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Yemen coffees are wild and amazing, rich, hoppy, chocolatey cups that keep you going back for more and more. Most Yemen is sold generically from the Sanani region and may consist of coffee from various farms, varietels, and even crop years all mixed together! So be prepared -- the bean sizes range from tiny to large, there are broken beans, there are defects in here -- but that's every Yemen lot of coffee there is. And Yemen coffee is amazing.
Not all home roasting systems can handle Yemen. In general, Yemeni coffee beans are very small, but since they are not sorted by size, there are also large beans mixed in. The coffee produces large amounts of chaff. Expect undertones of bitter herbs, grains, dark fruits, and baking cocoa — a dark sultry spiciness that pairs well with chocolate and desserts. Air roasters will be fine. Some drum roasters will struggle.
I roast it light -- not too far out of the 1st cracks. This is where you pick up the hoppy malty tastes of bread and chocolate. There are slight hints of fruit, but it's mostly a savory coffee. If you take it just into the rolling 2nd cracks, which tends to happen about 20 seconds into the slow second cracks, you have the most amazing cocoa-tasting espresso I’ve ever tasted (if only I could afford to give my coffeeshop customers 100% Yemen for their espresso, I surely would), a great half for your Mokka-Java blend, or a wild cup of coffee to drink as is. Add 25% Ethiopia to it and you'll have a fruity Yemen that you could drink every day and never stop being amazed by. If you want less bitterness and more snappy acidity, pull it out after just a few snaps of the 2nd cracks, and its an exotic complex cup that emphasizes more of the sweeter tones and less of the bitter ones.
Yemen is a natural process coffee which means it roasts fast and needs less flame. It it the mokka varietal which is very hard to grow and only grows in Yemen, Ethiopia Harrar, and Hawaii. I'm not claiming that Yemen is worth its price, but Yemen coffee is extremely dangerous to export, expensive to get through customs, and very rare. There is no other coffee in the world that tastes like Yemen, and so you just have to pay the price if you love the taste (which I do). It does NOT support terrorism. It supports the small farmers who are trying to make an honest living and need support. We have sampled 6 Yemens this year, and they were all VERY expensive and mediocre in quality, and I just couldn't do it. But this one came along -- the cheapest one so far and the best tasting, and so yeah, it's not the best Yemen I've ever had in my life, but it's very good, and it's good enough. I smiled and said yes. This is the one for 2016.
USA arrival June 2016.