Yemeni coffee has a long history, starting back when it was imported from Ethiopia 1,200 years ago. Grown on ancient stone terraces, these are some of the oldest cultivated varieties of the coffee in the world.
Traditionally, Yemeni coffee is normally harvested from dried cherries picked straight from the tree. After the cherries are picked they are spread on rooftops, or on sheets, and allowed to dry even more of the next two to three weeks.
This Yemen Red Marqaha, though, was bought as ripe cherry from the farmers—not as dried raisins. This way, we know only the best ripest cherry was selected. Further, it was dried on raised beds and not on the traditional rooftop.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Yemen Red Marqaha, from Bodka Coffee Company in Emelle, Alabama. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Haraaz, Yemen
producer: smallholder farmers
elevation: 1900 – 2440 meters above sea level
varieties: Tuffahi, Dawairi, Ismaili, Jaadi
process: natural, raised bed dried
The aroma of the Yemen Red Marqaha is incredible. Whoa. Intensely bright and tropical, and it comes exploding out of the cup. Strawberry, pineapple, sugar, and a bouquet of sweet florals.
My first few sips from the cup are pretty great; this is a delicious, full-bodied coffee that has a lot of really interesting things happening. The coffee has a silky texture to it, and its profile is characterized by raw honey, red delicious apple, grape jelly, rose petal, jasmine, and rooibos tea.
As the cup cools off, it takes on a decidedly “fruit punch” flavor profile (as if it weren’t fruity enough already). Here, in the coffee’s second act, I’m tasting loads of pineapple, watermelon Jolly Rancher, sour cherry, black cherry, nectarine… Actually, now that I’m thinking of it, rather than “fruit punch,” perhaps “amaretto stone sour” is a more accurate beverage with which to describe this coffee.
Full body; silky mouthfeel; malic acidity; slightly dry finish.
Let’s just cut right to the chase—Bodka Coffee Company’s Yemen Red Marqaha is a really, really fantastic cup of coffee. Super juicy, sweet, brilliant, bright and lively, lots of depth with a great clarity… And I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Yeah, man? A Yemen?”
Yeah, man—a Yemen.
There aren’t enough good things I can say about the Red Marqaha—it’s an unbelievable coffee. One that fires on all cylinders and never takes its foot off the gas pedal.