Maybe it’s just hype. Maybe they hired an ad agency. But everyone in Yemen thinks the best coffee comes from Ismaili.
Here’s the story: basically we were on the main road between Hodeida and Sana’a, and we were going to meet farmers in the Haimi growing area.
But we were flagged down and a turnout along the way by farmers from the Ismaili growing region (one of the most rugged regions, and known for intense coffee).
They insisted we come with them to visit their coffee farms, have a meal, chew qat, and talk. How could we refuse? Well, in Yemen, you don’t. So it was an ambush, a kidnapping … but only in the friendliest of ways.
What we were about to see was some of the most rugged terrain, incredible stone terraces, most vertical roads (narrow too), a challenging hike, a great meal, hospitality, and no chance of getting back to Sana’a!
So it turned into a Yemeni sleep-over, traditional style, on the floor. I also found out that, unless D. was somehow channeling the prophet Muhammed in his sleep, the Yemeni are real sleep talkers. Imagine, I could have left Yemen and never known that.