Best of Yemen coffee auction sees highest price paid for third place lot

Best of Yemen auction

The Best of Yemen auction, which was organised by the Alliance of Coffee Excellence (ACE) and Yemen based not-profit Qima Coffee, saw US $207.50 per pound, the highest price, paid by Shanghai Cooway Trading Co. for the third-place lot by Yahya Allahaba.

Allahaba won first place in last year’s Qima Private Collection Auction. The second highest price when to the 12th ranking lot for US $150.50 per pound by Curve Specialty Coffee Roastery.

This auction was the third and largest installment of the Private Collection Auction series in Yemen with the auction expanding beyond Qima’s farmer network to any Yemen coffee farmers.

In total, 1900 samples were submitted from across Yemen with the 22 selected lots scoring 87 points or higher. Across the 22 winning lots, the average price paid was US $63.26 per pound. These buyers represented more than 35 companies across 12 countries.

“I now see a future for myself and my children through coffee farming. We have taken care of our coffee farms throughout our lives; it is nice to see the coffee now taking care of us. I will teach my children to continue investing in our coffee farms – this is our legacy,” says Yahya Allahaba.

The second highest ranking coffee, the Aljidan XI, was an Alchemy processed lot with Yemenia genetics. It was bought by Cypher Coffee, a United Arab Emirates based company which has been a longtime supporter of Qima.

“This specific lot was our target, and we were going to try our best to secure it through the auction. Thankfully we managed to do so,” says Mohammed Merhi, Owner of Cypher Coffee.

Over the past couple years, Cypher Coffee has been selectively purchasing unique Yemeni lots that represent the country’s exquisite cup quality.

“As coffee lovers and Arabs, Yemen has a special place in our hearts. Yemen is not only the birthplace of the coffee trade, but it is also where Arab tribes have all originated from. The “happy” Yemen is how the country has been described for hundreds of years,” says Merhi.

“Sadly, this has not been true recently. Yemen as we all wish it to be has been swept in internal strife and mired in civil war for years now.”

Merhi says for this reason, he has been compelled to lend a helping hand through purchasing, marketing, and promoting Yemeni coffee through ACE and Qima.

“Our hope is that through this initiative, we can support the livelihoods of rural Yemeni coffee farmers and their families, not only in the short term but also in the long term through a scaled and efficiently developed value chain that can be an important employment generator and stability promoter in the country,” says Merhi.

The Britain based Colonna group purchased the 10th place lot, which scored 88.41, and was an Alchemy processed Yemenia produced by Muhammed Kulaib.

“We love the complexity and uniqueness of the distinctive Yemenia profiles,” says Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Colonna.

“Our customers have gone mad for the last two lots we have showcased, and I know they will be excited by this auction lot. I already anticipate we will have some unhappy customers who won’t be able to try it as it will go so quickly.”

“The Best of Yemen is not only honoring the incredible work of Yemeni coffee farmers, but also helping to make a positive change to Yemen’s most vulnerable communities,” says ACE.

At the start of the auction Qima Coffee also pledged to donate 10 per cent of all auction proceed to Qima Foundation’s Tomorrow’s Leaders program, an educational sponsorship program offering full scholarships into some of Yemen’s best schools to support single mothers and their children.

Thanks to the success of the auction, US $39,953.19 was donated directly to the program, surpassing the fundraiser’s target by more than 38 per cent, equating to 53 years of education sponsorships.

For more information on the auction results click here.

Send this to a friend