||Yemen Haraaz Red Cherry Natural 2018
||Varietals: Tuffahi, Dawairi, and Jaadi
One of the most ancient histories of coffee production belongs to Yemen, the small peninsular nation that juts into the Red Sea. Since roughly the late 16th century, coffee in Yemen has been produced and processed using traditional methods. The method typically used in Yemen is a “tree-dried natural” process, in which the coffee cherry is allowed to dry on the tree before it's picked, further dried on rooftops, husked and milled. This practice historically resulted in the classic Yemeni characteristics of muddled fruit and earthy, deep notes in the cup – but what would Yemeni coffee taste like if the cherry was picked ripe?
Yemen has been in the grips of a devastating civil war for several years, which of course makes coffee importing seem like the least-important issue, but being able to provide a continual source of income for farmers during times of political strife can have a significant impact on their livelihoods and, in some small way, make an impact on the country's agricultural sector as a whole.
This coffee was sourced directly from farmers and farmer groups, sold to our export partner as ripe cherry and sorted for optimal quality before being dried on raised beds—an innovation practically unheard of in this very tradition-steeped country. Coffees are typically collected and dried by farmers on rooftops and sold in a variety of qualities and at different levels of ripeness, under-ripeness, and fermented. The resulting cup here is full of big, bright, ripe-fruit flavors, rather than the more common muddled fruit, and earthy, deep chocolate notes associated with Yemeni coffee.
Each producer's delivery is recorded at the time of delivery, and the farmer receives a price based on the quantity of coffee delivered, its moisture content at the time of delivery (cherry, not bean), and density. A premium is paid by our export partner to the Yemeni coffee farmers for selective picking and quality of cup. There are hundreds, even a thousand or more producers who contribute coffee to this lot, as coffee farming in Yemen is mostly done in "gardens" or at least garden-size plots, some producing no more than a few scant kilos of cherries per year. The political situation and a longstanding water crisis, as well as the bulk of the nation's agricultural resources being diverted to growing the stimulant plantqat, has caused a deep decline in the coffee production here, in what used to be the world's foremost and most sought-after coffee-growing nation.
However, as we’ve seen from other coffee-growing regions' recovery from political or martial turmoil—such as in Rwanda and Honduras—high-quality specialty coffee can be a positive and productive element of economic and social rebuilding. We hope the same will be true for the beautiful people and the marvelous coffee of Yemen.
In the cup this is gloopy black cherry & cacao, a classic combination! It's got a unique spiciness that makes this very special though - sweet allspice to begin with, shifting to a subtle black pepper aftertaste and a little shoulder of oolong tea too.
Farm: Various smallholder farmers
Varietals: Tuffahi, Dawairi, and Jaadi
Altitude: 1,900–2,440 m.a.s.l.
Processing method: Natural
Medium dark – this is a tricky coffee to roast! Through first crack and finish just before second crack, but it will need a lot of heat to get it there.
"Quick Look" Guide
Black cherry, cacao, allspice, black pepper, oolong tea.
Note: Cupping Scores for Clean Cup & Sweetness are actually 6.5 each, not as above (software limitation, allows whole numbers only)
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