But on March 25, 2015, two days before Mokhtar planned to fly out from Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, air strikes rained down, forcing closure to civilian airports and ports.

Mokhtar was determined to make it to the SCAA conference in Seattle. Since planes were no longer an option, he grabbed 60 kilograms of coffee samples in two suitcases and drove seven hours to an old, vacant port – the port of Mokha.

Mokha was the first port in the world to trade coffee. He initially planned to take a large ship across to the closest next country’s working airport, but when he arrived in Mokha, he was informed the ship didn’t have enough diesel.

There was one other option: a small, fiberglass boat to Djibouti. The trip would take one day across the Red Sea. He paid the captain $900 and climbed into the boat.

“You're in this giant ocean, and these waves [are] crashing on you … and this guy has no GPS. You don't know if he knows where he's going. And he has one single motor engine. If it dies, you're done. Stuck.”

How One Man Fled The Yemeni War To Get His Coffee Beans To Seattle