Farm: Mashtal ul Burhani
Variety: Tuffahi, Dawairi, Jaadi, various heirloom varieties
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An aromatic and complex natural. Dried Cherry and cranberry in the aroma. Fig, malt and a unique element of baking spices and incense-like aromatic wood that distinguishes Yemeni coffees from naturals of other origins.
Coffee Review scored this coffee 95 points:
"Blind Assessment: Flavor-saturated, vibrantly aromatic. Pomegranate, clove, date, rosewood, tangerine zest in aroma and cup. Deeply sweet structure with balanced, fruit-toned acidity; satiny-smooth mouthfeel. Complex, sweet-tart finish, balanced and long."
An ancient coffee re-invented.
Yemen was the first country to commercial cultivate coffee and has been growing coffee hundreds of years longer than most other origins. It is a rather unique growing environment, being quite dry and also of extreme altitude. This coffee comes from farms at up to 2440m!
This coffee is the result of a collaborative project with importer Cafe Imports and exporter Al-Ezzi. Several years f years ago, Cafe Imports' head of sourcing, Jason Long, was on a long hunt for spectacular Yemen coffees—the kind the coffee-history books are literally written about—and he finally found some in the mid-2010s, when he met Shabbir Ezzi, an entrepreneur and the owner of exporting company Al-Ezzi Industries. Shabbir has invested not just money, time, and energy, but also his life by relocating to Yemen in order to make high-quality coffee a viable, sustainable, and empowering pursuit for the farmers in and around the coffee region of Haraaz.
Shabbir had the passion for improving Yemeni coffee, but not necessarily the background in quality development: Jason requested that Al-Ezzi focus on buying fresh (not dried) cherries from producers and to dry the cherries evenly on raised beds rather than the traditional patios and rooftops. Shabbir agreed, and the collaboration has had remarkable results. Al-Ezzi still works with producers in the traditional way as well, and is able through their efforts in sourcing and sorting to buy coffee at different levels of quality and traceability from producers in Yemen.
This lot comprises fresh coffee cherries collected at Mashtal ul Burhani, a privately owned collection center in Haraaz that collaborates with Al-Ezzi in the collection and tracing of high-quality coffee cherry from farmers in the area.
Until very recently freshly harvested, ripe cherry naturals were almost unheard of from Yemen and coffees from this country were notoriously variable in quality. These new specialty Yemen coffees however are some of the most incredible and distinctive in the world with spice and incense like aromas you just don't come across in natural process coffees from other countries.
Coffee Varieties of Yemen
Many of the varieties grown here are unique to Yemen along with varieties that are the parents of Typica, Bourbon, SL28, and SL34 varieties cultivated around the world. Read more about recent genetic findings of Yemeni coffee populations here