Archers & Daye Bensa Partnership
Archers knew Sidama Bensa coffee was special well before Ethiopia's Cup of Excellence started. After blind cupping 14-16 samples during Panama Geisha season in 2019, the team picked out the top three. The supposed calibrator, Hamasho Village from Daye Bensa, surprisingly took the top two spot.
The relationship started with 60 bags of Hamasho Village Natural in 2020 and has been going strong since. We celebrated our third year of prosperous partnership last October with two exclusive Archers Lots— Hamasho Village Anaerobic 192 Hours and Gatta Warm Anaerobic.
Daye Bensa Producer’s Talk
As part of our celebration, we hosted Kenean Dukamo, 2nd Place Winner of the Ethiopia COE 2022 and Export Manager of Daye Bensa Coffee. Kenean is a second-generation leader in the company founded by his father Asefa and his uncle Mulugeta.
Daye Bensa Coffee is one of Ethiopia's Top 5 Coffee Exporters. They supply 7,500 tons annually to 25 countries. Unlike others, they produce their own coffee on this massive scale and operate a relationship-based model with farmers, buyers, and other producers, allowing them to directly influence and improve their coffee's quality.
Q Processing 2 in Gatta Washing Station, Sidama Bensa
An upcoming hallmark of our partnership is the Q Processing Level 2 course this coming 21-27 January 2023, to be held in Daye Bensa's Coffee School in Gatta Washing Station. This is their hub for Microlots and Experimental Lots, where they train coffee processing and quality control professionals.
There’s no better way to learn all about processing at origin. Beginners will learn the theory from lectures that accompany the practical aspects of the course. For certified Generalists, lectures and hands on processing activities will further enhance their foundational knowledge. Everyone will participate in the interactive team activities, applied lessons, and cuppings.
Come and join us on this coffee adventure. Book your seat here before we run out!
Found at the center of Shantawene Village, the farm is surrounded by rivers and an indigenous forest with trees more than a hundred years old. It has a residential area for students and tourists, and is verified as Organic, C.A.F.E PRACTICE, UTZ, and a part of the Rainforest Alliance.
Coffee Education Advocate
Building on his father's legacy, Kenean is an advocate for people to be interested in coffee – to drink it and be educated about it. His mission is for everyone in Ethiopia, especially the youth, to see coffee not as "a boring agriculture thing to do" but as something worthwhile.
Their Gatta Coffee School plays a big role in this, as do the learning opportunities given to their partner farmers and their employees. For instance, every 50-100 partner farmers regularly receive information about healthy cultivation practices from a dedicated contact.
Daye Bensa staff attend regular cupping sessions, where they use coffee roasted overseas to broaden their horizon. Production personnel attend training to upskill and cope with current trends.
Kenean himself continues to learn from his father, partners like Archers, and producers from other countries (several of whom he met through Archers). He makes it a point to share what he learns back with his team. He is also now getting into roasting and barista skills to understand more about how consumers experience their coffee.
Catching "A Feeling for Coffee"
Kenean’s passion for coffee was "not automatic." Growing up, he spent more time in the capital returning to Daye Bensa for vacations. More interested in technology, he left to take up programming at a US university after high school. Interestingly, that is where he found his way back to coffee.
While it was still not something he looked forward to then, coffee was always on the agenda during his family’s visits. He helped them meet roasters and "started to pick up some feeling for coffee” while helping out at a roastery.
One summer, he went on an origin trip to Guatemala. He was inspired by the craft and the passion of the producer they met and became curious about a dry fermentation method he witnessed.
The next year, he went home to Daye Bensa and tried the Guatemalan technique successfully. He ended up selling the coffee to his roaster friend. When he realized "you can actually be creative around coffee,” he decided to make it his career.
Cupping & Thoughts on the Future
To close the Talk, we cupped a range of Daye Bensa coffees, including our new Archers Lots. It was like a mini-lesson in sensory, comparing Hamasho Village processed in different ways Natural, Washed, Anaerobic 72 Hours, and Anaerobic 192 Hours.
After cupping, we sat down with Kenean to know about his thoughts on the future of coffee and his coffee routine.
Overall, he sees a lot of opportunity in untapped areas where people are just beginning to be curious about specialty coffee, countries like Qatar and Turkey.
For Daye Bensa, he plans to build on their COE win by creating a division focused on "intentional coffees.” These will be grown, picked, processed, and marketed with the intention of being used for competition. He also wants to enter creative collaborations with outside sectors like the arts or winemaking.
The larger work lies in serving new markets sourcing specialty coffee while still learning about the effort required to produce it. He explained that there is a need to establish a common understanding that good coffee does not only mean 90+.
Chasing 90+ year-on-year was also a concern raised during the Talk. One suggestion was to increase the community’s awareness of what it takes to achieve higher cup scores and to help consumers appreciate the whole chain of quality in specialty coffee.
Coffee Family Habits
Kenean told us about his favorite coffees and his coffee routine. From Ethiopia, he likes Hamasho Village Natural and Washed for everyday, and extended fermentation occasionally. Outside Ethiopia, he favors Panama Natural and Kenya Washed.
On weekends, he brews at home. On a work day, he might drink up to four coffees in the office, but the last has to be before 4.00 pm. Lightheartedly, he shared that his parents are the exact opposite. Visibly amused, he continued saying they have seven to eight coffees in a day, even having their last cup just before bedtime, with no effect on their sleep.
Written by: Nadine Onate | Photos by: David Disuanco, Pauline Disuanco