Asrar Haraz Coffee is sourced from a few small communities connected to one another in the famed Haraz mountains. This coffee comes to us through Rayyan Mill, established in 2011, they spend most of their time searching out communities with the finest coffees Yemen has to offer and then working at the farm level, in the mill and in the cupping lab to develop them. Drought, war, and lack of transparency usually characterize Yemeni coffee; as a result, Yemeni coffees rarely leave the country in pristine condition. Rayyan Mill, in Sanaa, however, turns these processes on their head. They select only the best coffees from Yemeni farming communities with which they have developed relationships. Each coffee arrives at the mill immediately after harvest, where it undergoes carefully processing, is stored in grain pro bags, and continuously checked for quality.
This is a single farmer lot from Asrar Haraz. It features intense fragrances of dried berry fruits in the cup, dark chocolate and notes of burnt sugar. It is complex and has long lasting creamy body. Make sure to let it rest a minimum of ten days before trying!
Soon after the discovery of coffee in Ethiopia, the coffee shrub made its way to Yemen where it was written about by the mystic Sufis as far back as the 15th century. As the cultivation of coffee increased in Yemen exporting began from the ancient port of Al-Makha (it is to this port the modern term “Mocha” traces its origin.) Soon raw beans were smuggled out of Yemen and these Yemen coffee beans gave birth to what we see today as multiple varietals of coffee grown all over the world. But Yemen coffee has remained unique…
The uniqueness of Yemen coffee can be attributed to the uniqueness of Yemen itself. Yemen coffee developed through the centuries isolated from the offspring of those smuggled beans that gave birth to coffee in the rest of the world. In Yemen coffee is traditionally grown at high elevations in harsh environments receiving little rainfall. As a result the varietals that developed in Yemen had to survive a harsh climate. They are the result of centuries of adaptation to these unique conditions – thus the varietals themselves are unique to Yemen. In addition the added stress of these conditions on the plants increases the amount of nutrients and sugars pushed to the cherries which ultimately increases cup complexity. Due to the lack of rainfall, Yemen coffee has always been sun-dried (natural) further increasing the sweetness of the cup.
Ultimately Yemen coffee and its history are much like Yemen itself: mysterious, intriguing and complex.