An intense, rustic cup character; herbal tea, malty sweetness, pungent, black-peppery, dark berry-like fruited note, rooty, tangy roast flavor, waxy-dense body; a great cup for SO espresso. City+ to Vienna roast, with FC highly recommended.
Haimi is a distinct regional coffee, but has often been sold as Sana'ani since it is geographically contiguous with the area around the capital, Sana'a. Many moons ago, I found a Yemeni exporter willing to separate the Haimi (he refers to it as Haimah: Haimi simply means "of Haimah"). I found it's unique cup character appealing, and it seemed to have a dark sweetness that was distinct from our other Yemeni offerings. Now we are working with another group, and they are finally able to separate Haimi from the Sana'ani coffee. The light roasts are a great contrast from the dark roast treatment here, but both are excellent on their own merits.
The dry fragrance of the City+ roast has an earthy sweetness to the cup, at once caramelly and slightly fruited, later seeming more like light molasses. There are cardamom spice notes and fresh ginger. There is a fresh-leather aromatic in the light roast ... I know that sounds a bit unappealing but it is quite "true" to Yemeni origin character. The lightest roast I did was less intensely "brooding" in the cup than the Full City roast, with chamomile tea character and malty sweetness. I think the darker roast levels appealed to me much more. The Full City+ roast aromatics are much more pungent, black-peppery, with a dark berry-like fruited note; very nice! Darker roasts have a rooty, tangy roast note, and waxy, dense body. At FC roast I found a rustic sweetness and hints of blackberry syrup, which I prize greatly in a Yemeni coffee. Haimi delivers on several levels: it offers the right Yemeni cup experience (a taste-equivalent of an Arabic street bazaar, perhaps), and as a complex, unique cup that is as far from clean, uniform Centrals as you can get. If you want something different from bright, clean, wet-processed coffee, you can't go wrong with a Yemen! And this was the best cup for SO espresso, but at Full City roast, and not roasted into 2nd crack. Proper resting (3 days+) is important for espresso, and can balance out the cup with brewed methods as well.