Our Story

Yahya Al-Hattabi

Founder of Y The Yemeni Coffee Co - Established 2020
BA - Business and Information Technology
MA - Software Engineering

Cafe of the Year 2021
South East England Prestige Awards

Cafe of the Year 2022
South East England Prestige Awards

Business Person of the Year 2023
Seahaven Business Awards

As well as managing the cafe day to day Yahya is a professional barista and coffee roaster. All of the coffee used by Y The Yemeni Coffee Co is imported directly from the farmers in Yemen and roasted on site at the cafe in Peacehaven, just outside of Brighton. Yahya takes great pride in his coffee and is always looking to improve and develop the quality. By investing time in training and working with other professionals he has gained a great deal of knowledge and understanding.

Where it all began…

From a family of farmers I knew I would go to university and I knew I would have to leave my  home country of Yemen to do this. I always told my father that I wanted  to be a successful businessman. After much planning and preparation, I was accepted to Asia Pacific University in Malaysia, and the new chapter of my life began. I was hungry for the challenge and ready to fulfil my dream. This is my story.

New Beginnings

I was 22 when I relocated to a new city, country, and continent. Many of my friends had done the same in pursuit of their aspirations, and now it was my turn. My BA in Business and Information Technology was accomplished. I believed I was ready for my next challenge after finishing university. I began working and establishing a network of friends who owned businesses from which I might learn. 

I had started applying to companies in KL to try and break into marketing and software engineering but, as a foreigner, this proved very difficult and the 100’s of rejections started getting to me. There had to be  a better way, but what? On New Year’s Eve in 2018 I had been to yet another interview with a businessman who was a friend of a friend and, following the interview, I found myself at KLCC, in front of The Petronas  Towers. So disappointed.


The towers are a huge landmark in KL and there, I met Rachel, my wife and business partner. I went there by chance. At that moment my life  changed forever, and I know for sure that she would say the same thing. We have not looked back since. We have had adventures moving around the world, KL, London and now Peacehaven! Not a bad result really. I then decided to continue with my education and began my MA in Software Engineering. At this point, we had begun to evaluate our possibilities, and in the thick of the Covid epidemic, a property in a beautiful location in the town where my wife had grown up became available. It had previously been a cafe and was in a fantastic location in the coastal town of Peacehaven.

So, where did the coffee come from? Simple. Yemen. We had both certainly done enough market research as we often enjoyed finding new, independent cafes and coffee shops to try out and discuss together and with friends. We both had a keen interest in business and coffee beans originate in Yemen. What a coincidence.

So, if not you, who?
If not now, when?

That is a mantra we live by. We both very much believe that the right circumstances will present themselves and it is our responsibility to make the very most of every opportunity. I had a dream. I made it happen. Nearly 3 years on, this has been the most monumental challenge for us, but thanks to a dedicated team of friends and family around us and some amazing customers we believe we have established a great place for people to come and visit, relax and enjoy socialising together. Most importantly they can enjoy fabulous coffee.

We were overwhelmed by the community’s support throughout the pandemic and enjoyed meeting new consumers. Each year, we celebrate our continuous success with our annual free cake reward, greeting local Peacehaven residents as well as customers and guests from across the country.

Yemen is not a well known country and yet it has been producing the original Arabica coffee beans for hundreds of years. The traditional growing and farming process in the mountain terraces has kept the unique Mocha, chocolate flavour and deep fruity undertone of the  beans. At Y The Yemeni Coffee Co we only use Yemeni coffee beans. 

We import our coffee beans straight from Yemen and roast them at our cafe in Peacehaven. I have had many hours of training to learn this process so that we can bring you the most delicious, natural coffee beans.

More than just coffee.

For us it is not just about the coffee. My family is still in Yemen and the country continues to survive, despite the civil war that has raged for nearly 10 years. We are able to share one of the amazing parts of this devastated country with our customers, sharing the story of the country and history of the original arabica coffee at the same time. 

My country, our coffee.

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