Jury code : 1808
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VILLAGE :Hayma Dakhiliya
REGION : Hayma Dakhiliya
GOVERNORATE : Sanaa
Hayma Dakhiliya is a coffee growing region located to the west of the Sana’a governorate. It is characterised by an almost unreachable terrain and rugged roads. The cluster of agrarian villages here is hard to reach, and thus remain inaccessible and isolated from the main cities.
Currently, roughly 83,000 people live in this cluster, out of which 400 families farm coffee. Families here also grow corn, potatoes and qat. The villages are found high in the mountains at an altitude of 2,200 masl. The weather is mild and rainy in the summer months and cold in winter. The coffee farmers here benefit from fertile soil which is rich in minerals and plenty of aquifers. Some of the coffee trees here are over a century old. This longevity stems from the adaptation to the harsh climate of the mountains, with its mild and rainy summers and extremely cold winters. The coffee harvested in Hayma Dakhiliya remains high-quality and carries with fresh, fruity hints.
This community lot has undergone deep fermentation, and tastes of cherry candy, eucalyptus, dried figs, and complex spices.
Yemenia is a new mother population within the species of Coffea arabica that is found exclusively in Yemen, and represents an ocean of unexplored genetics and future varieties that have the potential to reshape the world of arabica for centuries to come.
The discovery of Yemenia was part of Qima Coffee’s R&D programme with Dr Christophe Montagnon, the aim of which was to map out Yemen's coffee genetic landscape. Qima conducted the largest genetic survey in Yemen's history, covering an area of over 25,000 sq km.
Through rigorous research in coffee genetics, we discovered that there exists a mother population of Coffea arabica that never left Yemen, and remains native to the land till date: Yemenia – meaning Yemeni mother in Arabic.
Yemen’s coffee land has a rough climate, displaying both high and low temperatures in the extreme range of coffee growing areas worldwide, together with one of the lowest global rainfall levels. There is no doubt that this environment has favoured resilient landraces, not only between the 1400s (coffee first introduced to Yemen) and 1700s (when today’s main worldwide coffee varieties were taken out of Yemen), but also during the last 300 years of coffee cultivation and propagation. The unveiling of Yemenia, which has not been observed anywhere else in the world so far, opens the gate to previously uncharted genetic diversity within C. arabica in general, and Yemeni coffee in particular. Further research is ongoing to determine and identify potential varieties within Yemenia group.
Deep fermentation refers to a variation of natural processing. The coffee cherries are slow dried, in which we aim for drying days of over 30 and then double the layer of cherries to imitate a semi-anaerobic drying environment. The cherries are carefully turned throughout the process. The result of the deep fermentation process is a flavourful, fruit-forward coffee.
Hayma Dakhiliya is a coffee growing region located in the west of the Sana’a governorate, it is one of the governorate’s most well-known regions. The region has 11 mountainous villages located 50km west of the capital city of Sana’a. Some of the villages in Hayma Dakhiliya include Al Yaer, Bait Yaseen, Al Mezab and Bait Al Kabsh. However, due to the rough terrain and rugged roads, the villages are hard to reach and remain isolated from the city. Due to the location of the villages in this region, access to education and healthcare is limited.
However, coffee trees have been struggling with diseases impacting the region’s outturn of coffee cherries and overall yield. Low yield is a problem affecting the Yemeni coffee industry; however, Hayma Dakhiliya is particularly struggling with this issue and as result, the region has the lowest yield in Yemen.
The governorate of Sana’a not only has the biggest share of specialty coffee production, in both quality and quantity in Yemen but also has one of the longest continuous coffee cultures in the world. Much of the coffee consumed in Sana’a is prepared using the traditional Ibrik method, brewing coffee in a copper or silver pot over hot charcoals.
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