Jury code : 8456
jury score :
lot size :
VILLAGE :AL MAHJAR
REGION : Hayma Kharijiya
GOVERNORATE : Sanaa
Majid Mathar is a young, 28 year old farmer who lives with his family of 12 in Al Mahjar village of Hayma Kharijiya. Coffee growing is an ancestral occupation for Majid and his family, and even today, most of them are involved in it.
His sound knowledge of agriculture comes from his father, who was experimental and a keen observer of his crop. He taught Majid how to plough the land after irrigation and they developed a preference for drip irrigation over immersion methods after seeing the damage to coffee trees.
Majid has learnt the art of building small dams that help him irrigate his crop with minimal damage. “Using water from the dams suits my crop over directly sourced water.”
He has also observed that using natural fertilisers leads to better outcomes than chemical fertilisers, and is an ardent advocate of the former. His poignant advice to other farmers reflects both of these lessons that he learnt from his father: “We must avoid using immersion irrigation as it can harm the coffee tree. Instead, we must build small dams for irrigation. I also recommend using natural fertilisers instead of chemicals. These small steps help us in producing higher quality beans."
Majid’s main struggles include crop damage from unpredictable weather, especially in winters; and tremendously low market prices for his coffee, which makes it hard to churn a profit. However, Majid’s optimism shadows it all. The message to the consumers of his coffee is a simple, yet powerful one: “I am proud that my coffee – our Yemeni coffee – has reached you. It motivates us to do better and improve our production.”
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.
Slow dried is a variation of natural processing, wherein the collected cherries are dried slowly for long durations i.e. more than 25 days on raised parabolic drying beds. With continuous moisture monitoring and temperature control, these cherries are carefully turned throughout this time to produce a clean cup profile, with clearly discernible flavours.
Hayma Kharijiya is a coffee growing region located in the west of the Sana’a governorate and includes many villages. It is located on the west side of Sana'a city. It is bordered by Bani Matar to the east, Al-Hayma Al Dakhiliyah to the north, Manakhah to the west and Dhamar to the south. The region boasts of a lion’s share within Yemeni specialty coffee production, both in terms of quality and quantity. One can spot this name associated with many premium Yemeni coffees.
Hayma Kharijiya is known for its mild weather, fresh air and a chain of mountains that has a navy blue appearance to them. The air is fresh and one can stand anywhere on the mountain for a panoramic view of many important regions closeby.
Hayma Kharijiya has many valleys such as Wadi Ali, Wadi Sarf, and Wadi Bini Ahmed to name a few. Mufhaq and Al-Manar forts are of the important archaeological landmarks in Hayma Kharijiya.
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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