As complex as they come, chicory, date, slab apricot, tobacco, cooked rhubarb, dried tamarind, black licorice, sandalwood aroma. City+ to Full City+. Wild espresso. Best with rest.
|Processing||Dry Process (Natural)|
|Drying Method||Patio Sun-Dried|
|Arrival date||June 2019 Arrival|
|Bag size||32 KG|
|Cultivar Detail||Heirloom Cultivars|
|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|
"Matari" 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 Matari 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, dried fruit, 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 a mix of dried fruit character, chai spice, sandalwood, and leather. The wet aromatics go from honey to wood-spice incense, as well as a smell of cooked pumpkin and rustic sweeteners. 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, sandalwood oil, chicory root, and more - but it's loaded with fruited notes too. My lightest City+ roast had glimpses of slab apricot, date, and tamarind, as well as an interesting cooked rhubarb note (even a bit on the 'tart' side). Taking development to Full City, I taste a dried fig note intertwined with high % cacao bar, and along with a pipe 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 Scharffen Berger 70% bittersweet chocolate, and with rustic fruit flavors accenting the middle and finish.