It has always been important for us at Coffee Collective, not only to convey the fantastic coffee experience but also to tell the story of farmers who do not have the chance to tell it themselves.
Coffee has been cultivated by the Yemeni people since the 15th century and refined locally, the original varieties of the plant have developed in the remote mountains where the local varieties are among the oldest in the world since the arabica beans first arrived from Ethiopia. From the port of Mocha in the 17th century, coffee was made accessible to the rest of the world where it became adopted and cultivated by countless farmers across borders. From the small Yemeni port city, the global adventure of coffee began. Yemen has thereby had a huge impact on the prevalence of coffee to the West, which many of us benefit from today.
The decline of the coffee mecca
As the consumption of coffee grew, financial interests from global cooperatives did as well which resulted in a shift in the perception of coffee. The importance of quality and unique aromas represented in the Yemeni coffee became threatened by a shifting focus on quantity and low cost demands. It resulted in decades of indifference towards coffee quality and a lack of economic justice for the local farmers, who after centuries ultimately had to turn their backs on their life’s work and cultural heritage and seek other alternative professions in the larger cities.
Several years of war in Yemen, in more recent times, have led to a humanitarian crisis with catastrophic consequences for the civilians, especially within the city areas which are extremely affected by the internal turmoil in the country. The nation and the people have been left behind by large parts of the Western civilization, who for many years have benefited from the dividends that the Yemeni people have made accessible to them. This unfortunate historical evolution illustrates how the Yemeni coffee mecca slowly dissolved and rightfully requires a rectification.
The war’s influence on the Yemeni civilians forced many to escape from the metropolises of the war fair. Many people have found it necessary to seek new alternative ways to live which, in some cases, has resulted in people seeking back to their original roots in agriculture and craftsmanship and ultimately back to the coffee fields. The search for a better life in war-torn chaos has created an opportunity for the farmers to make a living and to resurrect Yemen’s profile as a coffee nation.
Today, Yemeni coffee is locally grown in small quantities on mountain terraces, where natural methods in cultivation and drying at high altitude provides the small beans with unique flavours. The local varieties are among the oldest genotypes in the world, and it is in respect to the heritage and the traditions traced back to the earliest beginning of Yemeni coffee farming, that the coffee is preserved today. Coffee production and trade have thereby become an opportunity to generate income, jobs, and a path to peace for the locals. It is with the efforts from the organization Yemen Journey and their work with the locals which make this possible.
The exportation of local goods to different parts of the world has become a fundamental economical source for many farmers and essential for many civilians to financially survive. The independent farmers' ability to source their coffee to parts of the world far away, is realized by the resources and network provided by Yemen Journey. They act as the link between the local farmers and the global coffee market, helping small businesses to grow and thereby creating a source of hope for the crafters and farmers by reconnecting Yemen to the rest of the world.
The critical link
Yemen Journey has taken on the role as the Yemeni crafter's spokesman and as is a necessity to keep the locals safe while conveying their story and products on a global scale which is made possible by partnering with the organization Warfair which makes the small beans accessible to everyone who loves the flavour of a well-preserved Yemini cup of coffee anywhere in the world.
A path to progress
It is for the sake of prosperity and peace that Warfair allied themselves with the most talented Yemeni coffee farmers in cooperation with Yemen Journey, intending to disseminate the coffee further in Europe, and finally landing in your cup.
It has been in relation to Warfair, and their close collaboration with the Yemen Journey, that we have been able to come into possession of the precious coffee beans. Warfair is thereby the fundamental link that enables us at Coffee Collective to share the experience of tasting real Yemeni coffee and the source that connects us to the Yemeni coffee market.
When the coffee gets exported from Yemen, parts of it are received at our roastery in Copenhagen where the finalizing processes of roasting and crafting the beans occurs, with great effort from everyone involved in the process of making this a reality. In Coffee Collective one of our fundamental beliefs is that we, through our trade with coffee, can help improve the livelihood for people in some of the poorest countries in the world.
We are proud to announce the Yemen coffee Al-Haimi which represents the traditions and heritage that have been defining the Yemeni coffee culture and unique taste, named after the local farmer to represent its origin. It is in our search to find the ultimate coffee experiences and to value the people who have a crucial impact on this journey, no matter how distant it is from ourselves, which leads us to Yemen.
It is in the beautiful Western region Haraz near the village of Lehab in Yemen from which our new coffee release Al-Haimi originates. The Heirloom Yemen Oudaini beans are locally grown on mountain terraces at 1,800 to 2,100 masl and harvested between May and September.
The beans are naturally processed and combined with its wild heirloom variety, will it provide an interesting complexity with a present sweetness and aromas of spices, almonds, cacao, and bergamot. You can expect a big and heavy mouthfeel.