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Ethiopia - Daye Bensa



REGION | Sidamo, Ethiopia

PROCESS | Washed

SPECIES | Arabica 

VARIETY | Heirloom

ALTITUDE | 1600-2100 MASL



Daye Bensa started as a joint venture between two brothers, Asefa and Mulugeta Dukamo.

Born into a coffee producing family, and being the eldest, the responsibility was felt by Asefa to help the family with the harvest and take the coffee to market. As he grew up, he dreamed of shortening this distance for his family and the neighbouring producers. Working in more small ventures and increasing his vision solidified into owning a washing station.

This dream became a reality in 1997 by setting up his first ever washing station (with other co-founders holding a major share) in Girja village. Less than a mile from his parents’ house, the next year saw another washing station open in Eltama, 30km away.

Having a family and moving to Daye, in Bensa, the growth continued with his brother Mulugeta playing a major role in driving this forward. They created a larger, ‘mother’ washing station, joined by their own dry mill facility to further improve quality and immediacy.

Certifications were introduced, and training sessions began to be conducted with producers.

Asefa has been awarded a number of trophies and certificates of appreciation from local and regional level for supplying sizable volume and quality coffee to market, and also for his contributions in social and economic developments of the region. Asefa mentored many young people who own companies with his valuable advice and also provided personal guarantees for them to get bank loans as he is very well respected by the banks.

The next stage in the journey was to be able to manage their own exports, which they did in 2006, naming it after the area the vision was formed. Now into the second generation involved, Asefa’s eldest son Kenean has taken a role in the export company after studying at university abroad.

They now operate in six districts called Bensa, Bura, Chabe, Hoko (Girja), Aroressa, and Chire, and own three farms as well as the washing stations.



Known as the horn of Africa, Ethiopia is a northern African nation steeped in history. Bordering Somalia to the East, and Eritrea to the north, it remains surprisingly politically and economically stable given its neighbours. Exporting through the port of Djibouti, Ethiopia exports over 3m bags of coffee per annum. Mountainous, forested and arid deserts, Ethiopia has a vast array of landscapes and climates. The Central Government is managed from the Capital city of Addis Ababa – one of the highest cities in Africa, and the base for one of the United Nations largest headquarters.

Ethiopia is not only the largest coffee producer in Africa, it also has the largest domestic consumption on the continent too. This well-developed domestic consumption of coffee has been driven by the long history with coffee the country has: home to the famous “Kaldi”, the goat herder who supposedly first discovered coffee’s ‘caffeinated’ qualities. Many coffee species are indigenous to Ethiopia, with Heirloom now the most common. Coffee is produced in a number of regional zones to the west and south of the capital Addis Ababa, most famously Sidamo and Yirgacheffe.

Bench Maji, a lesser known zone to the west of Djimma is starting to make a name for itself in the exporting world, as coffee aficionados look further afield for more exotic coffees. Ethiopia has an abundance of varied flavour profiles – depending on the process and region the coffee is produced – from strawberry fruit, to mango, passion fruit and pineapple. If sweet juicy fruits are your thing – Ethiopia is the answer.

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