Yemen Mokha Matari

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Yemen is probably where coffee was first grown as a agricultural product after being imported from Ethiopia and was there exported to the world. I'm always excited to be able to buy coffee from here since it hard to export coffee in the midst of a civil war and I want to be able to support the producers in Yemen. If you are not familiar with it I encourage you to look it up and educate yourself. I procured this box of Yemen from Coffee Shrub who does a excellent job of sourcing green coffee and they also offer a abundant amount of information.

 This is a fun coffee because it is so complex. It seems that each sip I notice different flavors. At first I noticed a strong oak flavor like it been aged in a oak barrel. As cooled I noticed ripe plum and even mango. It has a nice heavy mouthfeel.  I think that this coffee would be good one day out of the roaster to twenty days and would continue to evolve. This evaluation was done two days off roast. I used the Origami coffee dripper with a Kalita wave filter. 24 grams of coffee to 355 grams of water. water temp was 407. 30 second bloom with about a 3 minute draw down.

I think if you have never tried Yemen this a great one to try.

Shrub donated .10 cents for every pound purchased to Doctors Without Borders who help provide much needed Humanitarian relief in the region.

All the following is information provided by Coffee Shrub so it is their words and not mine.

Coffee Score 89

Dried process

Heirloom types

Matari is always a standout Yemeni coffee, this year's showing balanced chocolate flavors, fruited sweetness, chai spice, dried apricot, banana, berry, baked apple, sandalwood, aromatic pipe complex as they come!

Farm Notes

Matari is one of the few coffees from the growing regions surrounding the high-altitudes of Sana'a that was traditionally kept separate. All others were mixed to form "Sana'ani coffee" with decidedly mixed outcomes. But coffee in Bani Matari is a bit different, tall old-growth trees that appear like a fruit orchard than a typical coffee farm (well, NO coffee production in Yemen looks like a coffee farm anywhere else!). This lot was secured through Fatoum Muslot, who took over the family coffee business started by her father back in the 1950s. They've long exported Yemeni coffee, and since Fatoum has started managing the group, she has worked to implement practices such as more stringent hand sorting and using Ecotact storage bags in order to directly affect their coffee's overall quality. We're quite pleased with the physical condition of both coffees we bought from Fatoum this year, the lack of underripe coffee and shipping in Ecotact liners has really benefitted the resulting cup quality. During their long history in the coffee trade they've forged longstanding connections with farming groups in several growing regions, and because of these connections, are able to buy coffee in a more direct way. This lot is made up of coffee from roughly 100 farmers in Bani Matari, who on average have 1000 trees planted on less than 1/2 hectare of land. Altitude is extremely high, starting around 2000 meters and stretching upwards of 2400 meters above sea level. This It's been a few years now since we've picked up Yemeni coffee, not necessarily by choice, but mainly due to the difficulties exporting from a country at war. The situation there is still quite dire, and I'm amazed that anything is making it out of the country.

Full Cupping Notes

Matari has a rustic appeal with syrupy sweetness, dried fruits, earth and spice notes, and a whole lot more. We certainly give them a pass in cleanliness given the long road Yemeni coffee takes before final export, but it is not a stretch to say they are some of the most complex coffees out there. The dry fragrance produces smells of dried banana, sweet squash, nut brittle, and aromatic sandalwood. The wet aroma has a nice balance of cocoa and fruit smells, earth-toned chocolates, and hints of stewed berry. Matari shape-shifts across roast levels and as the coffee temperature comes down a bit. While this coffee is rustic for sure, it's in a much cleaner camp relative to Yemeni coffee (at least in my experience). The coffee reveals a delicious fruited side, with glimpses of natural dried apricot, cooked berry reductions, and baked apple (even a bit on the 'tart' side of apple skin). The chocolate flavors are well defined, offset by molasses type sweetness, and aromatic hint of chai spice. Roasting to Full City, a dried fig hint quickly gives way to rustic cocoa powder bittering, and a pipe tobacco accent leaves a lasting impression in the finish. Yemeni coffees need rest after roasting, giving the coffee time to off gas, and allowing flavors to coalesce. They're certainly aromatic at 12 hours or 24 hours, but the depth of flavor really comes together with more like 72 hours rest after roasting.