Port of Mokha produces some of the world's most highly rated and exclusive coffees from Yemen, available at Blue Bottle and select specialty roasters worldwide. We provide Yemen's ancient coffee to the world by empowering farmers with the knowledge and tools to improve the quality of their coffees and lives. Unknown to many, Yemen was the first country to cultivate and commercialize coffee. As such, most coffee beans trace back to Yemen. Dozens of heirloom and ancient varietals can be found here and nowhere else. For centuries, Yemen had a monopoly on coffee: exporting seedlings was punishable by death. Today's world coffee growth can be traced back to 7 beans smuggled out of the country. Our founder Mokhtar began his journey surveying all 32 coffee producing regions in Yemen and returning with the first single-origin lots to come out of Yemen in decades. As the only Arab Q grader (master coffee sommelier), he was able to evaluate the coffees and identified the very first regions he would begin working with farmers as a coffee interventionist. The willingness to work collectively and the openness to change farming and processing practices were a vital condition for this work. Mokhtar began by strengthening cooperatives and mandating that women make up at least half of their boards. This was especially important given that 75% of Yemen’s farmers are women. He built the first modern drying beds in Yemen and provided the cooperatives with the most advanced technology, including moisture analyzers. From pre-harvest training (including organic fertilizer) to harvesting best practices (including red-cherry picking and pruning) to even drying and storage protocols. The training was quality-focused and drew upon ancient Yemeni farming wisdoms that weren't passed down and best practices from the world’s best farms. It was highly nuanced—for example, by extending the drying period from 5-6 days to 18 days, the embryo inside the coffee bean lives longer and continues to convert starches to sugars for a longer period of time, producing brighter and cleaner coffees. Port of Mokha's coffee has consistently been the highest scoring coffee on any cupping table, even when it’s shared with the world’s most expensive and award-winning coffees. Some have said it's the best coffee the world has ever seen. We also provide interest-free micro loans directly to cooperatives and farmers to fight predatory loan sharks and break the poverty cycle. Our farmers earned 33%+ more than they ever had working in coffee. This allows us to present growing coffee as a substitute for farmers growing qat, a cash crop that uses 35% of Yemen’s water resources (Yemen is projected to run out of water as early as 2017) and is considered an illegal drug in most countries.
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