Yemen’s coffee culture endures despite its troubles
December 21, 2021
According to UNICEF, Yemen is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. Despite their current crisis, they still produce one of the tastiest coffees. Yemen has exported coffee globally for almost 500 years, making them one of the oldest sources of bean in the world. At Diwan Café, a small coffee shop in Downtown Brooklyn, two Yemeni-American cousins strive to bring their country’s greatest cultural export to New York.
Diwan Cafe’s coffee comes exclusively from the slopes of the Haraz Mountains, often considered the birthplace of coffee. The coffee has a distinct flavor -- with notes of cardamom and rich dark roast, each cup is brewed on the spot.
Yemen produced a much larger amount of coffee than it does today, since a recent civil war has significantly limited the production and exportation of coffee. Café owner Wisam Hatem explains that the easiest way to get the beans is to have family and friends bring back large quantities from Yemen. Wisam and his family also organize charity events and drives to support their loved ones back home.
Watch the GZERO World episode: Caught in the crossfire: Yemen’s forgotten war
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