Harazi Wadhi Alma, Yemen
|TASTE||Peach, Raspberry, Turkish Delight|
|FARM/MILL||Harazi Wadhi Alma, Yemen|
|ALTITUDE||1700 - 2100 MASL|
WE CURRENTLY ROAST ON TUESDAYS, SO ALL COFFEE ORDERS PLACED BEFORE MIDNIGHT ON MONDAY WILL BE ROASTED AND SHIPPED OUT ON THE WEDNESDAY OF THAT WEEK.
Here at Cult we're very excited to Present two firsts for us! Our first Yemen and our first in what we hope to be our exciting artist series!
This is a phenomenal coffee from a lesser seen origin.
Coffee is grown in Yemen in mountainous areas, up high on plateau’s and in valleys ranging between 1600 – 2100 masl in altitude. It is known for being the first place to cultivate coffee after it was brought to the region in the 15th Century by Sufi Monks. From here it grew, with coffee being exported in the 16th Century from the port of Al-Makha, which gave birth to the name of the Mocha drink known around the world today. In the 19th Century, exports of coffee reached more than 57,000 metric tonnes (MT) per year at it's peak - a very different story to today, with less than 20,000 MT. The coffee is produced on small terraced farms in high mountains in very simple ways. All coffee is hand-picked and grown with the use of natural organic fertilizers then dried on raised beds or roof tops.
This coffee was sourced through Mocha Mill, one of the first specialty coffee exporters in Yemen. Mocha Mill embarked on its journey into Specialty coffee in Yemen in 2014 when they decided to do a feasibility study in producing and exporting specialty coffee. They were able to get coffees out to the USA in the first season to be cupped and graded to help them understand the quality they had. Unfortunately, at this time the country broke out into civil war, but this did not stop them continuing their journey and over the years has led them to establish supply chains in 6 different regions in Yemen. Within this time, they built a dry mill in 2017 in Samat, invested in a colour sorter, state of the art milling equipment and building warehouses for drying experimental coffees.
Mocha Mill have focused on working with farmers throughout Yemen, educating them on best agricultural practices to improve the yield and quality of the coffee produced from their trees. A key part of their strategy is to empower the farmers, especially women, as they make up about 75% of the farmers in Yemen. They work with full transparency with their farmers to build long lasting relationships. The farmers are paid on delivery of the cherry in each of the regions that Mocha Mill have established.
Traditionally farmers in Yemen work on small plots from 60 – 70 trees. The variety mainly is Jaadi /Udhini which is a large tree known for its good production. On average farmers will produce around 1500kg of cherry which equates to about 3 bags of 60kg exportable coffee. Across all the farms working with mocha mill the average price paid for cherry was $2.47/kg. Famers mainly earn income from coffee but some also grow Qat (Khat) which as a strong legal internal market within Yemen. It is also chewed daily by 90% of the population.
As part of their focus they are placing sustainability at the centre of their business practises. Yemen is a country facing drought and water shortages. Mocha Mill are implementing innovative irrigation and dry processing techniques to address water scarcity and reduce impact on the communities and their access to such a precious source.
Mocha Mill highlighted Wadhi Alma in the Harazi district for experimental processing. Here they worked directly with farmers, buying cherry for experimental anaerobic lots, where their team worked alongside the famers implementing a harvest plan. These lots were fermented in barrels for 120 hours before then being slow dried for nearly 50 days.
All the coffees once stable are then taken to the Mocha Mill warehouse in Sana’a where they are stored in ecotact and then cupped and assorted according to quality. From here they are then milled, colour sorted and then hand-picked before being bagged in 30kgs in preparation for export.
This was one of those coffees we very nervous about roasting and ruining its delicate nature. We think it's come out really well and can't wait to hear everyone's feed back! Notes of Peach, Raspberry and Turkish Delight
The bag was illustrated by the talented Stewart Armstrong who's works out of Summer Hall.