For 2,000 years, coffee has been grown in Yemen - a lineage surpassed only by Ethiopia. This particular coffee, sourced by Emeryville-based importing powerhouse Royal Coffee in the Western highlands of the country, is produced in a traditional style that dates back to the 15th century. Dried in the cherry on the rooftops of cliffside homes, the full natural style delivers the warm, earthy flavour beloved by dark roast lovers.
For an in-depth look at this coffee, from farming techniques in the extreme environment to bean and roast number-crunching, visit Royal Coffee's Crown Analysis.
SIDE NOTE: Once removed, the dried cherry husky are more valuable than the bean. Infused with spices and steeped, the result is a very popular, cheaper Yemeni drink called Qishr, also known around the world as cascara. This Fresh Cup magazine article has a nice little overview on the process.
TASTING NOTES: The fresh crop Yemen is a delicious showcase of the richness earned from the traditional processing techniques. Think figgy sweetness, dark chocolate and aromatic black tea notes anchored by a warm layer of cream.
- PRODUCER: Ali Hiba Muslot & Sons, Sana'a
- ORIGIN: Area surrounding Sana'a, paralleling the Red Sea and bordered by Ta'izz to the south and Sa'dah to the north.
- VARIETAL: Original rootstock from Ethiopia.
- ALTITUDE: 2000 - 2500 m.
- PROCESS: Full natural style, sun-dried.
* Producer profile and location photos courtesy of Royal Coffee.