How Yemeni Coffee Reaches American Cups

Yemeni farmers preserve a coffee industry that dates back to ancient times to transform beans from the mountains of Haraaz into coffee sold in trendy coffee shops in North America.

al-monitor Mohammed al-Maisi’s coffee nursery is hidden behind a red mosque in the mountains of Al-Ahjar, one hour away from the capital, Sanaa. Photo by Atiaf Zaid Alwazir.
Atiaf Zaid Alwazir

Atiaf Zaid Alwazir

@WomanfromYemen

Topics covered

yemeni economy, yemen, exports

Oct 3, 2013

SANAA, Yemen — Moving from tree to tree, an old man shows off his treasure. He is so engrossed in his task that, at times, he forgets who is around. His hand, tanned and wrinkled by years of working under the sun, cautiously extends toward a stem and carefully handpicks coffee cherries, while explaining the delicate and intricate process.

Mohammed al-Maisi’s coffee nursery is hidden behind a red mosque in the mountains of Al-Ahjar, one hour away from the capital, Sanaa.

The 60-year-old father of four and grandfather of six has been farming his entire life. “I used to go to school, and when I returned I would help my father plant coffee,” he said. A general and a coffee cultivator, his father passed his love for farming on to his son. 

Maisi proudly points to the different coffee varieties he cultivates, which are safely covered by a green plastic tunnel: “aldawairitufahishibrigialahjuri.”

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