Whether you get your morning cup from a skilled barista or your local grocery store, each sip comes after countless months of cultivation, the combined work of thousands of individuals and thousands of miles of oversea travel. In fact, as American consumers, we’re incredibly lucky to partake in a bountiful selection of brewed offerings.
Some coffees, however, represent extreme perseverance beyond the norm of coffee production. Al-Durrar comes to us from war-torn Yemen. A country not often recognized for coffee cultivation, Yemen is actually home of one of the first cultures to cultivate coffee. The word Mocha, used so often when describing coffee beverages, is the name of Yemen’s Red Sea port where coffee has been exported for hundreds of years.
Conflict in the Arab state has made Yemeni coffee a rarity until the recent work of Yemeni American Mokhtar Al-Khanshali. His passion for the coffee and people of Yemen motivated him to leave law school to study coffee cultivation, production, and quality grading. For several years, Mokhtar traveled to farms at origin and worked with producers to improve harvesting and processing practices. He also invested in modern cultivation equipment and offered interest-free micro loans to help producers break from debt cycles.
Just as he prepared to bring his first coffees to America, civil war erupted in the capital of Sana’a. With two suitcases of coffee, he braved military violence and crossed the Red Sea by boat. His dangerous journey from aspiring lawyer to champion of Yemeni coffee is portrayed in The Monk of Mokha a recent novel by author Dave Eggers.
Yemen Al-Durrar is the result of our partnership with Mokhtar and will be sold exclusively at LaColombe.com and at upcoming book events. It’s the product of dedicated Yemeni producers and Mokhtar’s faith in his people. This coffee’s incredible story is matched by its complexity and depth of flavor. Exhibiting rich nut and vibrant fruit characteristics, Al Durrar is a decadent rarity.
Written by our head Workshop Roaster, Hugh Morretta.