Theory Coffee Roasters Ethiopia Damo
Taste Notes: Key Lime / Orange Candy / Coriander
Roast Level: Light
Producer: Asefa Dukamo
Region: Bensa Sidama
Varietal: 74/158, 74/110,Setami & Mikicho
Altitude: 1900-2100+ MASL
Damo washing station is a newer site built by our long term partner, Asefa Dukamo Korma, with whom we have worked for years on a number of levels at several of the family’s washing stations throughout Sidama. The family acquired the site in time for the 2017/2018 harvest, when we first tasted these coffees. We exported all of the 17/18 harvest, which was a very small amount, and we are exporting more than triple for the 2019 harvest! Since it is so new to the family, the focus remains first on building quality relationships with the local producers and maintaining excellence in the process controls, before taking on any huge projects.
If you are lucky enough to hop in a vehicle and drive from Qonqona washing station, another of Asefa’s sites where we have partnered for years, to Damo, you will find yourself watching the trees flick by and stripe your vision with the saturated sun and shade of beautiful Bensa district. Red mud hardens to livid ruts. A ping pong table under an acacia tree sends laughter and the smack of tiny balls through the open windows, along with the smell of roasting goat and berberi spices. At some point if you glance to your left, you will see a stunning brick church built in a many-sided circle, with a crinkled red roof and beautiful wooden doors depicting saints. Arches let out onto a brick veranda. Shortly around the curve, at Damo itself, you will be welcomed with smiles.
The Damo Village washing station sits on the slopes of the Shanta Golba mountain, where the coffee cherries are gathered. One of the defining characteristics of this site is that the fermentation tanks are shaded by tin roofs, which has a twofold effect. The shade provides a comfortable environment for workers, while protecting the tanks from rain contamination during fermentation and soaking. Our partners have implemented shaded tanks at the Bombe/Abore site (also in Bensa) and the Kellenso Mekonissa site in Bule Hora, Guji. Ultimately, the process slows down the fermentation time, limiting the direct sun exposure. We find this lengthened fermentation time has an extremely positive impact on the cup quality as well, with enhanced acidity and focused fruit. The view through the posts holding up the roof is of green hills, shaded into greener hills, bumping up against blue blue sky.