Yemen Single Origin Coffee
Yemen single origin coffee & the deep rooted history surrounding Yemen's coffee culture.
Every country has its exports, just like every culture has its craft. For Yemen, its coffee, with a coffee trade dating back hundreds of years, long before all of us!
The History Of Yemen Coffee
The ancient origins of coffee are a topic of much debate, with many coffee lovers, be sure to mention Yemen and Ethiopia and you will surely have a great topic of debate on your hands.
Coffee has a fascinating and very in depth history that traces back to the mountainous regions of Western Ethiopia, but it wasn't until the 12th century in Yemen that we find the earliest written records of coffee cultivation. It's believed that Ethiopian invaders brought the coffee plant across the Red Sea to the Arabian Peninsula, where it quickly became integral to Islamic culture. The exceptional growing conditions in the Yemeni highlands gave birth to the beloved species we now know as Coffea Arabica. Yemen coffee was born.
Once the Yemen coffee beans were harvested, they were then transported to the Red Sea port, known locally as Mocha. For centuries, this small city served as the primary gateway for international coffee trade. Ottoman rulers tightly controlled the export of coffee beans from Yemen, the rulers would not allow the trade or transportation of any green Yemen coffee beans and regulations were put in place that all beans had to be roasted to prevent germination.
Coffee soon spread through trade routes to Europe, and it acquired the name "mocha" due to its resemblance to chocolate.
However, coffee proved too enticing to be controlled by the Ottomans and sultans. Coffee seeds eventually made their way into the global market and Yemen's monopoly of the coffee market began to fade. The Dutch East India Company played a pivotal role by establishing a presence in the Yemeni port, as well as in Java and India. History states, a coffee tree was discreetly transported out of the region. Coffee plantations began to rise up around coffee growing regions and coffee farms around the world began to flourish; eventually contributing to the development of our modern global coffee industry that we know today!
Yemen Coffee Today
Despite the massive global evolution of coffee production, Yemen has admirably preserved its reputation in the specialty coffee arena. The unique flavor found in Yemen's coffee beans remains a constant temptation for specialty coffee fans, with coffee fans seeking out Yemen coffee.
This preservation of its reputation is a testament and celebration of the unwavering commitment of Yemeni coffee farmers. Since the decline of its once great coffee port, a lot has changed, however Yemen's dedication to specialty coffee has remained constant throughout the centuries.
Sipping on a brew from Yemen is truly special. It is a throwback to ancient times and the flavour is rich with history. Yemen coffee transports you back in time, where coffee was just in its infancy.
Why Is Yemen Coffee Expensive?
The journey from the Yemeni coffee growing highlands into our cups is no easy task. The feats and complications surrounding the exportation of Yemen coffee are reflected in its price per kg. Some of the main contributing factors are as follows:
- Demand greatly outweighs supply
- Lack of modern infrastructure
- Scarcity of quality coffee cherries
- Lost Yemen coffee at milling due to lack of resources
- Extreme high costs of transporting coffee to ports for exportation
- Civil unrest
With all these factors playing a role in driving up the price per kg of Yemen coffee, it may be something to consider when we next sip on our favourite Yemen coffee, and consider the extraordinary journey this coffee has undergone, so we may enjoy a brew of Yemen coffee.
Altura Coffee currently has an amazing single origin coffee from Yemen currently available, appropriately named Yemen Mocca Matari. A truly amazing coffee, perfect as espresso or filter, the flavour profile of Yemen coffee is something unique and a must try for all coffee lovers.