The Cooperativa Cafe Timor works with very small farms in East Timor, most are less than a hectare of land (2.491 acres) in Maubesse, an area of high altitude. The coffee from East Timor was originally planted over 400 years ago by Portuguese colonists. In the late 1800's an epidemic of coffee leaf rust wiped out nearly all of these Arabica coffee plants. In the early 1900's the Dutch brought and planted Robusta plants amongst the remaining Arabica in an effort to bring life back to the coffee industry. In 1927 a new varietal was found to have spontaneously developed - Hibrido de Timor. This new varietal allowed all the positive attributes of Arabica coffee and the leaf rust resistant Robusta to exist within the same coffee plant. The people of Timor continue to emotionally celebrate this first Hibrido de Timor coffee tree nearly 100 years later!!
The Hibrido de Timor coffee varietal has literally changed coffee farming around the world., offering a way to manage the devastating effects of leaf rust.
Famous and celebrated 1st Hibrido de Timor tree! Discovered in 1927
Others exist, lost in the wild, need to be found and used to research this varietal.
"Coffee farmers in Timor began cultivating hibrido de Timor in the 1940s. In the late 50s and 60s, the seeds were spread to other Indonesian islands and then to research institutes across the coffee-producing world, where breeders crossed them with arabica coffee to create rust-resistant cultivars such as catimor and sarchimor. Despite the obvious importance of hibrido de Timor for the global coffee industry, little research has been done on the geographic extent and genetic characteristics of the original plants of East Timor. This is partially due to the fact that many of the plantations where this heritage hybrid occurs were abandoned in the aftermath of the Indonesian invasion of 1975, and now exist in a semi-wild state. Coffee is fundamental to the economies of East Timor (almost half the population relies solely on coffee to make a living) and several dozen other developing countries. The ability of coffee breeders and growers in these countries to combat leaf rust and other diseases—which could become more severe and widespread due to climate change—may very well rely on genetic resources from hibrido de Timor. It is therefore critical to research and protect the original hibrido de Timor plants that contain these genetic resources." https://www.fondazioneslowfood.com/en/ark-of-taste-slow-food/original-hibrido-de-timor-coffee/
2017 Barista winners from Kafe Festival Timor promoting coffee industry to younger people.
Location: Ermera, Ainaro, Aileu, Manufafi and Liquica, East Timor
Altitude: 2600 to 5250 feet above sea level
Varietals: Hibrido de Timor, Bourbon
Process: Fully Washed and Sun Dried
Cupping Notes: Apple, Herbal and Cedar flavor notes with Average Acidity, Heavy Body and Low Sweetness