Coffee is life.
For the coffee farmers of Yemen, these words carry a whole new meaning. First, a bit of a history lesson...
Coffee has been around since the 6th century, at a time when the Ottoman empire extended across what is now known as the Middle East and North Africa. However, the first actual record of coffee being consumed as the beverage we know of today, was in Yemen in the 15th century. During the next two centuries, Yemen grew into a coffee production powerhouse, spurring its economy and bringing commerce to the region. As time passed however, colonial interests moved coffee production elsewhere. Local conflicts and assorted trade barriers have skewed the narrative, but Yemeni coffee production is still alive and well.
Today, Yemeni coffee is still picked exclusively by hand, by multiple members of the same family spanning a number of generations. There is little to no chemical usage, ensuring a natural harvesting process and in turn, an organic coffee. The team behind Rose and Cactus (our supply partners) have personal experience with this - their late Grandma Fatima used to gather all the children of the house every Friday and teach them the nuances of Yemeni coffee. To honor that tradition, Rose and Cactus have dedicated their work to her memory.
Global events have made their impact on Yemeni production as well. With the pandemic affecting a number of industries during the last eighteen months, many Yemenis have moved back to their family homes where they are focusing on harvesting coffee, leading to a rise in production. On the other hand, geo-political conflict has made supply chain logistics a challenge. To that end, the limited quantity of green beans that we've roasted travelled by road over multiple weeks to reach us, even though they may be readily available in Yemen itself.
For the first time at Cafe Rider, we've partnered with Rose and Cactus to bring you Yemeni coffee in the form of the Haraz, for a limited time only. Join us in gaining a new appreciation for Yemeni culture and heritage by stopping by the Cafe and ordering a cup for yourself!
*Till stocks last.