Yemen is one of the oldest coffee-producing countries in the world, with a rich history dating back centuries. Yemeni coffee is known for its complex flavour profile, with notes consisting of stone fruits such as peach, spices and florals such as Jasmine and Vanilla. It is also known for its sweetness and its earthy undertones that make Yemen coffee distinguishable. Yemen is also geographically quite high making it a fantastic location to grow coffee however the scarcity of water in the region results in most Yemen coffees being Naturally processed.
We spoke to Murtaza Pishori, the founder of 'SB Coffee Traders' who specialise in importing Yemeni coffee into Australia and has a strong connection to Yemen through his religious community. He first tasted Yemeni coffee at a community event in Sri Lanka in 2019 and was so impressed by the quality that he decided to start importing it to Australia.
We purchased a small amount of coffee that Murtaza is currently selling which is from a cooperative called Unmasali. Unmasali is a non-profit organization that supports coffee farmers in Yemen, and it helps farmers transition from growing qat, a narcotic plant, to growing coffee beans.
Murtaza says that 'the most mind-altering coffee he has ever tasted was a naturally processed Yemeni coffee that had notes of passion fruit, mango, and rose.'
Yemeni coffee is often more expensive than other coffees due to its high quality, demand and limited supply. However, Murtaza is working to make Yemeni coffee more accessible to the mainstream market by focusing on coffees that score between 80 and 85 points, which are still specialty grade but slightly lower in price compared to sought after micro-lots.
Watch the full podcast below where we delve deep into Yemen coffee with Murtaza.
The word "mocha" comes from the Yemeni port city of Al Mocha, where global coffee trade is said to have started. This is particularly interesting as the first coffee roaster artifact is said to be from Yemen too, with more evidence pointing to Yemen as the birthplace of coffee.
We are so excited to be able to roast and share this coffee through our collaboration with SB Coffee Traders. Please read up on this coffee and if you are interested in trying, consider purchasing a bag. We selected a coffee we thought was a fantastic representation of Yemen coffee and roasted it to highlight the flavours we attribute to being a 'Classic Yemen coffee profile'