Mocha (Muza): Part of Incense Route of Yemen

Mocha is famous for being the major marketplace for coffee. Mocha beans itself did not grow in Mocha, but was transported from places inland to the port in Mocha, where it was shipped abroad

Taiz, Yemen

Coordinates: 13.320300, 43.247300

Nearby Places

First Heading

Mocha, the birthplace of Mocha

In recent years, the port city of Mokha has made headlines due to the ongoing conflict in Yemen between Iran-backed Houthi militias and forces loyal to the government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, backed by the Saudi Arab coalition.

However, Mocha is better remembered as the heart of Yemen’s 200-year trade monopoly over the sale of coffee. It was from this port – its point of origin – that the chocolate coffee cocktail popular in the West and the rest of the world got its name.

“Yemen exported all its coffee from the Port of Mokha and it traveled around the world known as mocha coffee. The port was very attached to the product it was shipping,” Anda Greeney, a Harvard researcher in Yemen’s coffee sector and founder of coffee startup Al Mokha, says.

Land of First Coffee brewing

Ethiopian nomadic mountain people are believed to be the first to identify coffee’s stimulating effect. However, it is estimated that the use of coffee brewing as known today would have started in the Middle Ages in Yemen.

According to the World Coffee Research, the first archaeological evidence of beverage coffee consumption was found in the Yemeni city of Zabid.

Used By Sufi’s as well

During the 15th century, coffee cultivation started within Yemen to meet local needs. In 1450, Islamic Sufis of Yemen first began drinking coffee to stay awake during late-night prayer. This led to the transformation of mountainsides into terraced hillsides and people inventing farming techniques to grow coffee.

At Present

Mocha was among the population centres in southern Yemen taken over by the Houthis during their military offensive in March 2015. The city was attacked by pro-Hadi forces in January 2017 and captured by pro-Hadi troops in February 2017.

Mocha is no longer utilized as a significant trade route, and the current local economy is primarily based upon fishing and a small number of tourists. The village of Mocha was officially relocated 3 kilometres west along the Red Sea shore to accommodate the building and demolition of several coastal highways.

Image Sources


By Photographer Anas Al – Haj – On the beach Mocha, CC BY-SA 2.0,

By tower10, CC BY-SA 3.0,

By Julien Harneis from Sana’a, Yemen – Mokha, CC BY-SA 2.0,

By Julien Harneis from Sana’a, Yemen – Mokha door, CC BY-SA 2.0, httpscommons.wikimedia.orgwindex.phpcurid=38615023

By Julien Harneis from Sana’a, Yemen – Mokha morning, CC BY-SA 2.0,

By Gomtu – Own work, CC BY 3.0,

By Gomtu – Own work, CC BY 3.0,

By Gomtu – Own work, CC BY 3.0,