Assefa Estate, Keffa
SNNPR (Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region)
Assefa Dukamo Plantation
ECX Classification - Sun Dried Natural Specialty, Q1
1600 - 1750 MASL
Assefa is a mountain of an Ethiopian man. Standing well over six-feet tall and inhabiting a solid three-foot globe, he is a presence to be reckoned with and his work ethic is unrelenting. His is a contagious drive too, inspiring everyone around him to excellence, simultaneously out of respect and fear.
There is no need to fear Assefa, though, because his heart is even bigger than he is. Not that one would want to act lazily or irresponsibly under his employ! Well, put another way, he just doesn't employ lazy or irresponsible people to care for his coffee.
Assefa takes very seriously his responsibility and commitment to his employees. That is easily evident in the communities where he works and in his own coffee estate, spanning 100+ hectares. The health and joy that spring from the people in his community are largely benefits from Assefa's direct investment in their lives, whether through micro finance opportunities for creative and entrepreneurial folks or by simply ensuring high standards of cleanliness in the workplace. It may seem insignificant, but think about the impact on one's morale to be working in dirty, disorganized or unsafe environments. Every bit of the workplace is kept clean and organized, fostering an atmosphere of quality which absolutely reflects in the cup.
When we were visiting Assefa and his community this sourcing season, Ethiopia was suffering a severe cash shortage. It is difficult for us to imagine what that is like, to have money in the bank, but to be unable to withdraw or spend any of it, due to a shortage of physical paper currency. Assefa, being well known and respected in communities throughout Ethiopia for his integrity and commitment to his people, was able to call on some friends from other coffee mills and borrow the necessary cash so that he could pay the people that labor at his farm and mill. This fundamental valuing of human dignity is exemplary. It is what we strive for in our own pursuits. This also demonstrates the dire need to contractually commit to coffees in Ethiopia, since foreign currency is vital to the economic well being of Ethiopia. We are utmost happy to be working with Assefa and his wonderful community.
These is an extremely special preparation lots. The harvesting protocols were detailed and the ripe cherries were still placed in a floating tank, in order to ensure quality. Once floaters were removed, the cherries were placed on slotted, raised drying beds and manually rotated for even drying, which took place over 12-16 days on average.
Keffa - berry preserves, vanilla malt, clove