A new generation of Yemeni entrepreneurs revives the origins of coffee culture

Yemen helped introduce coffee to the ancient world. Now, in Brooklyn, New York, second-generation Yemeni entrepreneurs are standing proudly in that history, as they attempt to gain a foothold in the lucrative specialty coffee marketThe New York Times reports. The taste of their coffee, from beans grown in Yemen by farmers who employ time-honored methods, is described by one purveyor as complex and slightly funky—“sometimes you can literally taste the dirt and the air,” he said. But it doesn’t come cheap. Not when cafe owners have to manage the difficulties of importing beans from a country in the throes of a civil war. A 12-ounce cup will run you $7 at one shop. But it isn’t all about profit for these coffee boosters. In a social and political climate that has in recent years led to physical attacks on Muslims in U.S. streets, and government policies that have banned Yemeni citizens from entering the country, the cafes are as much about showing pride in their fractured country’s rich heritage as they are about the bottom line. —Safiya Charles

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