Yemen Mokha Matari

Leather, tobacco, savory herbs, chicory root, and more, with glimpses of dried mango and overripe apple, and an interesting tamarind note. Full City has dark grape & high% cacao bar. City+ to Full City+. Best with rest. Good for espresso.

Out of stock
  • Process Method Dry Process
  • Cultivar Heirloom Types
  • Farm Gate Yes
Region Arabia
Processing Dry Process (Natural)
Drying Method Sun Dried on Rooftops
Arrival date September 2018 Arrival
Lot size 100
Bag size 32 KG
Packaging GrainPro liner
Farm Gate Yes
Cultivar Detail Mokha Heirloom
Grade n/a
Appearance 1 d/300gr, 14+ Screen - I'm giving it a "1" to be on the safe side, but I think it's actually much better than that.
Roast Recommendations City+ to Full City+
Recommended for Espresso Yes

Bani Matar is one of the few coffees from the growing regions surrounding the high-altitudes of Sana'a that was traditionally kept separate. All others were mixed to form "Sana'ani coffee" with decidedly mixed outcomes. But coffee in Bani Matar is a bit different, tall old-growth trees that appear like a fruit orchard than a typical coffee farm (well, NO coffee production in Yemen looks like a coffee farm anywhere else!). This lot was secured through Fatoum Muslot, who took over the family coffee business started by her father back in the 1950s. They've long exported Yemeni coffee, and since Fatoum has started managing the group, she has worked to implement practices such as more stringent hand sorting and using ecotact storage bags in order to directly affect their coffee's overall quality. We're quite pleased with the physical condition of both coffees we bought from Fatoum this year (Harazi on the way), and the lack of underripe coffee and shipping in ecotact has really benefitted the resulting cup quality. Their history in the trade has afforded them longstanding connections with farming groups in several growing regions, and because of these connections, are able to buy coffee in a more direct way. It's been a few years now since we've picked up Yemeni coffee, not necessarily by choice, but mainly due to the difficulties exporting from a country at war. The situation there is still quite dire, and I'm amazed that anything is making it out of the country. 

Matari has a rustic appeal with syrupy sweetness, dry to ripe fruit notes, earth and spice notes, and so much more. We certainly give them a pass in cleanliness given the long road Yemeni coffee takes before final export, but it is not a stretch to say they are some of the most complex coffees out there. The dry fragrance has an impressive mix of dried fruit character from the get-go, with notes of chai spice, sandalwood, and musky tobacco. The wet aromatics go from honey to wood-spice incense, as well as a smell of cooked pumpkin and brown sugar. Matari shape shifts across roast levels and as the coffee temperature dips. This coffee is rustic for sure all along the roast spectrum - leathery, tobacco, savory herbs, chicory root, and more - but it also has surprising fruited notes too. My lightest City+ roast had glimpses of dried mango and overripe apple, and an interesting tamarind note. Taking development to Full City, I taste a dark grape note intertwined with high % cacao bar, and along with a sweet tobacco accent, leaves a lasting impression in the finish. Yemeni coffees need rest after roasting. They have more aromatics at 12 hours or 24 hours, but really develop at 72+ hours of rest after roasting. This is even more true for espresso. The Matari as Single Origin (SO) espresso is very dense: It reminds me quite a bit of Scharfen-berger 70% bittersweet chocolate, and with rustic fruit flavors accenting the middle and finish.