These coffees have been sourced through Mocha Mill one of the first specialty coffee exporters in Yemen. Mocha Mill embarked on its journey into Specialty coffee in Yemen in 2014 when they decided to do a feasibility studies in producing and exporting specialty coffee. They were able to get coffees out to the USA in the first season to be cupped and graded to help them understand the quality they had. Unfortunately, at this time the country broke out into civil war in 2014 but this did not stop them continuing their journey and over the years has led them to establish supply chains in 6 different regions in Yemen. Within this time, they have also built a dry mill in 2017 in Samat where they also have invested in a colour sorter as well and state of the art milling equipment and building warehouses for drying experimental coffees. In 2021 they have produced and exported in total about 10 containers of 80 + Specialty coffee around the World to Japan, Australia, Middle East, UK And Europe.
Mocha Mill have focused on working with farmers throughout Yemen making them the focus of their work. They have been educating them on best agricultural practices to improve the yield and quality of the coffee produced from their trees. A key part of their strategy is to empower the farmers and especially the women as they make up about 75% of the farmers in Yemen. They work with full transparency with their farmers to build long lasting relationships. The farmers are paid on delivery of the cherry to the buying point in each of the regions that Mocha Mill have established. This incorporates striving to implement the highest coffee quality control standards, specifications and protocols to improve the lives of all Yemenis involved in the coffee supply chain.
Traditionally farmers in Yemen they work on small plots from 60 – 70 trees to 400 – 500 trees. The variety mainly is Jaadi /Udhini which is a large tree known for its good production. On average famers will produce around 1500kg of cherry which equates to about 3 bags of 60kg exportable coffee. Across all the farmers the average price paid for cherry was $2.47/kg of cherry for those who work with Mocha Mill. Famers mainly earn income from coffee but some also grow Qat (Khat) which as a strong legal internal market within Yemen. It is also chewed daily by 90% of the population. As part of their focus they are placing sustainability at the center of their business practises. Yemen is a country facing drought and water shortages. Mocha Mill are implementing innovative irrigation and dry processing techniques to address water scarcity and reduce impact on the communities and their access to such a precious source. All the coffees once stable are then taken to the Mocha Mill warehouse in Sana’a where they are stored in ecotact and then cupped and assorted according to quality. From here they are then milled, colour sorted and then hand-picked before being bagged in 30kgs in preparation for export.
Wadi Al-Maa was selected for the carrying out the experimental processing lots due to its location, availability of water and natural cup profile. The Mocha Mill team were able to work alongside the producers during the season executing harvest plans to take care of the trees and then in the harvest send the fresh picked cherry directly to the wet mill they had established. Anaerobic fermentation is carried out in sealed tanks for a period ranging from two to five days depending on the pH level (4 degrees) thereafter, the coffee beans are dried in the sun for two to three days according to the temperature of the sun thus, the slow drying phase begins in the shade for a period of up to 40 days. During this period, the coffee beans are stirred regularly while monitoring and recording the humidity levels.