Yemen - Ismaili, Harazi and Howari
Peru - Valle Incahuasi & Cooperativa San Fernando
Yemen - Jaadi /Udhini
Peru - Natural
Yemen – Harazi blend
Coffee is grown in Yemen in mountainous areas up high on plateau’s and in valleys that are 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 MT at its peak, a very different story to todays figures with less than 20,000 MT being exported . The coffee is produced on small, terraced farms high in the mountains in very simple ways. All coffee is grown with the use of natural organic fertilizers, hand harvested and dried on raised beds or roof tops.
Traditionally farmers in Yemen work on small plots from 60 – 70 trees to 400 – 500 trees. The variety is mainly Jaadi /Udhini, a large tree known for good production. On average famers produce around 1500kg of cherry, yielding about 3 bags of 60kg exportable coffee.
In the districts of Sana'a governorate, located to the southwest of the governorate, the population is estimated to be 100,000 people. The area consists of high mountains, valleys & plateaus that range between 1700-2100 m above sea level. Whilst there are a variety of crops grown, coffee is the most cultivated. In total there are about 2000 farmers in this region. There are also nine collection stations located in this region to receive coffee cherries from farmers every 3 – 4 days during the harvest season.
The coffee is hand picked and dried on roof tops in the sun for approximately 6-12 days
The 11 lots sourced this season come from Ismaili, Harazi and Howari located in the central or south west of the country. Mocha Mill highlighted one area called Wadhi Almaa in the Harazi district for experimental processing. They worked directly with farmers buying cherry for experimental anaerobic lots, implementing a harvest plan. These lots were fermented in barrels for 120 hours before being slow dried for nearly 50 days.
This lot is made up of coffee from two Cooperatives; Valle Incahuasi and Cooperativa San Fernando.
The cooperatives are made up of 1000 members who on average handle 1.50 hectares of coffee, with a productivity of 20qq /hectare. This equates to about 20 bags of green coffee per farm each harvest. The quality of the coffees from this region is well known, in 2020 one of their producers from Incahuasi took 1st place in the Cup of Excellence with a washed geisha lot. This year two more producers were listed in the top 10.
In each area there is a centralised processing plant where cherry coffee are collected in addition to being pulped, fermented, washed, dried & temporarily stored, then later transferred to the central warehouse, where sampling and physical and sensory evaluation are carried out by the quality analyst.
The coffees come from four regions of San Fernando, Pacayamba, Amabamba and Apaylla and the processing is controlled by the Cooperativa Incahuasi. The majority of the cherry comes from the San Fernando are who produce about 60 - 70 % of the total volume. The process is carried out with good control of a harvest with selective picking and separation of the cherry at the first step. Coffee is then cleaned and washed before being placed on raised African style dryinig beds. From here the coffee is laid thinly to start with to get the skin drying phase done where the moisture will reduce fro 55-60% down to 25 - 30%. This stage helps to prevent the spoiling of the coffee and any chance of defects. From here the coffee then takes around 28 days to dry with regular turning on the beds each hour to create consistency and uniformity. Once it has reached 10% moisture the coffee is the stored in the warehoused to rest and be cupped and categorised. The natural process is also good for the environment reducing the need for water that can contaminate local water sources as well as the need fro energy to power mechanical driers. All the drying of these coffees is done using the natural warmth and heat of the sun.
It is a gentle, natural process. The good caffeine selectivity of the carbon dioxide guarantees a high retention level of other coffee components which contribute to taste and aroma.
The process is outlined below:
1. The green beans enter a ‘pre-treatment’ vessel where they are cleaned & moistened with water before being brought into contact with pressurised liquid carbon dioxide.
When the green coffee beans absorb the water, they expand & the pores are opened, resulting in the caffeine molecules becoming mobile.
2. The carbon dioxide & water (essentially sparkling water) circulates through the beans & acts like a magnet, drawing out the mobile caffeine molecules.
3. The sparkling water then enters an evaporator, which precipitates the caffeine rich carbon dioxide out of the water. The now caffeine free water is pumped back into the vessel for a new cycle.
4. This cycle is repeated until the required residual caffeine level is reached. Once this has happened, the circulation of carbon dioxide is stopped & the green beans are discharged into a drier.
5. The decaffeinated coffee is then gently dried until it reaches its original moisture content , after which it is ready for roasting.
Plum, fig and raisin with milk chocolate, good smooth body