Yemeni coffee is gradually becoming more traceable and offer higher quality in the past a few years. But still, the amount of coffee produced is short and mostly distributed among Middle Eastern countries. Yemeni coffee is consequently over-priced.
What is Mocha?
Yemen is a historically important location for coffee as well as Ethiopia. In history, coffee spread to the rest of the world from Al Mokha, the port city. The city itself is not the exact origin of coffee, but Mocha often represents different coffees from various regions in the country. Furthermore, naturally processed coffee from nearby country Ethiopia also call themselves Mocha or Mocha Harar. This is because of the same processing method and similar cupping characteristics.
Generally Mocha from both Yemen and Ethiopia is recognized as mediocre grade coffee. Ethiopian natural coffee is usually Grade 4 or 5 and priced low, on the other hand, generic Yemen’s Mocha Mattari is priced relatively high for its contrasted mediocre quality.
Starbucks used to sell Mocha named Sanani, which is its marketing name. Actual origins of Starbucks Sanani were various: Bani Matar, Harazi, Haimi, and etc, I assume.
In recent years, Bani Matar(its coffee is marketed as Bani Mattari) started being recognized as an origin to offer competitive quality. The quality control on the process contributes to removal of prematured or fermented beans. The green beans are relatively fresh and provide a cleaner cup. The cupping profile could be: chocolate, berry, cherry, red wine, spicy, herbal. Even though, this rare coffee is a bit pricey, it enables you to experience true taste of Yemeni coffee.
I hope once over-priced Yemeni coffee will recover its quality and reputation as the unification of whole coffee industry in Yemen creates healthy social ecosystem around the coffee.