Meet the team
It all started with a bad cup of coffee in a coffee shop in Calgary, Mubarak and Mohammad wanted to enjoy a good cup of coffee, but they couldn't. This took them back to their memories of the coffee they grew up drinking; the legendary Yemen Mocha coffee. From that moment an idea sparked to share one of the best coffees in the world to their community. Hence the journey began to bring green beans from Yemen. They committed to bring a true experience of Yemeni coffee to the Canadian culture and help the farmers in Yemen through the brutal war that Yemen is going through.
It took them months to come up with a name and they fell in love with Mazaj. Mazaj is an Arabic word used in Yemen and it describes the mood you get from drinking a great cup of coffee; it is that euphoric moment. Through their first years, they struggled a lot to be able to reach a quality that they are proud to present. Hence, they took SCA classes to understand the processing of green coffee beans, then started the journey.
While doing their education in Vancouver in British Columbia, they met their mentor-to-be John Sanders who has a true treasure of experience and passion for specialty coffee. From there, they worked together to elevate the quality of the Yemeni coffee and lived up to that promise.
In their first year, they focused on research and experimenting with the coffee processing method used in Yemen, which is called the natural process. They started by improving the drying process by using custom made African beds and educating the farmers on how to pick the perfect cherries. All of this wouldn’t be possible without the great team they have in Yemen led by Yousef. Yousef had gone through excessive training and education to produce one of the best naturals from Yemen. He did not allow the war in Yemen to crush his dreams and his passion for growing coffee.
The coffee Mazaj brings goes through a minimum of 30 military checkpoints. Starting from the northern part of Yemen to the southern part. Then, the coffee travels to Oman. Finally, the coffee travels across the world to Canada. Unlike any other product, the most challenging part is the logistics of the Yemeni Coffee, and we are up to the challenge to bring Yemeni coffee out to the rest of the world. Everybody in Mazaj is very proud of the coffee Yemeni culture. They feel it is their duty to contribute to making this world a better place. It starts with helping coffee farmers in Yemen and ends with bringing Yemen's legendary coffee to all coffee lovers around the world.
Meet our Mentor
The legendary John Sanders
In 1989, he began as a Barista and a Service Technician. From there he quickly got involved in the field of Coffee Roasting. Over the last 30 years of his career he has become a Master Roaster and Green Bean Buyer as well as a Master Service Technician both for coffee brewing equipment and in the rebuilding of vintage, cast-iron coffee roaster
John was a founding member of the United States Barista Championship Committee and a past member of the Technical Standards Committee, in charge of the espresso standards for the USA and the WBC (World Barista Championships)
He is also the co- founder and past Chair of the Technical Standards Committee of the WBC. Mr. Sanders was a World Barista Certified Judge as well as a US Barista Certified Judge.
History of Yemeni coffee &
The legend of Mocha
In 1450, the Sufi monks in Yemen were the first to cultivate coffee plants and brew the drink we know today as, coffee. Yemeni farmers monopolized world coffee trade for 200 years; shipping tons of sterile beans from the port of Mokha by boiling the green beans before selling them to international merchants. Drinking coffee gained popularity worldwide; with the first coffee shop opening in London in 1652 by an Armenian immigrant. By 1707, twenty thousand tons of Yemeni coffee was shipped through the Port of Mocha to different regions in the world. The monopoly of the Yemeni coffee was eventually broken at the beginning of the 17 hundreds, And the famous name of Mocha was left in every coffee shop across the globe.
The road to one of
the best natural processed coffees
Choosing the best farms in Yemen
Before stepping into buying any coffee cherries from any farm the team at Mazaj Yemen will go hunt for a unique farm that has all the characteristics of success, higher elevation, healthy farming habits, type of soil, irrigation systems and much more. This brought us into our golden reserves of the Yemeni coffee.
Hand Picking the perfect red cherries
The perfect cup of coffee starts with picking the appropriate level of ripeness, not over ripe and not under ripe. With a specific water content and a high sugar content comes our best coffee cherries. Educating the farmers and working with them side to side helped us perfect our harvest.
Sun dried on customized raised beds
The cherries are then laid on raised beds that we customized for the drying process. The raised beds allow even drying and consistent air flow among the cherries.
Experimenting the fermentation Process
We love experimenting the fermentation process by trying new methods, we play around with drying periods and the methods to create exotic coffees
Continuous learning and data analysis
Our team records every possible detail such as relative humidity, temperature, the rate of losing moisture and more. We record the data and analyze it to continuously learn and improve the result
Roasted by the best
Roasted by professionals in the speciality coffee market here in Calgary to present the desired taste notes that fits our customers
Cupping with professionals
Our coffee is cupped by professionals who provide feedback that allows Mazaj to present a unique cup