Timor Leste is the independent nation occupying the eastern half of the island, with the western portion being a part of former foe, USDA is (obviously) the United States Department of Agriculture. USDA also had coffee plant breeding programs in the past and one variety they distributed to Indonesia and was widely planted is called USDA (sounds like . Before the independence was declared from Portugal in 1975, East Timor was producing coffee and sandalwood as its chief exports. Small scale coffee farming was revitalized by cooperative farming associations, with funding from USAID grants, to aid the minimal incomes of the rural population.
The independence of the cooperatives and the presence of some technical support from NGO groups emboldened the spirit of the Timorese toward independence. Development of the output of these coffee coops was geared toward producing full container loads of Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach to empowering developing country producers and promoting sustainability.: Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach to empowering developing country producers and promoting and Grown without the use of artificial fertilizers, herbicides, etc.: Organic coffee has been grown according to organic farming techniques, typically without the use of artificial fertilizers. Some farms have more local Organic Certification than the certified lots. Some regional names were developed in the Specialty market such as Maubisse (or Maubesse) and Aifu. But these were often used quite loosely as coffee types, not geographical indicators of the In coffee talk, it refers to a coffee-producing region or country; such as, "I was just at origin." Of course "Origin" for most product we use is not a beautiful farm in a temperate climate, of the coffee.
Because the coffee of Timor Leste has been bulked from many small farms, it has been offered as a meta-regional “specialty” coffee in the most limited sense. There is quality potential because of the old Hibrido de Timor abbreviated HdT is the interspecies hybrid of C. Arabica and C. Canephora (Robusta) that was found in Timor Leste in the 1940s. It has been the bases of plant breeding for disease of coffee planted here, but regional or farmer separations do not exist. And when regional lots do exist, they aren’t coming from groups of well-trained farmers growing, milling and After coffee is picked, it must be dried. In both dry-process and wet-process (and the other hybrid processes like pulp natural and forced demucilage) the coffee must always be dried before processing. In dry process to high and uniform standards. There is much agricultural outreach work to do here in that respect, as well as combatting the complacency of growers who have not attained significant premiums for their coffee.
Arabica refers to Coffea Arabica, the taxonomic species name of the genus responsible for around 75% of the worlds commercial coffee crop.: Arabica refers to Coffea Arabica, the taxonomic species name of the genus responsible (and Robusta usually refers to Coffea Robusta, responsible for roughly 25% of the world's commercial coffee. Taxonomy of Robusta is debated: some sources use “Robusta” to refer to any variety of Coffea Canephora, and some use) are planted here at quite low altitudes (I marked arabica at 750 meters), with a bulk of arabica at a moderate 1100-1200 meters. I have seen coffee at 1600 meters and I am sure there is some higher up, but it represents a very small volume. Farms here suffer huge biennial swings in Either a flavor in the coffee, or referring to the fruit of the coffee tree, which somewhat resembles a red cherry.: Either a flavor in the coffee, or referring to the fruit of the coffee production. It’s the nature of The botanical genus colloquially referred to as the “coffea genus,” which is comprised of over 120 individual species. These are generally opposite-leaved, evergreen shrubs or small understory trees with a horizontal branching pattern. They contain arabica, but without great agricultural practice (some coffee simply plants itself here, as in Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee: it is in the forests of the Kaffa region that coffee arabica grew wild. Coffee is "Bun" or "Buna" in Ethiopia, so Coffee Bean is quite possibly a poor “semi-forest coffee”) the ups and downs of the crop cycle are huge in volume.
The removal of the cherry and parchment from the coffee seed.: Coffee is either wet-processed (also called washed or wet-milled) or dry-processed (also called wild, natural or natural dry, and we abbreviate it DP sometimes). in Timor Leste
The tradition here is wet-processing, unlike Indonesian regional origins like Indonesians are available as a unique wet-hulled or dry-hulled (washed) coffees. Giling Basah is the name for the wet-hulling process in Bahasa language, and will have more body and often more of the "character" that and Sulawesi coffees are low-acid with great body and that deep, brooding cup profile akin to Sumatra. The coffee is sometimes known as Celebes, which was the Dutch colonial name for the island. Indonesians are available that historically wet-hulled. The difference between wet-hulled and wet-processed may seem very small. Both are picked, pulped of skin, As a defect flavor, a fruit quality in a coffee that is excessively ripe, toward rotten. Fermented flavor can be the result of poor wet-processing, over-ripe cherry, or some other contamination in the processing. As and washed. The difference is that wet-hulled coffees are removed from Green coffee still in its outer shell, before dry-milling, is called Parchment coffee (pergamino). In the wet process, coffee is peeled, fermented, washed and then ready for drying on the patio, bed, or a mechanical when still at high moisture (25% or more) then dried on patios as exposed green bean. Wet-processed coffees are allowed to slowly dry in the parchment, then rested in warehouses to stabilize, then hulled at 10-11% moisture. The cup difference is huge. Wet-hulled are more Earthy is a flavor term with some ambivalence, used positively in some cases, negatively in others.: Sumatra coffees can have a positive earthy flavor, sometimes described as "wet earth" or "humus" or "forest" flavors. But, funky, have lower Acidity is a positive flavor attribute in coffee, also referred to as brightness or liveliness. It adds a brilliance to the cup, whereas low acid coffees can seem flat. Acidity can sound unattractive. People may and larger Associated with and sensed by mouthfeel, body is sense of weight and thickness of the brew, caused by the percentage of soluble solids in the cup, including all organic compounds that are extracted from brewing. Wet-processed can be brighter, more uniform, lighter body, cleaner cup taste.
But wet-processed Indonesian coffees, and near neighbors like Timor, still retain some of the unusual A flavor found in rustic Indonesia coffees, wet-hulled types from Sulawesi and Sumatra in particular, reminiscent of a walk in the woods.: A flavor found in rustic Indonesia coffees, wet-hulled types from Sulawesi and Sumatra flavors as well. Sometimes this is due to poor quality wet-processing, and Timor has many such washing stations in disrepair, and where the picking and processing are not ideal. But exotic notes can sometimes come from the variety of coffee, such as these giant, old Bourbon-like trees found in Timor, and other environmental factors, not from taints in processing.
Interestingly, Timor is where the coffee variety of the same name originates. But I discovered that you will not likely find Timor-type coffee planted anywhere in Timor! What is Timor variety? Timor variety is a natural mutation between Robusta and Arabica, which do not easily cross because of they are genetically incompatible: They don’t cross pollinate as Arabica coffee is self-pollinating. Coffea Canephora, aka Robusta, is not. The discovery of the natural cross between the two was a milestone in coffee variety research, because of the need for an arabica plant with the disease resistence of a robusta.
Timor variety is planted in its pure form in some origins. In Sumatra it is called TimTim. The cup is generally poor in quality though, with Generally a taste defect from age; old green coffee, perhaps yellowing in color. This is due to the drying out of the coffee over time, and as the moisture leaves the seed it takes organic, herbacious or Astringency is a harsh flavor sensation, acrid flavor, that provokes a physical reaction on the toungue, the tactile feeling of papery dryness. It can have saltiness, sourness and bitterness as components. It is certainly the notes. Timor variety is more significant for all the progeny it created from further crosses. The most significant and widely planted is Ateng is a common name for Catimor coffees widely planted in Sumatra and other Indonesia isles.: Ateng, with several subtypes, is a common name for Catimor coffees widely planted in Sumatra and other Indonesia isles., a cross of Timor and Caturra is an Arabica cultivar discovered as a natural mutant of Bourbon in Brazil in the first decade of the 20th century, but wasn't studied until 1937. It has a good yield potential, but was. Catimor is a broad group of cultivars derived from a Hibrido de Timor (HdT) and Caturra cross, highly productive, sometimes with inferior cup flavor. The main issue is the Robusta content in HdT, although this usually has poorer cup quality than other types such as Typica and A coffee cultivar; a cross between Typica and Bourbon, originally grown in Brazil: Mundo Novo is a commercial coffee cultivar; a natural hybrid between "Sumatra" and Red Bourbon, originally grown in Brazil. It was developed due to the Robusta genetic content. Other crosses with Timor genetic content are Costa Rican coffee is typically very clean, sweet, with lots of floral accents. hey are prized for their high notes: bright citrus or berry-like flavors in the acidity, with distinct nut-to-chocolate roasty flavors.: Can a 95, IHCAFE is the Instituto Hondureño del Café, with research facilities and cultivar gardens.: IHCAFE is the Instituto Hondureño del Café, with research facilities and cultivar gardens. They released the Catimor cultivars IHCAFE 90 and IHCAFE 90, An Arabica cultivar from Kenya, a dwarf form with resistance to CBB (coffee berry borer) and CBD (coffee berry disease) : Ruiru 11 is named for the station at Ruiru, Kenya where it was developed, Sarchimor is a disease-resistant hybrid, crossed between Villa Sarchi and Hibrido de Timor (HdT), and Castillo is a selection of the Colombia cultivar that has become the most commonly grown coffee in Colombia. It is preferred to the older resistant variety, Variedad Colombia in some regards. Cenicafe developed this variety.
I noticed that the older arabica trees have many physical characteristics associated with Bourbon variety coffee. But locally the old type is called Moka (or Mocha). Since coffee is documented to have been spread to Reunion Island (Bourbon) from Yemen has a coffee culture like no other place, and perhaps some of what we enjoy in this cup is due to their old style of trade...: Technically, Yemen is on the Asian continent (on, the Moka name could be fanciful or factual, it is hard to say. But the coffee is not the extremely small bean variety of Moka for sure.
The Dili Problem
Around the sea-level capital of Dili are the coffee dry mills of various exporters, in various states of repair. The market was dominated by 3 companies including the USAID-funded NCBI that did much work to organize small-holder farmers. Timor Corp was a large privately-held company that exported around 300 containers in a good year. I am told total exports could be 600 containers, all of these transfrieghted through nearby ports as Dili is not a deepwater port for larger vessels.
The issue with Dili is heat and humidity. In fact much coffee from the interior comes to Dili not fully dry. Huge fields exist outside the major dry mills where farmers or middlemen re-dry coffee brought from the interior on tarps. When the coffee hits the required moisture level (usually 11%) it is milled out of the parchment skin and immediately bagged and loaded for export.
This presents quality problems on several levels. Coffee that is bulked up when not truly dry will never have great cup quality, or worse, it will have moldy taste. And coffee that is dried quickly, milled and exported without a Either the resting of parchment coffee after drying, or for the home roaster, post-roast resting.: Resting might refer to "reposo", the time after drying the parchment coffee, when it is held for 30-60 days to period lacks physical stability and moisture equilibrium, and the cup quality will rapidly fade upon import.
Timor is well suited toward it’s current mode of production in some ways; bulk FTO is shorthand for a coffee that is certified as both Fair Trade and Organic. containers, inconsistent quality, coffee that fades rather quickly when the roaster buys it. And seriously, 80-point FTO bulk coffee is an important product to many. But for me, there is great potential here to do much more with small volumes of coffee that can achieve much better price premiums, benefit small farmers in the higher reaches of Timor-Leste, and inspire greater efforts with greater rewards. I hope as you read this, it is accompanied by some of our new Timor offerings that fulfill this promise of quality and pushing things ahead for Timor coffee. In 2016 we are starting to receive these new regional lots, and we hope to move toward even more specificity in the coffee selection going forward! -T.O.