Hybrido de Timor, Typica
Timor Leste, also known as East Timor, is an island country in the South Pacific and one of the world’s youngest nations, having not gained full sovereignty from the Indonesian military until 2002. Occupying one half of the island of Timor, the nation of 1.5 million has an economy which has been propped up for years by offshore oil and gas reserves - which will run dry in just a few years’ time. Due to declining oil profits and high levels of rural poverty, agricultural exports (of which coffee is number one) are set to become Timor Leste’s most important economic sector practically overnight.
Raw Material, social enterprise importer and long term partner of Caravan, have been working in Timor Leste since 2018. Their goals here are different than other countries, as challenges to growing and exporting specialty coffee are much greater. To begin with, productivity is extremely low, with very low yields and poor soil fertility. Farmers typically receive below-market prices for their coffee, partly due to pervasive quality issues which prevent Timor Leste coffees from reaching the specialty market. Farmers are also generally not educated about how to improve their crop, leading to a cycle of decline which, without intervention, is headed on a crash course with the economy’s current existential crisis.
Despite these hurdles, and with only a few years under their belts, Raw Material have already notched some significant wins, including the building of the Atsabe community wet mill, where this coffee was processed. Using local resources, the mill uses gravity-powered sorting channels to float the ripe cherries, after which they are laid to dry on hybridised drying beds for 21 days. This naturally processed lot represents innovative new ideas on how to differentiate their product and gain access to new markets. With consultation from experts in Colombia on how to improve their processing, as well as the leadership of Ameta, Raw Material’s head of operations in Timor Leste, year on year quality has significantly improved. We’re happy to feature this as our first-ever coffee from Timor Leste, and look forward to many harvests to come.
Caravan Coffee Roasters are proud members of 1% for the Planet. For more information please visit https://www.onepercentfortheplanet.org
Natural processing - where the coffee beans are dried within the coffee cherry - often leads to easier extraction during brewing, and this can result in bitter flavours if over-extracted. This coffee’s unique and vibrant profile is best highlighted with a lower brewing temperature and slight updose. Try a dose of 62g to 1 litre (adjusted for size) with soft, filtered water at 94 degrees.