Yemen’s importance to the history of coffee cannot be understated. Yemen was the first place where coffee was actively cultivated, and, from the 15th to the 18th century, almost all the coffee drunk in the world passed through the port of Mocha. Today, Yemen produces only a fraction of the volume of coffee that it did at its peak, but the coffee that it does produce is special.
This coffee is an experimental lot, grown by a small collective of farmers in the Wadi Al-maa region. The producers ferment the coffee cherries in an airtight barrel for five days before drying them in sun and shade. The barrel’s low-oxygen environment extends the fermentation, allowing time for the development of lactic acid. This results in distinctively creamy flavours and a milky texture.
The fermentation experiment was part of an initiative led by Mocha Mill, an exporting company that works with Yemeni farmers (over 75% of whom are women) to build infrastructure, develop sustainable agricultural practices, and create a transparent supply chain. We are grateful to have purchased this coffee from Falcon Specialty, who have partnered with Mocha Mill to import their coffee to Europe.
Mocha Mill’s work is vitally important. Yemen is currently affected by one of the worst water crises in the world and extreme water shortages make coffee growing and processing incredibly difficult and expensive. Yemen is now in the seventh year of a civil war: one that has resulted in more than half the population experiencing famine, the destruction of infrastructure, and extreme poverty.
In order to give something back, 2€ from every bag sold will be donated by Vote Coffee to Pure Hands, a U.S.-based non-profit organization that work in education, food distribution, and medical assistance in Yemen. The donation will be spent towards providing medicine, medical equipment, and PPE to hospitals and healthcare facilities.
You can purchase this coffee in 250g bags with a print of the beautiful illustration above via our webshop or at Isla Coffee Berlin
Producers: Small-holder producers
Exporter: Mocha Mill
Importer: Falcon Specialty
Processing: Anaerobic Natural
Region: Wadi Al-maa, Haraz
Varieties: Jaadi & Udhini
Flavour Profile: Gingerbread, stewed plum, jackfruit, vanilla custard