Thanks Andy. How many days post-roast are you leaving it before getting stuck in?
Yemen Bani Ismail is always a moving target, the climate (read: serious torture for any plant) and the ancient growth varietals produce different coffees each year.
Last year we had monster fruit bombs with a red wine splash, this year the fruit is lighter but the intensity and body is huge.
FAT coffee. Thick syrup oozes off the group handle.
Poured as a "full length" 60ml double espresso it still has a body that you can stand a spoon in and while I try and drink it slowly and savour the shot... as soon as I look back it's gone. I swear my cups leak.
I dare anyone to not stick their finger in the cup to squeeze a little more out or slide their tongue down the side of the espresso cup like a 5 year old would (or maybe these are just my bad habits!). An hour later the coffee is still lingering, calling me back to the espresso machine for just 1 more double shot.
Damn, I love Yemen month at the Snobbery.
Thanks Andy. How many days post-roast are you leaving it before getting stuck in?
I leave my YBI 10 days. No mucking around or yielding to temptation here, it's way too precious. My favourite coffee of all time, hands down.
After 20 years in the wine industry it's one coffee that has many parallels to the concept of 'terroir' (the combined effect of site, soil and climate). These babies do it tough, have you seen pics of the terraces? The small cherries and the intensity of flavour packed into the tiny seeds are sure signs of struggle street. My research tells me that YBI is a regional coffee selection, similar to the concept of 'appellation' (correct me if I'm wrong Andy but Y. Mocha Ismaili is more of a varietal or type selection?). The soil pH and low iron content contribute to the uniqueness of this coffee, similar to a lot of Ethiopian coffee and contributes to the variable colours of the roasted beans (along with the variation brought about by natural dry process)
Although it was the first coffee to be grown outside of the Rift Valley in Ethiopia it is in totally marginal growing conditions, even more so in comparison to the high rainfall and volcanic soils of many other coffee growing regions.
The only problem with the YBI this year.............. there's none left!!
Mocha is the name of the port on the Red Sea coast which saw the export of a lot of coffee in the 15th C. The port is no longer used for coffee exportr but the name Mocha stuck and it became easier to name all the beans from that area under one name rather than use their individual town or regional names.
I've been trying to find out what 'Bani' means and the closest I can come to is 'town' which probably derived from 'tribe'. So 'Bani Ismail' I think literally translates as 'sons of Ismail' in Arabic which, more loosely, means the Ismail tribe and probably now refers to the district or town of that part of Yemen. I could be way off the mark here and would be happy to be corrected.
But as one Yemen website says it "...this coffee is to be experienced and not so much to gab about endlessly". So I'll shut up now.
I absolutely remember! I'm close to Melbourne but out in the sticks as far as any ISPs are concerned and even tho' Andy sent me a text saying that he thought it would last til the end of the year, I took no chances. Optus has let me down big time over the last couple of weeks so my son in Melbourne logged on for me.
I didn't miss out! Roasted my first ?kg batch on Sunday. You're right about the Mocha bit and the names do relate to towns and regions. It's also highly likely that over the hundreds of years of plant selection that the coffee trees in each area have a similar genetic make up, with seeds being selected for desirable characteristics from a small number of parent stock plants. Yeah I know I'm waffling on but I'm waiting for the roast to rest and have to occupy myself until it's ready! I'll shut up soon too!
The first half of the Yemen roast I'll always start straight away and then I'll also enjoy tasting it develop over the coming days. The other half of the roast I'll bag and seal and wait more than a week to open it but hiding it from Paula and my friends is getting harder as they know if there is some in the grinder there is some more stashed somewhere.
In stock? It was available in BeanBay for a whole week, everyone had plenty of chances to grab some.great, none left!
next time you decide to fire us up please make sure its in stock!
Nah, for the same reason as above. If it lasts for an hour at the green bean release time I'm happy that enough people got a shot at it.quota limit
Good news is we will have more ship and land towards the end of the year.
...now it's time for me to go and have another shot before someone pulls up at the Snobbery and I have to share.
Sharing YBI .............I'll be there in a couple of hours Andy!! 8-)
Last edited by chokkidog; 1st August 2012 at 10:19 AM.
This is still essentially correct. People from the Ismaili region are very parochial when it comes to discussions of which is the best coffee from Yemen. They're also very protective of their small plots scattered all over their small region of Yemen; quite a lot of which grows almost as if wild, in gullies and valleys as well as the usual terraced mountain slopes....
Doesn't 'Sons of Ismail' also collectively refer to followers of Islam (source: West Wing episode 'Sons of Isaac and Ishmael')?
I roasted my first batch of YBI on Saturday 28/7/12 on the Behmor. I am very new to roasting so was quite nervous and didn't want to waste a single bean if possible.
Firstly for all those unsure about the small bean size and Behmor drum, no need to worry. I weighed out 379g placed it in drum, shook out small beans and ended up with 375g in the drum after shaking. During the roast I got 3 'echidna' beans stuck in the drum and about 4-5 beans falling out into the chaff tray. So % losses are not huge.
I used 1lb P3 C for 375g. It took a long time and I was worried it was a bit slow. Next time I might use P1. first crack at 18 min, second crack at 20:05min and cooled internally.
I was initially going to rest it for 7 days, but couldn't resist and tried it today. It was absolutely delicious, despite being my first effort and less than ideal roast times!! Yemen beans have always been my favourite - previously I have only bought them brown at $70-80/kg. Now I am VERY glad I started home roasting.
Excellent looking roast Bennett, that's going to come up a treat.
Don't worry about a longer or slower roast with these, they are very dense beans and if you roast short and sharp they won't roast through.
...and yeah, don't wait. Try and put some aside to develop but if you have to do week long "quality control" then that's ok too.
Thanks for the feedback Andy. I was actually quite chuffed at the result and it tasted awesome today at Day 4!! I'm sure it will continue to improve over the coming days.
For anyone roasting this on the i-coffee, some of the beans are small enough to fall out of (or at least into) the ventilation/convection holes in the base of roasting chamber. No biggie, just a good idea to remove the stuck ones before doing another roast (guess how I discovered this.....). Also worth double checking for stones....I got a decent sized lump of something that looked like concrete....very easy to spot in roasted beans though.
Picked up my beans from Fiefy's yesterday and roasted 400g in the coretto last night. Wierd! I don't know whether my temp probe is faulty, but I got first crack at about 160C and 9 mins (Usually 185C and 12 mins) and I think second crack started at about 185C and 13 mins. I thought it might be a disaster but I cooled them quickly and took Andy's advice and put them through Silvia immediately. The colour varies from cs 7 to 10, depending on size.
Wow! Heavy body, lovely aroma, dry and wet, light coloured crema - and the flavour? - I was reminded of my mother's really rich, delicious dark fruit cake. I can't wait to see how it develops, although it might not last very long!
My favourite coffee also. By a big margin. Thanks Andy!
Running out now though.......
Does anyone know another Yemen Bani Ismail type bean or blend that will keep me going until next harvest???
I find Ethiopian Ghimbi very similar.
You can find Yemen Sanani Mocha on other green bean merchant sites, but I don't like it as much as the Bani Ismail.
Others have compared the Ethiopian Gambella to Yemen also -but I have never tried it.
Andy calls the Gambella 'poor mans' Yemen in green beanbay, it might be half the price (or less some years) but it's not half the quality.
Great bean, awesome with a 17 minute, or so, roast. Rich and syrupy, mouth coating, spice and chocolate with dried fruit notes. Yum.
If you're tempted to buy Yemen from another supplier, check the crop year, it's been a hard bean (pun intended ;-)) to get out of Yemen these past few seasons,
so you want to make sure it's fresh.
Roasting on boxing day..........hmmm, might treat myself to some of the 7kg stash of YBI in the roast room! 8-D
Thanks for the advice. I will give Gambella a try soon then.
What I love about Bani Ismail is the intensity as an espresso, and the kick! Also, the blueberry Nothing else has come close for me so far....
If it's blueberry notes you want to add, you could try, as a starting point, a 70/30 Gambella/Harrar blend?
I haven't done it, just a thought........
Good idea re Harrar. I'll try it in a blend. As a single origin I'm a Harrar fan (second only to all Yemen).
Andy, curious to know when we will see YBI? Suspecting similar to 2012?
Definitely need some more....whats worse than being down to your last 300g of Yemen? Letting the roast get away from you and roasting it the wrong side of CS10....bye bye unique fruity flavours, hello charcoally apple....
Sure it will be fine in milk but thats missing the point.....
I feel your pain paulvin.......
One advantage to a poppers limitations
Seems like I've been roasting this too fast.
A quick update. I finally got hold of the Gambella. I'm very happy with this bean as a SO. It is truly Yemeni.
A layman's comparison with Yemen Bani Ismail is that has very similar flavours, acidity, etc, but with 20% less body and 20% less kick.
This has become my daily bean now. A great way to start the day.
Any more Yemen beans arriving soon? Should have bought more last time, it is the fastest moving beans in my house, double the order next time.
Just had a Yemen Mocha Senani pourover. Awesome coffee. All Yemens are amazing IMO...
Yemen this year has been AMAZING. The Ismaili, stunning and we also managed to get onto some brilliant Matari.
Andy call it his desert island coffee: If you were stranded and could only take one coffee to drink forevermore...