December 2022’s Coffee Origin
Yemen - Zamarrud - Natural & Sun Dried
Yemen was integral to the worldwide popularity of coffee as we know it today. While the historic origins of coffee are found in Ethiopia, its' commercial trading roots are cemented in 15th century Yemen. Specifically, the Red Sea Port of Mocha (also spelled as Mokha, al-Mukhā or Mukha) was a major coffee export hub through the 18th century. Coffees from Yemen often get their name from Mocha's Port, rather than the particular regions where they were grown.
Yemen's recorded history reaches back over 3000 years. It has been controlled and lost by successive Empires and finds itself in political turmoil to this day (making any modern coffee exported from Yemen a minor logistical miracle). Yemen is located at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, where the Red Sea meets the Gulf of Aden (Bab el-Mandeb Strait). Looking at a map, it is easy to imagine how coffee plants from Ethiopia made their way to Yemen, as well as why Yemen was a hub for shipping spices, goods and for our discussion, coffee.
Interesting Yemeni Coffee Facts
While you may find coffee shops touting Mocha Java as a chocolate coffee concoction, authentic Mocha Java is a blend of coffee from Yemen and Java, Indonesia.
Yemen's influence on coffee lore also extends to the name Arabica Beans. While the Coffea Arabica plant originated in Ethiopia, the name "Arabica" is rooted in Yemen's history. South Arabia was known to the Ancient Greeks as "Eudaimon Arabia", or in Latin "Arabia Felix" meaning Fortunate/Happy Arabia. This names likely comes from the rainfall (just enough) and fertile soil for sustaining agriculture that is found in this otherwise desert country.
This Month's Coffee Selection
As with many Yemini offerings, Zamarrud is a blend of several Yemeni regions. It is a representative of the high quality coffees that Yemen is able to produce despite the harsh conditions experienced in the country. It has been described as spicy and fruity, both traits of traditional Yemeni coffee.
The coffee was grown on irrigated terraces, where Coffee Trees are planted among Poplar Trees and other crops for shade. The high price of Yemeni coffee is a combination of the historic significance, quality and limited/decreasing production. As always the story of where the coffee came from take a back seat to ...How Does It Taste?
YEMEN - ZAMARRUD - NATURAL
Region: Various Yemeni Regions
Varietals: Typica & Heirloom
Growing Elevation: 5000+ feet
Harvest: October through December
Process: Natural and Sun Dried
Flavour Profile and Notes: GO CUP YOURSELF and find out!
Yemeni coffees are an interesting origin to roast. You'll notice that the bean are visually smaller than many of the origins we've cupped together. Other factors that you won't have the opportunity to see are the typically low moisture level and often inconsistent size and coloration of the beans. Roasting Yemen origins is its own animal in a way, as its growing and processing techniques have changed very little over time. Due to the limited production coming from each grower, several region's crops are combined to produce exportable quantities. Again, take a look at the bean size before you grind it. The relatively small size requires a lot of attention while roasting in order to avoid a fast or uneven result. This month's roast is a medium, which should allow you to experience the cupping notes that are commonly associated with Yemeni Coffees.
Cupping-wise, look for Raisin, Chocolate and …wait a minute, if you want cupping notes Go Cup Yourself!
Once you have finished Cupping, click on the “EXPERT TASTED” tab for our tasting notes. Can’t wait to compare notes.
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