The Abu Afif olive oil visitors centre invites you to an experience of olive oil tasting, learning about the traditional production of olive oil which is passed from father to son in the Afif family and a shop selling the products. This is an encounter with a Druze family whereby olive oil is its second name.
The new and modern visitors centre is a direct continuation of the family’s first olive press which was built by Abu Afif in 1952. It was then a traditional olive press, although the stones were not turned by donkeys; as Hurfeish had still not been connected to electricity the stones were turned using a cable connected to a generator. Today the olive press has three modern production lines and the olive press and the visitors centre is managed by Lutafi, Abu Afif’s son.
The centre has a spacious and modern timber deck, the toilets are sparkling clean and there is abundant parking.
On the shelves you will find various species of Syrian Galilean olive oils, olives preserved traditionally and home-made, various types of coffee, soaps made of olive oil, a machine squeezing nigella oil, which is considered to be a super food, a coffee grinding machine, various types of honey, olives, labaneh and spices and Doctor Dabour cosmetics from the adjacent Beit Jan.
The guests arrive to a friendly Druze reception and are invited to taste the products, while receiving an explanation about olive oil, the harvest season, the production of oil in an olive press, the types of oil and the best way to keep its aroma for a long time (in dark bottles).
The new and modern visitors centre is a direct continuation of the family’s first olive press that was built by Abu Afif in 1952, It was then a traditional olive press, although the stones were not turned by donkeys; as Hurfeish had still not been connected to electricity the stone were turned using a cable connected to a generator. Today the olive press has three modern production lines and the olive press and the visitors centre is managed by Lutafi, Abu Afif’s son who during his military service was the driver for the great Druze fighter, Colonel Nabia Marai of blessed memory, the deputy commander of the Gaza Division who fell in battle.
Lutafi suckled olive oil together with his mother’s milk. As a child the olive press was his playground. From as far back as he can remember he worked in the olive press and the olive harvest (to this day every olive harvest there is a harvest vacation for the pupils so that they can help). He learnt the secrets of the profession from the ground to the tree tops. Today his son is 18, the third generation of olive growers and olive oil producers, and he also works in the olive press.
Light Druze meals are available in the visitors centre: homemade labaneh, traditional olives, honey, Druze pita bread, sambusak, mankish which is a type of Druze pizza – All of these are baked in a large wood oven on site – za’atar, cool lemonade from squeezed fresh lemons, coffee from the espresso machine or Druze coffee.
During the olive harvest season you can join the harvest in the Afif family’s olive groves and visit the olive press which produces the oil.
You can also participate in glycerine soap workshops for adults and children – extra charge.