Authentic Mocha coffee is from Yemen, and Matari is perhaps the best known. It is from the Bani Mattar Region, located west of the capital city of Sana'a. This is very high altitude coffee, grown 6500 to 7000 feet, resulting in small, concentrated beans.
Not much has changed over the centuries in terms of how Yemeni coffee is processed. In the manner of all natural coffees the fruit pulp and skin is left to dry whilst still attached to the beans. Once dried the husk is removed using a millstone. The varietals used in growing this coffee are ancient heirloom species. The most widely known type is Ismaili but there are also many less familiar names.
Dark roasts, which often mask delicate flavours and floral notes in most other coffees, bring out hidden depths in this one.
Population (2006): 21.4 million People Coffee Production: 50,000 bags (60 kg) Country bag capacity: 132 pounds - 60 kg Domestic Consumption: practically none Coffee Export: 50,000 bags (60 kg) Cultivated Area: About 7700 hectares (19,000 acres)
This Yemen has the typical winey flavours, sharp acidity, yet smoothness of character, with chocolate overtones and a heavy body. I don't like acidity in espresso, but this is divine. This coffee is also good in the French press.