Yemen Haraz Anaerobic Natural One Roast
The birthplace of coffee is often claimed by both Ethiopia and Yemen. This legend is mystic and fascinating, and we (coffee drinkers) owe a debt to both countries. There is no escaping the fact that both of these nations are war-torn and relatively financially poor, which is the opposite reality of where they are most consumed. Don’t worry, this is not a guilt trip.
We haven’t bought any coffee from Yemen for a very long time and last time it was slightly more expensive than a great Ethiopian. Today, to get the lot you love, you have to pay more like 3 times that of the Ethiopian. Does it matter, in a word, no! We buy tens of bags of great Ethiopians and a few kilos of Yemen. If you are interested in the numbers and values of coffee commerce, there are some illuminating numbers here. Yemen still manages to be 55th in the world of coffee producers, exporting as (relatively little) as 27 Million USD. Interestingly the biggest customer for Yemen coffee is Saudi Arabia.
As you may read below, this coffee is from Sheba, a company that specialises in exporting and supporting producers in Yemen.
I am not sure how to define this coffee differential, from anything else. If I am not imagining the fact that there are tannins, in this coffee, it might just qualify you for a slightly higher amount of flavanoids , what I can add is that these tiny (Jadi) mocha beans are the polar opposite of what I was expecting, based on historic expectations, in the best possible way.
Producers: Collective Western Haraz
Altitude: 2000 MASL
Variety: Jadi (Mocha)
Process: Anaerobic Natural, Double Fermentation. More info is below.
Roast: Light Filter, cool dropped for development.
|Aromatics: Soft, ripe fruit sugars, raspberry jelly| Body: Creamy on cooling| Acidity: Soft, shy, and jammy |
When hot this is more like mulled apple juice than coffee. Soft sweet red apple, summer pudding, and a raspberry acidity. on cooling there is a little drying sensation on the tongue, which we would suggest are like tannins. Effortless ripeness and eloquent sweetness.
60g a litre works well. I was expecting to be waving the flag of full immersion here, however a good V60 or Fellow dripper benefits from the clarity in the cup.
Although this is a filter roast, it is extractable as espresso. The soft acidity of the cupping bowl transfers into a very juicy balanced, fruity espresso. Red wine tannins and stunning malic acidity. This could work with milk, however, if there ever was an excuse not to add dairy to espresso this is probably it.
16.5-18g of coffee into 45-50g of espresso liquid 30-35 seconds. 93.5C was my go-to brew temperature. As always what you want from a coffee, should dictate how you start about brewing it.
About this lot:
Haraz is referred to as coffee from the land above clouds, due to the high elevations and stunning landscape. The challenging terrain has contributed to the isolation of the people of Haraz, allowing them to preserve their distinct culture and ancient farming traditions. This is evident in the architectural marvels that still stand today, dating back to the Sulajhid dynasty of the 11th century.
The Processing of this lot:
For Sheba Coffee’s Double Anaerobic Fermented coffees, the freshly picked cherries are first placed into hermetic bags to ferment for a brief period. The cherries are then removed from their bags and placed in our greenhouse for a similar period. This breaks the fermentation process and helps to enhance the coffee’s unique cup profile. The cherries are then returned into hermetic bags once again for a brief period to continue the fermentation process. After which, they are returned to our greenhouse to allow the twice-fermented coffee to slow-dry under our care and attention. Finally, the coffee cherries are taken to the raised beds to dry under direct sunlight. Here, the beans are regularly turned, stabilising the moisture of the coffee. When a reading of 12% moisture is recorded, the dried cherry is collected and bagged, ready to be milled.
Next, the coffee is transported to Sheba’s processing centre. Here, the dried cherries are rested for between 1 and 2 months; before being hulled of their cherry. Once hulled, the beans are passed through a gravity sorter, sieved by screen size, and hand sorted, removing any remaining defects. Once complete, the coffees are graded and bagged, ready for export.
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