East Timor

Cupping Notes: "Dark Chocolate, Caramel with a Cinnamon Finish

Roast Level: Dark


Dili, East Timor


2600 to 5250 feet above sea level


Hibrido de Timor, Bourbon


Fully Washed


Sun Dried

This, our first lot of TIMOR, Southeast Asia, is sourced from very small family-owned farms organized around the Cooperativa Café Timor (CCT), which has more than 20,000 members who live in the Ainaro, Ermera and Lequisa districts of East Timor. The farms are located in Maubesse, an area of high altitude. Coffee cultivation on East Timor was originally established over 400 years ago by Portuguese colonists. However, after an epidemic of coffee leaf rust it became necessary to completely replant. This replanting led to the creation of a new coffee varietal, Hibrido de Timor.

This Timor Hybrid, was a spontaneous cross of C. canephora (Robusta) and C. arabica var. Typica that occurred naturally on the island of Timor. These “Arabusta”-type hybrids likely originated from a single Robusta parent plant. It became popular in Timor in the 1950s due to its natural resistant to leaf rust. These hybrids were collected in Timor in 1978 and planted on the islands of Sumatra and Flores shortly thereafter, and since then some changes and mutations have occurred. Different versions of this hybrid have been utilized in breeding programs to introduce the rust resistance into new varieties, such as Catimor, Sarchimor, and Colombia.

Timorese people have suffered violent occupation by Indonesia, which has reduced much of the country to ruins and left a legacy of instability and poverty. Finally in 2002 they established their independence. As a result CCT members are very poor; there is high infant mortality due to insufficient health services and 50% of the adult population is illiterate. There are very few jobs in East Timor. CCT is a major employer and plays a significant role in the country's development. The cooperative works closely with international organizations to support producers. For many members coffee is the only household income. Crops such as rice, corn, cassava, beans, fruit and spices are also produced alongside coffee for household consumption. Through a free healthcare initiative, CCT has funded the operation of seven rural clinics, three mobile clinic teams and eleven community healthcare teams that have treated more than two million patients since 2001.

Purchasing this fair trade coffee from what was once a famous growing region, nearly destroyed, is a small but meaningful contribution to the economy of East Timor.