YEMEN: A Humanitarian Crisis, The Original hipsters and more

YEMEN: A Humanitarian Crisis, The Original hipsters and more

A new coffee species called Yemenia has just been discovered in the beautiful, war-torn country of Yemen that has the potential to revolutionize the global coffee industry. And we just purchased a lot in the Qima & Cup of Excellence auction so YOU CAN EXPERIENCE IT! Thanks for being part of this journey with celebrate culture & coffee in Chattanooga and beyond!


"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." ~Qima Coffee



"Yemen, located at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia, remains the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Five years of conflict have forced more than 3.6 million people to flee their homes and approximately 80 percent of the population – 24 million people – are in dire need of humanitarian assistance."

"...Since violence broke out in late March 2015, conditions in Yemen - already one of the poorest countries in the Middle East - have rapidly deteriorated. Extreme shortages of food, safe water, sanitation and healthcare, as well as deadly massive outbreaks of cholera and diphtheria have taken a heavy toll on civilian lives and deprived families of basic needs.  

At least 70 percent of the population lack access to food, safe water and adequate healthcare and nearly one million suspected cholera cases have been registered since 2018." - UNHCR 

“The world cannot afford to let Yemen slip into the abyss.”

-Ayman Gharaibeh, UNHCR Representative to Yemen

Read about the story of 29-year-old Ahlam to see a firsthand experience here. And read this for a full explanation of crisis in Yemen.



We ultimately wanted to be part of sharing the revolutionary new coffee mother population, Yemenia, to help make a difference in the lives of Yemeni farmers. 

At Mad Priest, we "educate the curious" about where it comes from, and who was involved in bringing it to us. But we also strive to "champion the displaced" and Yemen is a coffee origin that continues to deal with the atrocities of war, famine, and displacement on a whole other level.

In 2016, the proceeds from our previous Yemeni coffee went to World Relief's efforts in Yemen. (Who remembers The Original Hipster?) Now a few years later, the situation is even more dire in Yemen, and we want to be part of the solution through coffee



The lot that we purchased in the Yemenia auction cost $140/lb. (It's a super special coffee with a really unique process, learn more about it here.) And $101/lb of that goes directly to the cooperative of famers in Bait Alal, Yemen!

When you buy this incredible coffee, you are literally making a difference in the lives of coffee farmers amidst the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen



Back in 2017 we had a little fun with our first coffee from Yemen (along with our friend Jeremiah)...and decided to give it a special brand. "The Original Hipster" coffee had it's own custom artwork, and even a t-shirt.   
"Raise a mug or two of this Yemeni brew in celebration of the origins of coffee culture! That’s right, modern day Yemen was the original commercial hub of coffee cultivation and exportation most notably through the port city of Mocha.
Coffee Houses erupted throughout the Ottoman Empire and beyond, with a reputation where people gathered to socialize, discuss big ideas of the day and launch revolutions.... it seems little has changed over the centuries! The coffee you hold in your hands is a tribute to those Original Hipsters who revolutionized the world—one cup at a time."
Actually, the discovery and origin of coffee are a bit mysterious, depending who you ask. But we do know that coffee was first cultivated in Yemen, and it's said that Sufi monks prepared an infusion of coffee cherry leaves to stay awake and pray through the night. So the first real roasting and grinding activities likely happened here. Later, in 1554 the first coffee houses were documented in the Ottoman Empire.


We've been getting some amazing feedback from folks about Yemenia! It's a super unique & delicious coffee, AND your purchase directly supports Yemeni coffee farmers in the midst of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Learn more here.

“It is a very surprising taste. Noticeably different. I likened it to a perfect middle between South American dark roasts and Ethiopian lighter fruity coffees. Heavy tamarind and apricot notes for me.” - Joseph Kwon

“I love that it is such a special coffee with a real impact on real people (as opposed to corporate growers). The experience of waiting, placing the box on the counter, weighing the beans, prepping the pot, and making a pour over is incomparable to any other coffee....The flavors made me think of citrus fruits. I am not a coffee somm, so describing the exact profile is difficult for me, but I do recommend the experience. I am happy that I can be a part of the growth of the Bait Alal village.” - Andrew Coleman

"It's an amazement as soon as you break the seal. the scent hits you with wonder. Hint of chocolate raspberry and coffee from a lighter roast straight from the bag leads to a lot of anticipation." - Michael Wong

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