality. The coffee produced by Daye Bensa at the Shantawene washing station is certified as Rainforest Alliance and Utz-certified (certified organic). In order to meet the requirements by external auditor, to ensure it is Rainforest Alliance and Utz-certified, record keeping is extremely crucial as most of the coffee produce are outside of the farm or washing station.
Mr Assefa sees the model of the cooperatives in Kenya as an ideal model for Daye Bensa. With this model, export value are higher than average and the farmer gets paid a premium for each coffee that its sent to the washing station.
This is reflected in his participation of his coffee in the Cup Excellence Program in 2020 where he was placed at #7 for coffee from Shentawene village and in 2021 he was placed #8 for his coffee produced at Hamasho village. Take note that Cup of Excellence program started in 2020.
Mr Assefa fortune doesn’t happen overnight. His parents has a small plot of land cultivating coffee and other garden crops. When he was a teenager, he had to do small but many jobs including shoe polishing after school. As he grew older, he progressed in becoming coffee supplier to washing station by buying coffee cherries from his relatives and villagers. In mid 90’s there was a limited number of washing station in Bensa and he had to travel a long distance to market for his coffee. In 1997, he became the owner of his first washing station. His first washing station is called Qonqana. The washing station is still operating and to date, he owns 13 other washing station in Sidama, 5 dry mill and two farm.
This coffee from Shentawene village is of the 74158 coffee variety which is common in Sidama. Rather than supplying with mixed heirloom, farmers are paid better when coffee delivered to the washing station as single variety. Due to extreme traceability implemented by the processor, the team at Daye Bensa is able to trace which farmers has which variety at their farm. When cherries are received, they are separated by which village, variety, delivery dates and lot number. With transparency provided by the farmer, they are awarded with additional bonus based on the volume they contribute and reward on the consistency year in year out (based on weight).
Coffee of this selection is processed as washed coffee. The award winning coffee in 2020 was the Shentawene Natural and was auctioned at USD 23.10 per lbs.
Variety : 74158
Altitude : 1990 to 2190 masl
Origin : Shentawene, Bonsa