Yemen — bringing back the roots
We know this story below is a long read. But it’s worth it.
This incredible coffee has such a rich story that fits its rich, but delicate and clean flavours seamlessly. An incredible single farm DNA verified Yemenia variety coffee, in collaboration with our friends at Saints of Mokha.
SAINTS OF MOKHA
Established in 2016, Saints of Mokha is a young, family run business based in Leicester, UK. Founders Omar and Mohammed excited about the intricate history of coffee, and passionate about sourcing and roasting the highest quality coffee available.
We met Omar numerous times at different coffee events and immediately hit it off. He’s the most friendly guy you’ll meet, so when we clicked it was already destined that we could do something together.
A couple of months ago we asked Omar about his connections with Qima Coffee, because, when we launch a coffee, we prefer it to be as exclusive as possible. Omar told us he had some great connections with Faris Sheibani, the founder and CEO of Qima Coffee.
For this exclusive collaboration Faris gave us an exclusive premium on a lot that had not yet been offered, so also had no chance of being in the Best of Yemen auction. However, we feel like this coffee would have scored very well if it would have been submitted.
Omar and his brother Mohammed, together with their head roaster Joe, personally brought the green coffee to our roastery in Rotterdam. Where we roasted this amazing coffee for the the first time, had good laughs, pizza, a tour through the city of Rotterdam and of course more than a couple cups of coffee.
A unique collaboration, built on trust, friendship and the true heritage of coffee.
Source: Qima Coffee
Whilst some coffee aficionados are aware of Yemen’s rich coffee history, being the birthplace of the coffee drink, few are aware of Yemen’s critical role in shaping arabica’s genetics across the world.
In fact, over 98% of the world’s known cultivated varieties of Coffea arabica, can be traced back to Yemen. The arabica species, which was found wild in the forests of Ethiopia, travelled to Yemen at least 600 years ago, where it was grown as a cultivated crop, likely for the first time in the crop’s history. As it went from the lush forests of Ethiopia to the arid mountains of Yemen, the genetics of the Yemeni trees would change over time to adapt to the new environment through domestication and natural selection. Coffee cultivation continued in Yemen for the next 300 years, during which the genetics of the Yemeni coffee trees gradually changed through domestication and a process known as genetic drift, such that they became distinctly different from their Ethiopian ancestors. These unique trees would go on to become the ‘mother’ trees of almost all of the cultivated varieties known today.
Within the species of arabica, there exist dozens of varieties which fall under several groups termed mother populations.
The four known Mother Populations in Coffea arabica are: Ethiopian accessions, Typica Bourbon, SL-34, and SL-17.
On August 14th 2020, Qima Coffee announced the discovery of an entirely new mother population that was previously unknown to the coffee world.
Yemenia is a new mother population within the species of Coffea arabica that is found exclusively in Yemen, and represents an ocean of unexplored genetics and future varieties that have the potential to reshape the world of arabica for centuries to come.
To assess the cup quality of Yemen, Qima Coffee, in collaboration with the Alliance for Coffee Excellence, put together an independent jury panel of 35 cuppers from 24 leading global coffee companies across 14 countries. The cup quality was found to be exceptional and the coffees were ranked as amongst the highest in the world.
THE REGION OF SHURAFAH
Haraaz is famous for its villages which cling to nearly inaccessible rocky peaks. Despite the elevation of the mountains reaching over 2000 above sea level, the weather stays warm and comfortable. The farms seem to hang in the sky when the fog touches them. Haraaz is Yemen’s largest coffee producing area by volume. The area harbours strong anti-qat sentiments here as locals perceive it as a social vice.
Shurafah is a village in Haraaz, a mountainous, ancient region in the governorate of Sana’a, and home to 30 farming families. The area has lush valleys and highlands where many different types of crops are grown. However, coffee remains the most important. The stratospheric altitudes, where the coffee is grown, adds to the unique flavour profile of Haraazi coffee and the farmers believe that the coffee is so distinctive because of the region’s fertile soil. Over 90% of all the crops grown in Haraaz are coffee, making it Yemen’s largest coffee growing region.
A unique collaboration between A.M.O.C. and Saints of Mokha.
New varieties are the next best thing, believe us. And the most beautiful part of this specific coffee is that, in a way, it shows the future, which goes back to the roots of coffee.
Only available in 300 gram AMOC jars or vacuum refill.