Reserve Malala Ismaeli Microlot

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Whole Bean

A top-shelf microlot roasted to an indulgent Light, Medium, and Dark profile.

  • Our Reserve offering is a rotating selection of Yemen's best microlots.
  • Get 2 oz sample

Classic Light Roast: It begins with bright citrus notes crossed with tart cherry which combines for a pleasing pucker. Layered on this is a bitter orange twist which lends complexity to a winey/tannic base that spreads across the back of the tongue. This coffee tastes juicy.

Medium Roast: Much like the light roast this medium roast has bright citrus notes, orange peel, and tart cherry for a pleasing pucker. Layered on this are notes of toasted almond, much natural sweetness, and powdered cocoa in flavor and mouthfeel. As it cools, the tart cherry shines through brighter and the coffee keeps evolving with more to discover. Both the medium and light roast defy easy description, as the coffee has so many layers to unpack. It's like three different coffees playing harmony in one cup.

Dark Roast: As soon as the water hits the brew-bed you can smell instantly that this will be good. And then take one sip of it and intuition is confirmed--it's knock-your-socks-off delicious. The dark roast is powerful but not overpowering, smooth, spicy, balanced, and nearly lyrical. In fact, I got on the piano and determined it's a C, D, C chord. I recommend brewing this slightly stronger than normal. (Mine was 3% stronger with outstanding results. In my opinion, this is the best dark roast we've ever carried.)

Malala Ismaeli: This microlot comes from the small Malala valley in the larger and famous Ismaeli coffee region. (annual production 3 - 5 tons)

From the coffee mill: "This small valley in the well-known Bani Ismail region offers a very unique Yemen coffee. One of the reasons for its uniqueness is the rarity of the predominate varietal in the Malala Valley. It is a sub-varietal of one of the traditional Yemen varieties but throughout the centuries it has adapted to the harsh land and climate of Bani Ismail - and currently it is cultivated exclusively in the Bani Ismail area. At Rayyan we love this coffee not just for its uniqueness and what it offers in the cup but also because we have been exporting Malala since our first year in operation! Annual production is three to five tons."

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Notes on former Al Wudiyan Microlot:

Classic Light: Wow. Packed with flavor and among the most balanced that we've tasted. Citrus and brown spices. Tart cherry backbone and tannic structure.
    1. Bright is my first reaction closely followed by this guy is packed with flavor. It's pleasing and feels honest.
    2. What a well structured coffee. There's a backbone of acidity a bit like a tart cherry; then there's a corrollary of what can only be described as tannins that you would find in a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Yemen is known for their "winey" coffees and this is the best example to discover this.
    3. This coffee lingers and keeps giving. The initial brightness has an unseen buttress of brown spice and leather notes. But you don't taste it; rather, if it wasn't there you would say something is missing. It's like good design: you don't see it so much as you perceive it.

      Medium-Blond: It's that sweet spot between light and medium. In this roast we turned down the volume on the Al-Wudiyan to make a coffee that's exciting but more restrained. You take a sip and you feel the juicy yet dry & tannic structure spreading left and right across the tongue. There are all the classic Yemeni notes of citrus and fermented fruit, but with a more pronounced and pleasing acidity best described as tart cherry. It's not light, it's not medium. It defies convention.

      Dark: It's indulgent and bold but also warm and inviting. Its richness comes from a harmony of deep caramelized notes running the gamut from cocoa to cedar to slightly candied plum. This is a complex dark with much to discover. Obviously we love it.

          Al-Wudiyan: This microlot comes from a large, remote valley in the Hajja Governorate. (annual production 15 tons)

          From the coffee mill: "We began sourcing this lot from a very large, remote valley in the Hajja mountains this year. We have heard of this valley for two years now but it is quite difficult to access. This year one of the farmers from Al-Ghayoul whose wife is originally from this valley introduced us to their relatives who also farm coffee. Clearly we are just beginning our relationship with the communities in this valley but hope that one day they too will be open to new pruning, harvesting and drying methods. Given the size of the valley and the quality of the coffee throughout, we expect to see production of over 15 tons and hope to break this down into smaller lots in the future. It is the most balanced special lot we offer and we drink it often as a pourover at the mill."


          NOTES on former Al-Ghayoul microlot:

          Al Ghayoul: Classic citrus complemented by evergreen, tobacco, and nutmeg. This microlot comes from a small tribal community high in the mountains of Hajja (annual production 6 - 7 tons)
          The tribesmen in this community are not keen on change but over the last three years our coffee supplier has earned their respect and trust by dealing with them fairly and honestly. The farmers receive upwards of $7/lb for their coffee, which reflects the quality and care of their work. Last year, a few farmers indicated they would like to implement pruning methods new to them as well as raised beds for drying. Your purchase supports this.
          Heirloom coffee plants from old stock mean mean these beans are small but bursting with flavor

           "We buy Al-Ghayoul in dried cherry for $5.46-5.57 USD per Kg directly from the farmers who grow it. The exportable yield on it is around 35% which means that before we pay employees, bills or even the cost of bringing it from their mountain to the mill we are paying $15.60-15.91 USD per Kg to the farmers. While having this information does not make our coffees any less expensive, I think understanding the "why" of our pricing is helpful - especially as you market the coffees."

          Customer Reviews

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