By wafa A.Alkhazzan
The future still to be bright, though. Yemeni coffee is attaining wider fame, such as in Berlin, where Suite Yemen advertised it at an international tourism exhibition in Berlin. The exhibit saw a man serving it to guests in a traditional folk costume. It is a national symbol, and a part of our culture, and hopefully, it will stay that way.
The Yemeni coffee crop is one of the best known of agricultural products. It has been famous since ancient times. It is important for the country, which benefits from unique production areas and high quality. Yemeni coffee is characterized by a unique flavor and fine taste.
Yemeni coffee is the origin of most coffee in the world. Yemenis were heavily invested in the trade, and exported coffee almost compulsively. “Mocca Coffee” actually refers to the port that first exported it, Mocha. Of course, its crops were different from those of many other governorates, which have different sizes and qualities.
Coffee is mainly grown at a level of between 1000 and 1700 kilometers, in valleys that descend from the highlands to terraced mountains. This is especially the case in the western mountain range overlooking Tehama, where trees are planted at a rate of between 900 to 1,000 per hectare. Coffee is produced at a level of between 300 and 600 kilograms per hectare.
The government has shown interest in coffee in recent years. This has been reflected in a notable increase of its production scale. Reports indicate that the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation increased coffee production to 13 thousand tons in 2002, a massive increase from 7 thousand tons in 1997. Additionally, nine thousand additional hectares were used in 2002 as opposed to 1997.
2009 was even greater. Yemen’s production of coffee reached 18,924 tons, and the value of exports rose to 2.7 billion riyals.
Recently, Yemenis have seen new cafés that serve various beverages including coffee. However, many wealthy Yemenis do not care for their national product, and want new forms instead of the original. Many cafés do not serve Yemeni coffee, and leave traditional beverages for new drinks.
Coffee also faces a threat from the Qat plant. Many varieties are facing extinction as a result of how Qat is grown all over the country, which is no wonder, since irrigation costs can be unjustifiably high for how much is earned from coffee. This is much less the case for Qat.