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December 2010 Newsletter

Holiday closing dates will be as follows:




As always, customers are reminded that we will be running our
stocks of roasted coffee down to zero, and late orders may be
filled by whatever coffees are available, and not what you
actually ordered.

Late machine orders will probably end up being delivered sometime
in early January. The usual madhouse mistakes by couriers and
Australia Post seem to be already starting, and will probably
only get worse from this point on.

You should also factor in our packing and shipping times.
Normally we will pack and ship an order the day after it is
received; the time in-between is spent roasting the necessary
coffees. The large increase in order volumes over the next 3
weeks means that it may take 2 or even 3 days after receipt to
get an order away.

Our Chrismas special coffee has been produced in exactly the same
way for the last thousand years. Coffee shrubs are grown in poor
soil on rocky terraces in a harsh desert climate, watered by hand
and the morning dew.

The coffee cherries are hand picked as they ripen, then laid out
on the terraces to dry in the sun. A local "collector" will then
go door-to-door to each household, getting a few kilos from each.
He will pass his haul of dried coffee cherry on to a bigger
"collector", as will many others. The large-scale collector will
then sell his tonne or two to a coffee merchant/exporter for

 The dried skin and fruit pulp is husked off and saved, to be
sold as Qishr, a sort of tea. The green coffee beans are then
laboriously winnowed and sorted by hand, and hand sewn into 60
kilo bags for export. The majority of the coffee is indeed
exported because the locals drink the Qishr instead.

The country I am talking about is the birthplace of coffee as we
know it, and Arabica coffee in particular. Indeed, it was once
known as Arabia Felix and was the centre of the Arabian spice
trade, all shipped through the port of Al-Makka or Mokha.

The country is of course Yemen, and the coffee is

Yemen Mokha Ismaili 

This is not a coffee for the casual drinker. It has a
penetrating, cocoa-like aroma and complex earthy flavour with
distinctive unsweetened cocoa/coffee tastes. There is little in
the way of sweetness or acidity but swirling it in the mouth
brings a continuous perception of differing flavours. It probably
makes one of the best, most complex single origin espressos on

Note that while it is not certified organic, it is organically
grown and processed, and always has been. It will never be a
"Fair Trade" coffee because it always sells at a huge premium to
the base Fairtrade price.

We wish all our customers and suppliers a Merry Christmas and a
safe and happy New Year. Take it easy on the roads and highways,
and we'll be back in 2011.