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Timor-Leste Eratoi
Timor-Leste Eratoi
Timor-Leste Eratoi
Timor-Leste Eratoi
Timor-Leste Eratoi
Timor-Leste Eratoi
Timor-Leste Eratoi
Timor-Leste Eratoi
Timor-Leste Eratoi
Timor-Leste Eratoi
Timor-Leste Eratoi
Timor-Leste Eratoi

Timor-Leste Eratoi

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Unique and flavourful community coffee from the Ermera municipality of central-eastern Timor-Leste.

Roast: Full City (4/7) (Medium)
Tasting Notes: Orange and Nougat
Altitude: 1800 MASL
Variety: Typica, Timor Hybrid
Processing Method: Fully Washed and African bed dried

Story:
Situated in South East Asia with Australia to the South lies the tropical island of Timor-Leste. With its lush green mountains and crystal-clear blue waters, this may look like an idyllic paradise, but the reality is that this small country holds a troubled and complicated history. 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 fourth youngest nation-state and still finding its feet in the geo-political world of the 21st century. [69]

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 this sector was largely ignored. Fast forward to the present day, around 1/3 of all Timorese households grow coffee 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.[69][46]

Timorese coffee is truly wild and organically grown underneath the imposing Ai-Kakeu (Casuarina) and Ai-Samtuku (Albizia) 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.[69]

Of the 13 municipalities in East Timor, Ermera is said to produce almost half of the nation's coffee.[45][46] With high elevations, soil made up of silt, sandstone and limestone, and ideal weather conditions, it provides the perfect location for growing coffee.[46] Eratoi is centrally located in the sub-district of Letefoho, within Ermera, it is a cooperative made up of 30 smallholder farmers and led by Simao Pedro de Deus. With a consistent focus on processing only the best quality cherries, each member takes great pride in processing their own coffee. All the members hail from generations of coffee farmers so processing speciality coffee has become second nature to them. Working collectively as a united group and supporting each other, you can be sure that the coffee from Eratoi will consistently produce a delicious coffee with bold flavour notes that balance beautifully within your cup.[69]

This coffee is imported by Karst Organics. Run by Stewart and Kar-Yee, they first began working in East Timor in 2017. With Stewart’s background in education and capacity-building and Kar-Yee's background in business, it provided a perfect foundation for implementing and improving coffee farming and processing techniques, such as selective picking and documenting fermentation/drying practices.[47] They have and continue to work with the farmers at origin by spending 6 months of the year living in East Timor throughout the harvest season. Their work to date has included:

  • Funding the construction of a new centralised processing facility in 2018 for their Rotutu cooperative
  • Supporting the installation of new water pipes to the centralised processing plant for improved water supply. This allows for greater consistency during processing and also provides some houses within the local community with access to a direct water source
  • Collaboration with the Associasaun Café Timor (ACT) to provide training programs around quality coffee processing and coffee cupping to enable farmers to have a better understanding of their product and how different methods affect the final flavour of the coffee
  • Consistent reinvestment into new equipment and the local community to expand their team of locally employed staff and increase the volume of coffee purchased.[48]

If you would like to learn more about Karst Organics and the work they do at origin, you can do so on their website here.

It is amazing to see the continued development within Timor-Leste and this is showcased by the annual improvement in the quality of beans. We have chosen Eratoi this year due to its incredible deep, rich, flavour, clearly a testament to both the hard work and the understanding that the farmers have for their craft. Roasted medium-light, it emphasises the sweet, smooth chocolatey tones, with notes of Orange and Nougat.

We were very lucky to host Stewart and Kar-Yee in February 2023 for a talk and in-depth dive into growing and processing Timorese coffee in an environmental, social and financially sustainable way. If you would like to learn more from Karst Organics themselves you can do so here.

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A
Amanda

Fabulous coffee with excellent service…..thank you

A
Amanda

Fabulous coffee….as always