Over the past decades, there’s been regular injections of new roasting technology, espresso machine refinement and even coffee processing methods, but we’ve seen very little in the way of new additions to the raw plant material. That’s one of the reasons that the recent identification of an entirely new genetic group in Yemen is so significant – genetic diversity offers a more robust agricultural future. The other reason this discovery is so significant is that benefits have been firmly connected to the ownership of the traditional smallholder farmers of Yemen’s dramatic landscapes – the oldest coffee cultivation in the world – who have been wracked by civil war, climate change and a wildly fluctuating global market.

We’re pretty excited because we’ve been lucky enough to score a very select lot from this groundbreaking auction to share with you all! Pre-order Lot #9 from the Mutawasat Community before the cutoff at 9am, Tues 9th Feb 2021.


Image: Qima Coffee

Faris Sheibani founded Qima Coffee only a few years ago when he identified the opportunity for coffee to lift up the livelihoods of the people of his native Yemen. Seeing the potential for coffee to provide much needed income, Qima partnered with Dr. Christophe Montagnon of RD2 Vision to spearhead research to map the genetics of the coffee that has been cultivated on the terraced hills of Yemen for centuries. The results identified an entirely new genetic ‘mother’ group – Yemenia – and the results in the cup were excellent! Joining forces with the Alliance for Coffee Excellence (of COE fame), in 2020, Qima hosted an blind cupping of these distinctive coffees and the resulting top lots were offered to the world at an international auction. Thanks to our partnership with Upstream Coffee Imports, we managed to secure this special natural process coffee from the Mutawasat Community – one of only 15 lots worldwide of this new genetic discovery.

Image: Qima Coffee

While these coffees are no doubt expensive, it’s the added genetic diversity adding to coffee’s resilience and the potential positive impact for the livelihoods of the worlds oldest coffee farming community, that should really stand out. The fact that the coffees from the Yemenia group are being likened to Gesha and turning up some intriguingly delicious flavours is just the icing on the cake!

To hear more about the foundation of the discovery of Yemenia, watch this great interview between James Hoffman and Faris Sheibani of Qima Coffee…

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