Yemen Coffee Bonanza (and Tea! and Indonesians ...)

Yemen Coffee Bonanza! It's a first; we currently have 4 distinct Yemeni coffee selections at Sweet Maria's, and one tea. Yes, tea ... coffee tea ... made from the dried skins of the coffee fruit! It's called Yemen Qishr Tea and is a very unique experience. These Yemeni coffee lots are clean and balanced compared to selections from the past, and at least 2 (Ismaili and Sharasi) result in some of the best Single Origin Espresso I have had this year! Yemen Mokha Ismaili is spicy, lush, velvety, and a bit more earthy than the others. It's the best Ismaili in 2 years. Yemen Mokha Mattari has winey fruit and chocolate, my favorite brewed cup. Yemen Mokha Sharasi is a lot I found in Yemen last November, delicate, fruited, refined, and an incredible SO espresso. We have other arrivals too: Indonesia Flores "Jade" is unlike the previous offers from this tiny island, rustic, intense, more Sumatra-like. Speaking of Sumatra, we have a great Sumatra Organic Mandheling that cups better than the numbers indicate. Read the review. And here's robusta you can drink as a French Press brew! (Although we still recommend it chiefly for espresso blend use: India Robusta- Jeelan Estate Sitara.  Yemeni Qishr Keshir Quishir ....

Sorry to post off topic here

Sorry to post off topic here but I wasn't sure where to post a question where you would likely see it.

1) Will you be bidding on the Esmeralda Esp. this year and do you foresee being able to offer more than 1-2 lb quantities if so?

You have mentioned how good the Harar is looking this year. Any nice blueberries out there for the pickin' on the horizon?


Matt Sonneborn

I am hoping to get some early

I am hoping to get some early feedback on the Yemeni coffees. As brewed coffee they are cleaner than previus lots, which might be a different experience for some, but definitely an improvement. I mean, there are Yemens I cupped a few years ago that had a very intense, odd flavor that I liked at first ... found out later that it was from excessive fumigation. And there's good earlthy flavors and dirty flavors ... dirty can literally come from the coffee laying on dirt, and improper drying. So as Yemeni coffee quality improves, we should see a cleaner cup and some sweetness emerge, and certain types of overly rustic flavors fade back a bit. Still, it will always be Yemen, grown on ancient trees that produce very little, dried on roofs, etc. What's new here (for me) is the fact that you distill these 3 new lots into a concentrate (i.e. espresso) and I am getting sweetness, complexity and cleanliness that I have not had before. In fact, that was a reason Yemen often had to be blended to use it in espresso - a nasty dirty aftertaste. Ismaili and Sharasi, roasted to FC+ / light Vienna, with a lot of rest, are unlike Yemeni SP espresso I have had before. Mattari, I feel, doesnt translate as well with it's winey fruited note, but is my favorite as brewed coffee. Remember too that all Yemens need rest, nomatter what brew method. They really change in the first 3-4 days. There are great aromatics at 12 hours rest but the cup hasn't balanced out at all.

Oh - I forgot to mention that Yemens need extra attention in some roasters due to excessive chaff and small bean - watch out in the behmor! You could get out some really small beans by loading the green and shaking the drum around before installing in the roaster. You should really clean they behmor carefully between each batch of yemen, vacuum out chaff, make sure all small beans that get wedged in the drum screen are removed. With all the chaff, I imagine there will be a bit of a "light show" while you roast.