Eratoi village, Letefoho
Our very first single origin from the island nation of East Timor comes from the smallholder farmers in Eratoi village.
The village of Eratoi is located at an altitude of 1800masl, an ideal height at which to cultivate and process coffee. Led by Simao Pedro de Deus, this group has steadily grown and now consists of 24 smallholder farmers who all have extensive experience in quality coffee processing and consistently produce some of the finest quality speciality coffee in East Timor.
Situated in South East Asia with Australia to the South, Timor-Leste holds the unenviable accolade of being one of the few countries in the world to have been both colonised and annexed; colonised by Portugal from 1600s to 1975 and annexed by Indonesia from 1975 to 1999. Having finally gained independence in 2002, Timor-Leste is the world’s second youngest nation state and still finding its feet in the geo-political world of the 21st century. Coffee was introduced to the island by the Portuguese and went on to become the country’s leading export by the 1900s, however the industry suffered greatly during the years of Indonesian annexation when the sector was largely ignored.
Fast forward to the present day and you will see that the coffee farmers of Timor-Leste are working hard to collectively carve out a place for Timorese coffee in the global speciality coffee market.
Timorese coffee is truly wild and organically grown underneath the imposing shade trees that dominate the landscape. With time old traditions in processing coffee, passed on from generation to generation, coffee is helping to build up more opportunities for Timorese people to create a consistent and sustainable income from which to support and provide for their families and the local community.
Another factor making Timor Leste notable when it comes to coffee is that it has its own hybrid – the Timor Hybrid – which dates back to the pre-WWII period. Timor Hybrid (often known as Tim Tim or HDT) was born of the spontaneous mating of a Robusta and Arabica plant and is a highly disease resistant and high yielding variety that has now been planted around the world. Timor Hybrid also forms the backbone of the well-known Catimor and Sarchimor varieties.
Timor-Leste in many ways has less than optimal conditions for coffee production. An arid climate and short rainy season further complicate the naturally low soil fertility in many of the country’s coffee regions. Despite this, the country is increasing quality and productivity at a rapid rate. Much of the country’s coffee is passively organic, as fertilisers and pesticides have never been introduced, and 100% of the coffee is shade grown. Furthermore, even the smallest improvements can yield huge results. There are several programs in place currently, many of which are being funded by international development organisations, which will fundamentally change the way that coffee is harvested and processed in Timor-Leste. Combined with increased investment in infrastructure by the government – for instance new roads that will ensure easier transport of goods – Timor-Leste is poised to be a reliable producer of good, versatile coffees.
A bright and clean fully washed coffee coming from the beautiful mountains of East Timor, giving a well balanced, vibrant and flavourful cup with hints of citrus pomelo, zingy white grape and sweet biscoff biscuit notes.