Ethiopia Sheka Kawo Kamina
Tasting Notes: Blueberry poptart, lemon poundcake
Washing Station: Moplaco Kawo Kamina Farm
Process: Sundried (Natural)
Even among the legendary players of Ethiopia, Moplaco’s Heleanna Georgalis and her father, Yiannis, stand out. One of our longest standing and most remarkable relationships anywhere on the globe, Moplaco was founded in 1972 by Yiannis, a third- generation coffee professional who moved from Greece to Dire Dawa, Harrar, during WWII. Finding a new home in Ethiopia’s Orthodox community, Yiannis became the third generation in his family to work with coffee, embracing it with passion, talent, and dedication. After starting in coffee at age 12, Yiannis became a legendary player in Ethiopian coffee.
When he passed away from a heart attack, he passed the Moplaco legacy on to his daughter, Heleanna, who has taken the reins with gusto. When we met Heleanna, she was living in Barcelona, having gone to business school and gotten her MBA as an investment banker. She had been planning to stay in Europe, but moved back after her father’s death in order to keep the family land. Pushed by Ethiopian law, which does not allow intergenerational land ownership unless the land is consistently in use, she made the choice to take over, and the rest was history. She returned to Ethiopia to continue the legacy of coffee in her family, taking over the family land and continuing to grow and improve both the family business and Ethiopian coffee as a whole. Through years of hard work and meticulous focus, she produces some of the brightest, most complex coffees we’ve ever tasted, and we’re excited to buy them year after year.
Heleanna is known for her love of experimentation and willingness to take risks in order to create a transcendent cup of coffee. Her farming and processing practices are the absolute gold standard, diverse and honed over time. Along with immaculate washed coffees, her sundried coffees show an exquisite and unique cleanliness, along with a distinct citric character like lime along with the other fruits they bring to the table. Another process we’re always excited about is her “Kenya process,” which was inspired by the dry fermentation practices she witnessed in Kenya in order to preserve water. Motivated by the same concern, Heleanna’s Kenya process coffees are depulped, then fermented in cement tanks for 36 hours before drying, bringing the same cleanliness along with a distinct spice character.