Early January 2022, we came across an article online about a significant discovery in the genetic diversity of Arabica. Excited and intrigued, we waited patiently like we have with chatter about species such as Coffea Liberica, wondering what the future may hold.
To our astonishment, we didn't have to wait long. It appeared in our inbox! Flight Coffee, who introduced us to Wush Wush way back in 2016, had purchased this newly discovered coffee the first time it was ever available at public auction. Yeminia blew minds for those who were fortunate enough to have it alongside some of the exceptional offerings of Fifteen Shades of South America.
Fast forward to October when Flight Coffee sent us a list of offerings for the advent calendar, a stellar lineuop rounded out with a side note: Depending upon how much you need, we might be able to offer Yemen - Yemenia (and the El Fenix Gesha you enjoyed on day three).
Lock the door, take the phone off the hook, this coffee deserves a moment of silence!
Words by Flight Coffee:
The Hayma Kharijiya Special reserve Lot, it is made up of 19 individual farmers from the region of Hayma Kharijiya, in the governorate of Sana'a. With farmers that produce below 20kgs of dry cherry, which equates to roughly 2-4 kgs of green coffee, which we then combine into community lots. These community lots are combined based on location of the farms (to preserve terroir), genetics, and process. The phenomenon of super small farmers and radically diverse terroir and genetics is somewhat unique to Yemen. We have some farmers whose entire harvest is less than 5kgs of green coffee. Any farmer that produces more than 5kgs of green coffee, we keep separate, process under the name of the farmer. This level of granularity is what allows us to discover some real gems and really understand the coffee growing landscape of Yemen.
Re. processing - this lot was in fact a natural slow dried coffee with an average drying time of 40 days. The coffees are dried mostly in shade with average surface temperatures not exceeding 25degC.
Finally, regarding farming practices, Yemeni farmers have been farming coffee for over 600 years in what is an "extreme" climate from a coffee growing perspective. For example, we see Yemeni coffee farmers digging holes that are much larger and deeper than say Colombia (about 8-10 times larger in fact) - and we think this is so that the trees can withstand the harsh, dry climates of this Yemen with the roots going deeper and further than an otherwise smaller hole. There are quite a number of interesting practices like this that demonstrate the history and heritage of Yemeni coffee and the multi-generational experience of Yemen's coffee farmers.
All the coffees have been genetically fingerprinted and are from the newly discovered Yemenia Mother population. To learn more about the details of the discovery, see below the scientific publication on the discovery.
Producer: Hayma Kharijiya Small holders
Region: Hayma Kharijiya
Altitude: 2000-2300 MASL
Find out more about the Yemenia discovery here.
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