Farm: Bani Ismaeli 2628
Varietal: Jaadi (Heirloom)
Altitude: 2000 MASL
Cup Score: 87
Apricot, Almond & Caramel
Yemeni coffee is extremely rare and has been out of reach for decades.
“Hand-picked and sun-dried on terrace rooftops”
The coffee we’ve selected has been sourced through Mocha Mill, one of the first speciality exporters in Yemen. Mocha Mill embarked on their journey into the speciality coffee of Yemen in 2014, running experiments on the feasibility of production and export.
They were able to get a small amount of coffee out of the US in the first season to be cupped and graded. Unfortunately during this time the country broke out into civil war back in 2014. This stopped all plans to export and continue investigating Yemeni coffee until 2017 when they were able to help build a dry mill in the region of Sumat.
Fast forward to 2021, Mocha Mill produced and exported 10 containers of 80+ speciality coffee to Japan, Australia the Middle East and the UK!
Mocha Mill are focused on working with farmers and have been providing education on the best agricultural practices to improve yield and focus on the quality of coffee production.
A key part of their strategy is to empower the farmers and especially the Women as they make up 75% of farmers in Yemen!
They work with full transparency and build long lasting relationships, with farmers being paid on delivery of coffee to the buying point in each region Mocha Mill are established - this avoids corruption and guarantees a fair price and immediate payment as they strive to implement the highest quality control standards and protocols to directly improve the lives of Yemeni producers.
The price of this lot is reflective of the fantastic quality, rarity, a fair price paid to the farmers and transportation from remote mountains.
(As many work passively with little effect felt on the ground level, Mocha Mill are pioneers and work directly, with much uncertainty still surrounding Yemen coffee the only way to protect and improve production is to invest and educate at source.)
We’re so proud to support the Mocha Mill project.
Farm & Varietal
Our selection from this season, is a fantastic Ismaili coffee from Bani, a district of Manakha. The population of Bani Ismail is just 4,900 and is a dusty and precarious 82 mile drive away from the capital, Sana’a.
Not only is Yemen one of the toughest places to source coffee due to the high elevation and largely undeveloped infrastructure, the average farm in Ismail is incredibly small too. Ranging from just 60-400 trees which on average produce around 1,500 kg of cherries, equating to just 3x bags of 60kg exportable green coffee!
This year 11 lots were exported from the Ismaili, Harazi and Howari regions located in the south west of the county.
This beautiful region consists of high mountains, plateaus and valleys that reach an altitude of over 2000 MASL. (See pictures)
Jaadi coffee is characterised by a bright acidity with notes of Grapefruit, Dates, Cocoa, Lemon and Dried-fruits with a rich sweet finish.
This coffee was produced on a small terrace farm high in the mountains. All coffee from Bani is hand-picked, grown with natural Organic fertiliser and dried on rooftops for 12-14 days being turned regularly throughout.
After drying the coffee is milled, colour sorted, cupped and finally separated according to quality at the Mocha Mill warehouse in Sana’a. The lots are then stored in 30kg ecotact bags before being exported.
(This amazing process has a deep cultural significance for Yemeni farmers as they have been processing cherries this way for hundreds of years through family run plantations passed down through generations.)
Yemen is a country facing increasing drought and severe water shortages, and this is why most coffee in Yemen is naturally processed.
As part of their sustainability mission, Mocha Mill are implementing a dry processing technique to address the water scarcity and reduce the impact on communities which may have to choose crop irrigation over other essential uses.
Counter to common belief, Yemen is the birthplace of coffee.
Evidence suggests it’s been consumed since the 11th century where the juice from the cherries was pressed into a sweet drink. It’s then believed coffee was brought to Ethiopia in the 15th century by Sufi Monks as gifts during their travel.
It wasn’t until the end of the 16th century when coffee was exported in larger quantities from the Al-Mukha port - which interestingly is where the name of the drink ‘Mocha’ originates.
In the 19th century Yemen exported a record 57,000 tons at its peak, this is now less than 20,000.
Lastly, the word ‘Arabica’ used to describe the Arabica species of coffee, which almost entirely makes up for all speciality coffee in the world, can be traced back to the word ‘Arabia’.
We’re incredibly lucky to have a small amount of this lot.
This is not to be missed.
Just 100x bags available