We have an excellent coffee from the Rayyan Mill in Sana'a, that is sourced from a small valley in the Hajjah Governorate. Available as a Light Roast and Light-Medium Roast.
Light Roast: Powerful, wood framed, vibrant grassy/apple acidity, with signature Yemeni rustic and fermented flavors nestled underneath. As it cools, all these flavors mellow out.
Light-Medium Roast: Red grape juiciness, rustic ferment, and flavors that linger everywhere in the mouth. Similar to the light roast, but less extreme flavors.
Additional tasting notes: The initial brightness has an unseen buttress of brown spice and leather notes. But you don't taste it; rather, if it were not there you would say something is missing. It's like good design: you don't see it so much as you perceive it. Overall, this coffee is difficult to shoe-horn into typical Yemeni tasting notes, and the brightness is shape-shifting and teasing.
We offer this coffee about once every-other year.
This coffee as described by the Rayyan Mill themselves:
Abu Al-Wudiyyan - From the mountains of Hajja, this lot is sourced from a single valley found way off the beaten path. We began working with this community several years ago after one of the farmers producing the Al-Ghayoul lot introduced us to his in-laws. All famers in Yemen plant heirloom varieties that have been developing independently of the rest of the coffee world since the 15th century. This lot is composed of varietals known locally as Dawairy and Udainy.
Most of our time is spent searching out the communities with the finest coffees Yemen has to offer and then working hard (at the farm level, in the mill and in the cupping lab) to develop them. Our Special Lots lots are the result. They are from very specific communities and each lot is as unique as the farmers who produce it. These coffees are very dear to us - or as we say in Yemen “Our very soul is in this coffee.”
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A near-perfect cup of coffee, with a light roast to let its multiple layers of aftertaste develop. Gentle fruit and flowers, lingering over time. I am not a super-taster and it doesn’t have the whack-your-over the head blueberries of some Ethiopian varieties. But elegant, balanced flavors that are still interesting ten minutes after you finish drinking.
So far I bought two reserve microlot coffees: Al Wudiyan Light and Al Dhi'm Light. They are both absolutely delicious (although I liked Al Wudiyan a tiny bit better). To be honest I'm very surprised by the overall taste profile of Yemen coffee and it was very different (in a good way) than I was expecting.
The Al Wudiyan coffee was, simply put, amazing. This was my first experience with Yemeni coffee, and both the beans and the coffee I brewed exceeded my expectations. Having no prior experience with Yemeni coffee, the tips on brew temperature and coffee:water ratio printed on the bag were extremely helpful. I brewed this coffee in both French press and Aeropress and was rewarded with fantastic, complex cups of coffee with an exceptional balance of, sweetness, acidity, and a lovely, chocolate finish. I would rate this as one of the top coffees I have had the pleasure to drink.