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4 Unique Yemen Coffee Beans You Need To Try

In the world of coffee lovers, that comforting feeling of a morning brew or the energizing boost of caffeine during a tough day is something we all understand. But have you ever wondered where your coffee comes from?


Enter Yemen, a small country on the Arabian Peninsula with a unique place in coffee's history. Yemeni coffee is famous for its unique flavors, grown in exceptional conditions, thanks to dedicated local farmers who have been at it for centuries. These coffee from Yemen are known for their rich and intricate tastes, making them a treat for coffee fans worldwide.


Yemen has a significant role in coffee's early global journey. It is where coffee first spread from Ethiopia, and the port city of Mocha became a coffee trade hub in the 15th and 16th centuries. Yemeni coffee beans and the legendary Mocha Port left a lasting mark on the coffee world.


This blog will uncover the mesmerizing world of Yemeni coffee, from its historical significance to its unique flavor profiles and the best Yemen coffee bean varieties. So, take your cup and discover the essence of this ancient and cherished brew with us.

Before moving forward, let us first understand what a Yemeni Coffee is.


What is Yemeni Coffee?


What is Yemeni Coffee?

Yemeni coffee, also known as Arabian coffee, is a particular type of coffee that has a rich history. It all began in Ethiopia, where coffee plants called Coffea arabica were found. These plants traveled to Yemen across the Red Sea around the sixth century, likely when Ethiopians invaded Yemen. The Yemeni people started calling the coffee plant "qahwa," which originally meant "wine" in Arabic but now means "coffee."


What makes Yemeni coffee unique is how it is grown. Yemeni farmers have used traditional and natural farming methods for over 500 years. This careful cultivation results in premium Yemen coffee beans that are highly regarded worldwide and often considered some of the best in the global coffee market. So, Yemen coffee is not just a drink; it is a piece of coffee history known for its exceptional quality.


In the next section, let us explore the region where Yemen coffee is grown and the must-try Yemen coffee beans.


Where is Yemeni Coffee Grown?


Yemeni coffee, celebrated for its exotic flavors, is grown mainly in Yemen's western and central highlands. Yemen's western mountains are home to the country's major coffee-growing regions: Harazi, Mattari, Sanani, and Ismaili. Each area imparts its unique characteristics to the coffee beans they produce, making for a diverse and fascinating coffee experience.


Their exceptional geographical characteristics make these regions unique for coffee cultivation. Yemen coffee is grown at impressive altitudes, ranging from 1,500 to 2,500 meters above the sea level. Cool temperatures, low humidity, and minimal rainfall characterize the climate in Yemen's coffee-growing regions. These conditions and the lofty altitude result in a prolonged maturation process for coffee cherries. This slow development allows the cherries to get intricate and intense flavors, ultimately defining the distinct taste of coffee in Yemen.


Another critical factor in the success of coffee cultivation in Yemen is the soil. The regions are covered in volcanic ash and rocks, offering excellent drainage and nutrient-rich conditions for coffee plants to grow. The combination of volcanic soil and Yemen's distinct climate gives Yemeni coffee beans their characteristic flavor profile.


Must Try Yemen Coffee Beans


1. Harazi Coffee


Harazi coffee hails from the picturesque Haraz Mountains in Yemen, a region known for its peculiar microclimate and elevation that shapes its distinct flavor. These high-quality beans offer a refined coffee experience that is refreshingly light on the palate. Unlike some other bean varieties, Harazi coffee offers subtle flavors with fruity and gentle spice notes, making it an excellent choice for those who prefer a clean and easy-to-sip cup of coffee. The slow ripening process, supported by cool temperatures, ample shade, and nutrient-rich volcanic soil, allows Harazi coffee cherries to develop their full range of flavors.


2. Mattari Coffee


Hailing from the mountainous terrain of Bani Mattar, located west of Yemen's capital city, Sana'a, Mattari Coffee is renowned for its top-tier quality. This exceptional variety of coffee from Yemen boasts a full body and is characterized by robust dark chocolate undertones. What sets Mattari coffee apart is its wine-like acidity, which adds a vibrant tanginess to every sip.


3. Sanani Coffee


The coffee beans grown in the mountains west of Sana'a, Yemen, are known as Sanani coffee. While these beans grow at slightly lower altitudes, making them comparatively less esteemed than coffee from other Yemeni regions, they offer a balanced and fruity profile with a medium body. Unlike some Yemeni coffees, Sanani beans feature less of the characteristic wine-like acidity. Despite their lower reputation in Yemeni coffee, Sanani beans provide an excellent entry point for those eager to explore the Yemeni coffee scene. They offer a harmonious flavor profile and a more budget-friendly price point, making them an approachable choice for coffee enthusiasts.


4. Ismaili Coffee


Ismaili coffee is a unique Yemeni variety grown in the Banai Ismail mountains within the Haraaz region. Its exceptionally high altitude distinguishes it, giving it a different flavor profile. Ismaili coffee is among the finest Yemen mocha coffees, offering bold acidity balanced with warm chocolate and fruity notes. This brew also carries interesting spicy hints, including tobacco, cardamom, and leather undertones. Despite its lesser-known status, Ismaili coffee is among the world's highest-quality coffees, making it a must-try for coffee enthusiasts seeking exceptional flavors.


Let us now dive into the flavor profile of Yemen Coffee.


Yemen Coffee Flavor Profile


4 Unique Yemen Coffee Beans

Yemeni coffee beans are like a flavor treasure trove. They bring out rich chocolatey notes, the sweet tang of berries, and a subtle woody touch. When you sip this coffee, it is like taking a flavor journey that awakens your senses.


People often call Yemeni coffee "Yemen mocha" because of its exotic taste. It is full-bodied with a complex, earthy flavor. The acidity in this coffee is kind of like wine – rich and vibrant. When you relish Yemeni coffee, you will discover many flavors. You might notice hints of cinnamon, spices, raisins, and, most importantly, the delicious taste of chocolate. There is even a little earthy, tobacco-like hint in there.


The chocolatey goodness in Yemeni coffee is so special that it gave its name to the famous port in Yemen – "Mocha." And it is also why people started adding chocolate to their drinks to recreate this fantastic flavor, giving us the word "mocha" that we use today for a delightful coffee and chocolate combination.


Three renowned varieties of Yemen's coffee offerings stand out: Mocca Khulani Natural, Mocca Hajjah Natural and Red Sea Blend.


Let us delve deeper into each of these Yemen coffee varieties and the distinctive flavors they bring to your cup:


Mocca Khulani Natural


This coffee variety is an accurate representation of Yemen's coffee heritage. It flaunts a rich and earthy flavor profile. When you take a sip of Mocca Khulani Natural, you are transported to the heart of Yemen's coffee-growing regions. The earthiness is often accompanied by a subtle nuttiness, making it a favorite among those who appreciate coffee with a grounded, robust character.


Mocca Hajjah Natural


If you're seeking an enchanting and indulgent coffee experience, Mocca Hajjah Natural is your go-to choice. This variety is celebrated for its intriguing blend of flavors, featuring prominent notes of chocolate and spice. Mocca Hajjah Natural leaves an enduring impression, making it a coffee worth savoring.


Red Sea Blend


For those who savor the artistry of coffee blending, the Red Sea Blend is a masterpiece. It brings together the different qualities of Ethiopian and Yemeni coffee beans in perfect harmony. Ethiopian coffee is renowned for its bright acidity and fruity undertones, while Yemeni coffee offers depth and earthiness. They create a delightful mix of flavors that satisfies your taste buds.


Wondering what to look for when buying Yemen Coffee? Read further.


What to Look For When Buying Yemen Coffee?


Here are some things to look for when buying Yemen coffee beans:

  • The roast level: Yemeni coffee is typically roasted medium to dark, but you can find it roasted in a variety of roast levels. The roast level affects the flavor of the coffee, so choose a roast level you enjoy.

  • The bean type: Many different bean types are grown in Yemen, each with its unique flavor profile. The most popular bean types include Harazi, Mattari, Sanani and Ismaili.

  • The freshness: Yemeni coffee is best when it is fresh. Look for beans that have been roasted within the past few weeks.

  • The source: Buying Yemeni coffee from a reputable source is important. This will help ensure that you are getting a high-quality product.

  • The price: Yemeni coffee is premium, so it can be more expensive than other coffees. However, the quality is worth the price.


Now, let us look closer at the top-quality Yemeni coffee beans available at Mokafé Coffee House.


Best Yemeni Coffee Beans From Mokafé Coffee House


Mokafé Coffee House offers four distinct varieties of coffee from Yemen, each showcasing the unique flavors of its place of origin. They are as listed below:


Abdulhakeem Jarma


Abdulhakeem Jarma coffee, sourced from Jarma Village, Sana'a, boasts vibrant acidity and delightful flavors of cotton candy, lemon, and jasmine. It's meticulously processed using traditional African raised beds and naturally sun-dried methods.



Taher Saleh Abarat


Taher Saleh Abarat coffee, from Abarat Village in Yemen's East-Haraz Area, offers a juicy, bright acidity and a delightful medium aftertaste. This coffee is crafted with precision, using African Raised Beds and natural sun-drying methods.



Ghalib Barrel Aged


Ghalib Barrel Aged coffee from Wadi Seil Village in Yemen's Haraz Area tantalizes with juicy, bright red fruit notes. This exceptional coffee undergoes a distinctive 7-day barrel semi-anaerobic processing, complemented by natural sun-drying.



Yemen Fruits Chocolata Village Lot


Indulge in the distinct flavors of Yemen Fruits Chocolata Village Lot, sourced from Haima Village. This coffee offers a sweet medium aftertaste and is meticulously processed using the rooftop drying technique, showcasing the expertise of Bani Matar's skilled farmers.



Conclusion


Coffee from Yemen, a testament to centuries of tradition and flavor, brings the rich history of coffee to life. Rooted in Ethiopia and nurtured in Yemen's unique high-altitude regions like Harazi, Mattari, Sanani, and Ismaili, it personifies a coffee experience like no other. This special coffee has bright acidity and flavors like chocolate, berries, and spices, making it a global treasure. Notably, Yemen's Mocha Port left a lasting mark on coffee history, giving birth to the term "mocha."


You can also explore Yemeni coffee with Mokafé Coffee House, which offers varieties like Abdulhakeem Jarma, Taher Saleh Abarat, and Ghalib Barrel Aged. Each cup is a journey through Yemen's heritage and celebrates its exceptional flavors. Treasure the rich history, deep-rooted tradition, and unparalleled taste of Yemeni coffee, and let every sip transport you to the heart of this coffee-loving nation.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why is Yemen coffee so good?


Yemeni coffee is good because of its unique flavor profile, characterized by its bright acidity and complex taste. It often has hints of chocolate, berries, and spices. Yemeni coffee is also grown in high-altitude regions, contributing to its quality.


2. What is unique about Yemen coffee?


Yemeni coffee is unique because of its long and rich history. It is believed to be the oldest coffee in the world, and it has been traded for centuries. Yemeni coffee is also grown in a unique environment, which gives it its distinctive flavor.


3. Is Yemen coffee acidic?


Yes, Yemeni coffee is acidic. This is due to the high altitudes at which it is grown. The acidity can be balanced by using a darker roast, but it is still a characteristic of Yemeni coffee.


4. Is Yemen coffee strong?


Yemeni coffee can be strong, but it depends on the roast level. A darker roast will be stronger than a lighter roast. Yemeni coffee is also known for its full-bodied flavor, which some people perceive as strong.


5. What does Yemen coffee taste like?


Yemeni coffee has a complex flavor profile characterized by its bright acidity and hints of chocolate, berries, and spices. It also has a slightly smoky flavor. The flavor will vary depending on the specific variety of coffee and the roast level.


6. Is Yemen coffee expensive?


Yes, Yemeni coffee is expensive. This is due to several factors, including the high quality of the coffee, the small quantities produced, and the challenging growing conditions.


7. Is Yemen coffee Arabica or Robusta?


Yemeni coffee is Arabica coffee. Arabica coffee is considered to be the highest quality type of coffee. It is grown at high altitudes and has a delicate flavor.


8. Is Yemen coffee the Best in the world?


Yemeni coffee is considered one of the world's best coffees. It has a unique flavor profile and is grown in a unique environment. However, no single "best" coffee exists, and different people have different preferences.


9. Why does Yemen have the best coffee in Western Asia?


Yemen has the best coffee in Western Asia because of its unique growing conditions. The high altitudes, fertile soil, and cool climate create a perfect environment for growing Arabica coffee. Yemen also has a long coffee cultivation and production history, which has helped develop the skills and expertise needed to produce high-quality coffee.


More From Jorge Armando Ciciliani

 

About The Author: Jorge Armando Ciciliani

Jorge - Coffee Expert

Jorge is a seasoned coffee professional with a lifelong passion for all things coffee. For over a decade, he has fervently immersed himself in the world of coffee, mastering its preparation, understanding its societal impact, and uncovering its cultural significance. Starting as a barista at the young age of 15 and later managing a coffee roastery, this journey led him to work as a quality control manager for a green coffee importer. Traveling across countries in Central and North America, Jorge has explored various coffee traditions and honed his skills through Specialty Coffee Association courses. As a QC Cupping coffee connoisseur and sensory skills enthusiast, Jorge is a true expert in the art of brewing and savoring the perfect cup. Consider him your trusted Fika expert.

 

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