Yemen Mocca Hawari
The best traditional dry-processed coffees of Yemen and Harrar have attained a near-mythical status among older generations of specialty buyers. Mythical for the recalled quality as much as the fact that, for the most part these days, they are nearly impossible to find. War, drought, and the passing of several key players has relegated these coffees to the dustbin of history, to be sniffed at and disregarded by those currently in the know, or so we are told. And yet, even amidst upheaval, coffee continues to be produced. And while much of it isn’t anything special anymore, there is the odd lot which arrives so resplendent with the dark fruits and spices of yesteryear that to not sing its praises would be to disrespect nearly everything that has come before us.
Our recent arrival of Yemen Hawari is such a coffee. Practically exploding with blueberry, black cherry, fig and date, this is natural processing as it was meant to be. This is desert coffee, dried in such low humidity conditions that fermented, acetic flavors never have the chance to develop in the first place. A light that shines in the dark.
Milled and exported by a woman, Fatoum Muslot, from a country in which women are too often marginalized, this fruited gem is the kind of retro-futurism I want to be a part of.