Mocha coffee bean

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The Mocha coffee bean is a variety of coffee bean originally shipped from Yemen.


The Mocha coffee bean is derived from the coffee species Coffea arabica, which is native to Ethiopia and Yemen. In appearance they are very small, hard, round with an irregular shape and olive green to pale yellow in colour.[1] Although the beans originally shipped from the port of Mocha were thought to have had a chocolate-like taste,[2] current mocha beans from Yemen do not.[3] Chocolate was developed by the similar sounding Mokaya of Chiapas 2000 BC.


It is commonly believed that the coffee bean that originated in the port city of Mocha was encountered by Marco Polo on his trip through the Arab World. After the month and a half of Polo's turbulent journey, his party were forced to go ashore at Ṣūr (modern-day Tyre, Lebanon) to resupply their stocks, because the captain, William Maurice, had provided insufficient room for food storage. In the marketplace, Polo found a Yemenite salesman who had brought coffee beans from Mocha. Polo purchased some and ultimately returned with them (among many other imports) to Europe.[4] However, the bean was not widely known through Europe until the 17th century.

In 1595 Spanish Jesuit missionary Pedro Páez was the first European to taste Mocha's coffee. The term "mocha" in relation to chocolate and coffee–chocolate blends is the European traders evaluation of its taste. Historically, the inhabitants of Mocha neither cultivate nor import chocolate.[5]

Today, Mocha coffee beans are a very rare commodity.[6]

Caffè mocha[edit]

"Mocha coffee" can refer either to the coffee-with-chocolate drink, Caffè mocha or simply to coffee brewed with mocha beans.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ukers, William (1935, republished 2009). All About Coffee. ISBN 1849028702. 
  2. ^ Antol, Marie Nadine (2002). Confessions of a Coffee Bean: The Complete Guide to Coffee Cuisine. p. 10. ISBN 0757000207. 
  3. ^ Hurd, Barbara (2003). The Joy of Coffee: The Essential Guide to Buying, Brewing, and Enjoying. p. 132. ISBN 0618302409. 
  4. ^ The Travels of Marco Polo, Volume 1, by Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa. Project Gutenberg
  5. ^ Wild, Anthony. Coffee: A Dark History, Fourth Estates: 2004.
  6. ^ Hurd, Barbara (2003). The Joy of Coffee: The Essential Guide to Buying, Brewing, and Enjoying. p. 266. ISBN 0618302409.