I first discovered Alakef Coffee when friends of mine served it to me when I was visiting Duluth, before I moved here. It was fantastically good. They told me something of the story–that it was made by Nessim Bohbot, who, along with his wife Deborah, had lived a very interesting life. After I moved to Duluth, knowing the insular ways of the city and not wanting to be isolated, I decided to call people I wanted to meet. I called the Bohbots and asked them over for–not coffee, I believe, but dessert or something. Bless them, they overlooked the eccentricity of my request and did stop by. We had several fascinating talks and I heard something of their sotry–how they met in Israel, the history of Nessim’s family’s diaspora and how they ended up in Paris, how he became interested in good coffee, and how he started the company here, how the name means “of the best, the finest.” It is consistently excellent coffee, I’ve never had better, particularly the dark roasts. Every morning it’s a revelation. My guy, Doug McEneany, is of the same mind. Every morning we make two pots of coffee, and we have dedicated cups–big shapely ones he found at the Milwaukee Art Mueseum–that each hold a half-pot of the French press style coffee we make. The other thing about Alakef Coffee is its support of community efforts. Almost always the coffee served at art shows and concerts, any arts or community event, is Alakef, donated by the company. That would almost be enough to ensure my support, but the fact that it really is the best is the real reason I never buy another brand.
– Ann Klefstad