Chattanooga-based Mad Priest Coffee Roasters just spent its savings to purchase a lot of the newly discovered Yemenia coffee species.
The Qima Coffee Auction was held in partnership with the Alliance for Coffee Excellence and drew some of the biggest names in the coffee industry from around the world to pay up to $140 per pound, reports Mad Priest owner and roaster, Michael Rice.
Rice says Mad Priest decided to purchase the coffee during a pandemic, when sales are down, “to be a part of history.”
“I want Mad Priest to be a vessel of the global coffee revolution through this new coffee species. We’re not going to make money on this, but we want to give accessibility for something big like this to the general public.
“We want to give people the opportunity to purchase this coffee from Yemen, and in doing so, play a role in changing the future of the coffee industry.”
Mad Priest is not new to Yemeni coffee. The roaster offered a coffee from Yemen – a special release called The Original Hipster – in 2017. However, Rice says this new Yemenia coffee is “a whole new world “ that comes with a higher price tag.
Yemenia is available to purchase from Mad Priest in store and online in 4-ounce bags.
Qima Coffee announced its discovery of the new mother species last summer, Rice says. Until now, there have been only a few mother species (such as Typica, Bourbon and Ethiopia Heirloom) under the main species, Arabica.
Rice adds Yemen has been part of the story of coffee for centuries. Though the plant was discovered in Ethiopia, Yemen is the first place where coffee was cultivated as a crop and introduced as a drink to the world, he claims.
“It’s a big deal for the war-torn country of Yemen, which is in desperate need of economic and social support.”
Source: Mad Priest Coffee Roasters