Get to know our rare Yemen coffee
On the precipitous mountainsides of the Arabian Peninsula, grows one of the most exotic coffees in the world - the Yemeni Matari. Just 0.75% of arable land is dedicated to growing this highly acclaimed Mocha coffee, making it an incredibly rare and sought after roast.
If you've yet to experience the delicious notes of this Yemen mocha, or you'd like to learn more about this extra special coffee, check out our guide to Yemeni Mattari below.
What makes Yemeni coffee special?
Yemeni coffee is one of the world's oldest varieties, with Yemen coffee history beginning around 500 years ago. It's widely thought that Yemen's initial coffee plants arrived in the country from Ethiopia, delivered by pilgrims passing through the land from Ethiopia to Mecca.
Coffee was firmly established in the local culture and community by the 16th century and in the 17th century, produce from Yemen coffee farms were first exported from its westerly port city - Mocha, which opens up into the Red Sea. This early trading activity makes Yemen the oldest coffee trader in history.
Growing coffee in Yemen is no easy feat. The country's terroir includes harsh, arid mountains with altitudes of around 6500 and 7000 feet. These mountainous regions have little access to water, often leading to low crop yields. Some farmers, for example, only produce 1kg of Yemeni green coffee beans per harvest. This makes Yemen coffees rarer, and more in-demand than products from a country producing a higher quantity of coffee.
This challenging landscape also equates to higher production costs as coffee production requires Yemen's farmers to navigate the terrain and handpick all coffee cherries. Farmers also have to harvest their plants without the use of artificial pesticides or fertilisers and generally use a natural drying process, which is more labour intensive and requires careful and constant attention.
The already low yields of Yemen's beans have been greatly affected by the country's civil war, which began in 2014. Experts estimate that the country’s export volumes have fallen to just over half its pre-war quantity. Yemen also consumes almost three-quarters of its production, and 55% of what it does export goes to Saudi Arabia, leaving little for the rest of the world. This can make getting your hands on authentic Yemen mocha beans tricky and expensive.
Spotlight on the word 'Mocha'
Mocha is one of the most misunderstood words in the coffee world. Today, many people understandably confuse these beans with ‘mocha’ coffee, a drink made by mixing coffee and chocolate powder. In fact, mocha beans refer to the arabica beans exported from Yemen, which get their name from the ancient port of Al-Mahka (later named ‘Mocha’). There is sometimes further confusion around this term as Yemen coffees sometimes use Javanese beans to create a Mocha-Java blend. The word is, therefore, sometimes used in the coffee industry to describe this type of blended coffee. To keep things simple, we take the term 'mocha' to mean speciality arabica beans produced in Yemen.
The best mocha coffee beans from Yemen
There are two main types of coffee from Yemen. Sanani coffee beans are the more common and have a smooth and well-balanced flavour. Then there are Mattari beans. Yemen Mocha Mattari (also known as Yemen Mocha Matari) is considered the finest Mocha coffee and is treated like a fine wine by some coffee lovers.
Coffee Direct's rare Yemeni Matari is one of our most popular single-origin coffees. This rich roast, expertly roasted in small batches, has distinct dark chocolate notes in both its flavour and aroma and also carries hints of delicious cherry flavours. With mellow, medium acidity and just the right brightness, it makes a beautiful brew for any time of the day.
Here's what some of our customers have to same about this extra special coffee:
“Yemeni Matari is an exquisite coffee. It is a “warm” coffee whose chocolatey tones seemingly cheer you up.”
Paul K. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“Absolutely love this coffee! It's got real chocolate notes with added toasty blackberries.”
Mark A. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“The Yemeni Matari coffee is excellent. The aroma alone is too much to resist, and the flavour is of a light roast but rich in tones.”
David U. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Why is coffee from Yemen so expensive?
Several factors contribute to the higher cost of coffees (such as Yemen Mocha Matari) from this region. Such factors include difficult growing conditions, demand for skilled farmers, high production costs, high consumption by local communities and low export volumes of produce leaving the country’s port.
Is Mocha a blended coffee?
No, it is a type of Arabica coffee bean. It’s not to be confused with the kind of coffee drink with the same name.
Where can I buy Yemen coffee in the UK?
Our Yemeni Matari is one of the best quality Yemen coffee on the speciality coffee market. Expertly roasted in small batches and only roasted when you place your order, we guarantee your delivery will contain the freshest possible coffee beans. For all Coffee Direct orders, you can choose from bags of whole bean or pre-ground coffees, each containing the exact grind size required for your brewing method of choice.
How many cups of coffee will I get in a bag?
Our regular 454g bag will make around 64 single-shot espressos, 30 cups in a cafetiere or 44 cups via a filter method. Considering one single cup of high-quality Yemeni Matteri coffee sells for around £15 on the high street, our product amounts to a considerable saving on your coffee purchase, especially if you purchase a subscription which saves you 15% on your orders. You can also sign up to our newsletter for the latest offers and deals by simply passing on a few bits of information, such as your name and email address.
Not sure which size bag you need? See How Many Cups each size provides.