Been a long time since we offered a Yemen coffee – we love them incredibly but with the political battles and atrocities taking place we avoided them. Recently we have gotten into some good discussions with coffee folks and the recent thinking is, good to support these Yemen farmers regardless of what is politically happening in the country. Yemen does aggregate farming, small holders – they do not have traditional farms like we normally see. Traceability is hard on these coffees but we are good buddies with Bob and Max at Royal Coffee and the Yemeni Importer has been good friends with Bob and Max for a long time. As vetted as we could get.
Part of what makes Yemen coffee so cool is shared with Ethiopia – these places are the original habitat for coffee, tons of undocumented strains and wild plants incorporate these beans (partly why they roast uneven). Be prepared for some flavors unique to Ethiopia and Yemen.
Coming from family owned plots located in the Al-Haimah districts in the Sana’a governorate within the western highlands of Yemen, parallel to the Red Sea. Yemen is perhaps the most historic coffee growing region in the world, second only to Ethiopia, with a lineage spanning more than 2,000 years. Coffee production continues today with many of the same traditions dating back to the 15th century, like drying coffee naturally in the cherry on the rooftops of houses perched on the edges of steep mountain ridges. Mocca Peaberry is the product of 23 producers who work closely with an export company called Pearl of Tehama. Through the collaboration small producers have learned processing techniques to ensure consistency in their coffee. Pearl of Tehama is also providing localized receiving warehouses to ease the burden of transporting coffee and ensure safe storage. Pearl of Tehama is currently helping producers organize formally because recognized producer associations can solicit international assistance for need infrastructure improvements like roads, schools and water systems.
Classic Yemen coffee – fruity and chocolaty. Yemen coffees are the rare cup where you can occasionally see a “banana” like fruit tone – don’t worry though, its a little bit of a reach for banana, its not like eating a banana or banana flavored coffee, although with developed tongue, most can pick it up. Red fruit and bakers chocolate are the dominate tones – fruit is accentuated with lighter roasts, chocolaty with darker roasts. A lovely super complex old world natural.
Yemen Mocca is old world natural processed – high chaff and a bit uneven roasting. The cup profile is good light to dark, if roasting on the lighter side, make sure the beans are through first crack – darker roast is easy. Our favorite was a nice medium roast, chocolaty factor is nice and strong but doesn’t mute all the front end jazz.