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Haraz Collective Strawberry Jam / Black Cherry / Dark Rum


In The Cup

This anaerobic, naturally processed coffee from the Haraz Collective in Yemen is full of flavour and complexity. We are getting intense sweetness like dark ripe berries and brow...

Haraz, Sanaa
Double Anaerobic Natural
2,000 masl
First Year
Volume Purchased
Date Landed
June 2023

In The Cup

This anaerobic, naturally processed coffee from the Haraz Collective in Yemen is full of flavour and complexity. We are getting intense sweetness like dark ripe berries and brown sugar, a medium acidity which enhances the fruit notes and a thick syrupy body with notes of strawberry jam, black cherry and dark rum.

The Story

These days, Yemeni coffee is extremely rare, in fact, Yemen’s coffee production accounts for just 0.1% of global coffee production. Despite this, Yemen is actually the oldest country in the world to cultivate and drink coffee. According to literature, coffee plants first evolved around Ethiopia and South Sudan, however it is believed that coffee was first cultivated and drunk in western Yemen, around 1450, by the Sufi monks who would drink it to help them stay awake during all night meditations.
Until the 18th century, Yemen was the main global exporter of coffee, however colonies such as the British, Dutch and French started to take coffee seeds to grow in other countries around the world. As other countries began producing coffee at cheaper prices, demand for Yemeni coffee plummeted and by 1800, Yemen was producing just 6% of the world’s coffee and this trend has continued to the current day.
Due to it’s rich history of coffee genetics and a deep understanding from the farmers, Yemeni coffee can exhibit amazing cup profiles. With today’s rise in popularity and appreciation for specialty coffee, Yemeni coffee could experience a resurgence.

Social and Environmental

This coffee from the Haraz Collective was sourced through one of our importing partners, Sheba, based in London. Sheba Coffee was set up in 2019, with the aim of helping to rebuild the coffee industry in Yemen and to show the world how good Yemeni coffee can be. Sheba have been working hard to help producers improve quality and yield and get their coffee to market with the most value possible going back to the farmers.

To do this, Sheba purchases the cherries directly from the farmers so they can ensure they receive the best prices possible. To maintain quality, Sheba have set up regional processing stations for isolated farmers to deliver their cherries to. Once cherries are received at Sheba’s processing stations, they can undergo controlled fermentation and drying to enhance the quality and value. Sheba also employ a number of professional agronomists who visit the farmers to help them optimise their productivity and quality.

Since 2015, Yemen has suffered a civil war, so far claiming around 400,000 lives and millions more affected by malnutrition and disease. Even when this conflict is over, it will take many years for Yemen to recover economically. As a small company, we can only have a small impact helping the people of Yemen. However, we would like to be part of a movement, raising awareness within the speciality coffee community, of the value and importance of buying Yemeni coffee. Not only does Yemeni coffee taste unique and delicious but the trade generated from buying it can help communities that need it.

From the sales of this coffee from the Haraz Collective we will be donating £1 per bag sold to UNICEF’s Yemen Appeal. If you would like to donate any more then please follow this link:

UNICEF’s Yemen Appeal.

The Variety

Varieties of coffee in Yemen is quite a big topic, especially at the moment. As coffee has been cultivated in Yemen longer than anywhere else, it is likely that Yemen has a wide range of varieties, as they have mutated and adapted over time. In Yemen, colloquial names are used to describe what were thought to be varieties, such as Udaini, Tufahi, Jaadi, Dawairi, Jufaini and more. However, until 2021, no genetic research had ever been done in Yemen to confirm any of these varieties, the names were simply chosen due to appearance of the plants. In 2021, a research program was started, to dig into these varieties and find some answers using genetic fingerprinting.

The research program took samples from 148 farms, from different regions in Yemen and 18 different local names were used to refer to these plants. After genetically analysing the samples, they found that there was no correlation between the local names and their actual genetic make-up. They also discovered that some plants could be identified as Bourbon, some as Typica and some as SL34 but most of them were a completely different family of Arabica, which is now called Yemenia. This is a huge discovery for Arabica coffee as not only could it mean many new flavour profiles but also potentially more varieties with more resistance to climate change and global warming.
This lot of coffee is from an area where the local farmers call their plants “Jaadi”. The research that has been done so far, found that 83% of “Jaadi” coffee was Yemenia. So, although we cannot be 100% sure exactly what varieties are in this lot, we know that it is mostly made up of the newly discovered Yemenia family!

The Processing

For this Double Anaerobicly Fermented coffee, 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 a 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 the greenhouse to allow the twice-fermented coffee to slow-dry under 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 where 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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