In 1450, Sufi monks in Yemen were the first to cultivate coffee plants and brew the drink we know today as coffee. Mokha is, in fact, the port city where Yemeni beans were loaded up into wooden hulled sailing ships manned by low-land sailors coming home from the island of Java, hence Mokha-Java blend.
Origin of the Name
Al-Mokha lent its name to the famous Mocha coffee. It all started in the 17th century and the origin of the name of Mocha coffee comes from the Mocha port (Al-Mocha).
Coffee traveled from Yemen’s highlands by camel. Yemen monopolized world coffee trade for 200 years, shipping tons of sterile beans from the port of Al Mokha in Yemen.
True Arabian Mocha, from the central mountains of Yemen, is still grown as it was over five hundred years ago, on terraces clinging to the sides of semiarid mountains below ancient stone villages that rise like geometric extensions of the mountains themselves. In the summer, when the scrubby little coffee trees are blossoming and setting fruit, misty rains temporarily turn the Yemen mountains a bright green. In the fall the clouds dissipate and the air turns bone dry as the coffee fruit ripens, is picked, and appears in on the roofs of the stone houses, spread in the sun to dry. During the dry winter, water collected in small reservoirs often is directed to the roots of the coffee trees to help them survive until the drizzles of summer return.
Kinds of Yemeni Coffee
There are several distinct types of Yemeni Mocha which are:
Ahjeri, Anisi, Buraee, Haimi, Harrazi, Ismaeili, Mahweeti, Matari, Wosabi, Raimi, Safani, Udayni and Yafi.
Yemeni Coffee Characteristics
. Yemeni Coffee is one of the more distinctive-tasting coffees in the world. The acidity is bright and complex, and the flavor alive with notes that range from candied fruit through wine to dark chocolate. The body is medium to ftdl. The profile generally displays excellent range and dimension. Particularly in a darker roast the fragrance and aroma are intense and exhilarating. Yemen also displays a twist to the wine-fruit tones that some call “wild” or “gamey.” This flavor note is clearest in the aftertaste.
Yemen coffees are processed as they have been for centuries. All Yemen Mochas are dry or natural coffees, dried with the fruit still attached to the beans. After the fruit and bean have dried, the shriveled fruit husk is removed by millstone, which accounts for the rough, irregular look of Yemen beans.