Coffee profile: Yemen Mocha Matari

Yemen’s history with coffee dates back to the beginning. According to some legends, coffee was first discovered in Yemen by a Sufi monk. In others, our beloved bean was first discovered in Ethiopia and soon brought to Yemen by a monk who became besotted after discovering he could roast, grind, and then brew this magical sleep-defying drink. While there are no records documenting the start of coffee production, there are records that show Yemen was exporting coffee to the Middle East by 1,200 BC. Over the ensuing centuries, Yemeni coffee spread throughout the world and while there are some competing voices on how and when coffee spread, all agree that Yemen was the first exporter of this black gold or “wine”.

Yemen is located in western Asia, across the Red Sea from Ethiopia, and has ideal conditions for coffee growing with its old growth forests, soaring mountains (5,000+ feet), nutrient-rich soil, and consistent ocean mist. There are two prime “Mocha*” varietals grown in Yemen, the Matari and the Sanani. The Sanani is a smooth, well-balanced, low-acidity coffee with a rich chocolaty base and fruity upper notes. The Matari, the finer of the two Mochas, is brighter, with a wine-like African quality, rich body, exquisite exotic base notes, and deep chocolate overtones. Nearly all Yemeni coffee is organically grown using natural growing, harvesting, and pest prevention practices — many of which date back at least 400 years — and most is dry processed. (To learn more about processing, click here.)

Our Yemen Mocha Matari is intrinsically balanced and medium roasted with a rich, velvety body and bright, berry-citrus start. This cup has magnificent acidity, a heavenly aroma, a smooth, silky mouthfeel, and a gentle bittersweet chocolate base. Overall, this is an extraordinary coffee! To purchase Yemen Mocha Matari, click here.

*Note: Mocha refers to the Port of Al-Mahka, the port Yemeni exporters used to ship their beloved “Mochas”. Over the years, Mahka became Mocha.

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