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EAST TIMOR – 3 origins

Timor Leste (East Timor)

The Island of Timor has a fascinating and remarkably long coffee history. Coffee is believed to have been first cultivated on the Island way back in the 17th century. Back when the Island was colonized and subsequently split by the Portuguese and the Dutch, where the Dutch controlled the West and the Portuguese the East. Funnily enough, it’s still unknown as to which Colonial power first commercialized coffee production on the Island. Today the Island remains split between two sovereign states with Indonesia governing the West and Timor Leste (East Timor) the east.

Sadly, the beautiful Island has experienced several periods of political turmoil and the nation’s coffee industry has ebbed and flowed in close correlation to volatility in the region. During the 1974 Portuguese revolution and after years of neglect from the Portuguese government, East Timor was effectively abandoned as a Portuguese colony. Several months of internal political dispute prompted an opportunistic Indonesian invasion that lead to hugely controversial and violent occupation. After years of civil unrest, guerrilla warfare and mounting international pressure, Indonesia withdrew from the East and in 2001. East Timor became the first sovereign state of the 21st Century.

East Timor’s total production is currently at 160,000 bags or 550 containers per year. The local market is primarily dominated by a duopoly of exporters that account for around 90% of the total exports. Domestic production is dominated by commercial-grade Arabica, with a small amount of Robusta grown at low altitude areas.

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Lacau

Origin: East Timor

Altitude: 1850m

Varietal: Typica & Heirloom Varietals

Cupping Score: 87/100

Process: fully washed

Cupping notes: Dark grape, marzipan and honey aroma, med soft citrus acidity, full juicy body, med sweetness, notes of marzipan, soft chocolate, apricot, candied citrus, spice and pink lady apple with a delicate finish.

This beautiful coffee comes from a village called Lacau. The village chief’s name is Fernando and he has 8 children. The coffee in the village comes from 15 individual farmers that produce approximately 1T of specialty and 1T of commercial quality coffee each. The variety cultivated is predominantly Typica, which has locally been nicknamed “Arabi”.

During harvest time, the cherry is hand picked and pulped at the pulper in the village. Pulped parchment is fermented for 24-48 hours depending on the local weather conditions at the time. Then, the clean washed parchment is sent for drying. Once the parchment is at it’s optimal moisture level, the dry parchment is bagged up and sent for processing at a central mill in Dili

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Haupu

Origin: East Timor

Altitude: 1550m

Varietal: Typica & Heirloom Varietals

Process: fully washed

Cupping score: 86/100

Cupping notes: Grape, current and soft floral aroma, med soft citrus acidity, full juicy body, med-high sweetness, notes of brown sugar, plum, dark chocolate, white grape, red apple and black tea with clean finish

This beautiful coffee comes from a Sukus (village) called Haupu. Coffee produced here is amongst some of the best we have seen in East Timor. The elevation here is slightly lower, which means that this is one of the first specialty lots that we get to taste every year. The resting period plays a huge roll in coffee production and attributes to a more balanced profile, when we’re cupping new crop samples from across the country. The variety cultivated is predominantly Typica, which has locally been nicknamed “Arabi”.

During harvest time, the cherry is hand picked and pulped at the pulper in the village. Pulped parchment is fermented for 24-48 hours depending on the local weather conditions at the time. Then, the clean washed parchment is sent for drying. Once the parchment is at it’s optimal moisture level, the dry parchment is bagged up and sent for processing at a central mill in Dili.

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Eratoi Hatuhei

Origin: East Timor

Altitude 1800m

Process: fully washed

Varietal Typica & Heirloom Varietals

Cupping score: 87/100

Cupping notes: Soft florals, candied citrus and iron-bark honey aroma, med-high green apple acidity, full juicy body, med-high sweetness, notes of black plum, currents, dark honey, black tea and apricot with a clean finish

This beautiful coffee comes from a Sukus (village) called Hatuhei . Coffee produced here is amongst some of the best we have seen in East Timor. The resting period plays a huge roll in coffee production and attributes to a more balanced profile, when we’re cupping new crop samples from across the country. The variety cultivated is predominantly Typica, which has locally been nicknamed “Arabi”.

During harvest time, the cherry is hand picked and pulped at the pulper in the village. Pulped parchment is fermented for 24-48 hours depending on the local weather conditions at the time. Then, the clean washed parchment is sent for drying. Once the parchment is at it’s optimal moisture level, the dry parchment is bagged up and sent for processing at a central mill in Dili.

 

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