Ja’ adi, Haraz
We are SO, so excited here at RAW to be able to bring back our Yemeni origin. It’s obviously been on our radar for such a long time, our first visit to Yemen was in 2014 and we recognize the importance of Yemen for all our local customers. We are introducing it as our guest coffee, with only 46 kgs available this first time, but rest assured, we are doing everything within our power to include this in our RAW “stable”.
Allow us to share a little bit of history about the importance of Yemen to the world of coffee.
While Ethiopia is known as “ground zero” for coffee where the native (undomesticated) plants were first recorded and can genetically be verified; it was Yemen that is the first nation to cultivate and recorded to actually drink the beverage, and this, as early as the 6th century.
There are more than ten well-known types of coffee beans in Yemen: al-Mutari, al-Harazi, Yafi’i, Al-anasi, Khulani, al-Bara’i, al-Hammadi, al-Tufahi, al-Dawa’iri, and the Odani coffee varietals.
Yemenis exported their beans to the rest of the world through the port of Mocha, (a word that is now synonymous with a coffee chocolate combination), and originally exported to Persia, Egypt, Syria and Turkey, gradually expanding to as many as 70 countries. The most reliable evidence of early knowledge of the coffee tree and coffee consumption appears in the mid-15th century in the Sufi monasteries in Yemen, south of the Arabian Peninsula.
Yemen is known for its rich heritage, mild climate, picturesque scenery and distinctive coffee. However, just over four years ago, the start of a devastating civil war adversely affected the cultivation of coffee in the country. The lack of oil and the prohibitive pricing of oil derivatives has disrupted the coffee production process. Yemeni farmers’ inability to carry out essential processes, such as irrigating the coffee plants, has made the production and export of Yemeni coffee, difficult and sometimes almost impossible and we have had to work slowly sourcing and then securing this amazing coffee.
Yemen’s exports have been estimated to have dropped to as low as 8,000 bags this season, or 528 tons (each bag weighing around 132 pounds). In 2017 exports had increased to 38,000 bags (or 2580 tons), according to the International Coffee Organisation. Before the war, an estimated 20,00 tons per year was consumed locally, and grown in an area of about 35000 hectares by 100 to 110 thousand farming families.