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Three 90+ Coffees Lead 22 Lots Heading to Best of Yemen 2021 Auction

1st pace WADI SHAREEF 1

A view at Wadi Shareef, where the top-scoring coffee in the Best of Yemen 2021 competition was grown. Photo courtesy of ACE/Qima Coffee.

Following some 1,900 green coffee submissions from throughout Yemen’s coffee-growing lands, 22 lots scoring 87+ have been selected as the Best of Yemen 2021.

The winning lots will be heading to the Best of Yemen 2021 Private Collection Auction, as presented by organizers the Alliance for Coffee Excellence and Yemen-focused coffee trader Qima Coffee. The auction is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 7.

This will be the third Best of Yemen auction since ACE and Qima launched the program in 2019. In each of the past two years, the top-scoring lots in the competition have either approached or exceeded $200 per pound at the auction. The average price per pound at the 2020 Best of Yemen auction, which comprised 20 microlots, was an astounding $54.43.

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While the past two years’ Best of Yemen competitions were limited to offerings in Qima’s network, 2021 opened the competition to all of Yemen. The nearly 2,000 initial samples were whittled down to 22 after rigorous judging from an international jury representing 20 countries.

The top lot in 2021 hails from a coffee-growing community known as Wadi Shareef in the Haraaz region. In an announcement today, ACE described the coffee as a natural-process Yemenia grown on the steep rock edge of a mountain that scored 90.10 with notes of jasmine, peach and honey. It was one of three coffees in the competition that scored 90+.

“For our coffee to be recognized as the best in Yemen by the world’s finest coffee tasters is a lifelong honor for our community,” Mohammed Alsahami of Wadi Shareef said in the ACE announcement. “For us, coffee growing is deeply connected to our lives, in the same way that the soul is connected to the body. It is as much a source of sustenance as it is of happiness.”

1st place WADI SHAREEF

Farmers in the Wadi Shareef community in Yemen’s Haraaz region. Photo courtesy of ACE/Qima Coffee.

The 22 winning lots, which range in volume from 60 to 500 pounds, comprise five different processing methods as well as four different genetic groups:Yemenia, SL28, SL34 and Kent.

Qima Coffee plans to donate 10% of the auction proceeds to the Qima Foundation’s Tomorrow’s Leaders program, designed to provide school scholarships for people in some of Yemen’s most vulnerable communities.

Later this month, ACE and partners from Taiwan are launching the first Taiwan auction under the “private collection” banner. More on all ACE auctions can be found here.