East Timor Organic Fair Trade
Unlike most coffees from this region of the world, East Timor coffee is fully washed, resulting in more crisp front end and balanced flavors while still maintaining plenty of body. It's got a creamy mouthfeel and notes of brown sugar, cherry and hints of spice.
Arrival Date: August 24th, 2020
Acidity & Brightness: Low acidity, a bit sweet
Balance & Finish: Balanced with a slightly woody finish
Body & Texture: Full bodied, smooth, creamy texture
Flavors: Brown sugar, cherry and hints of spice
Grade: Very hard and dense, grown at 1600 masl
Certifications: Organic, Fair Trade
Processing: Fully Washed
Varietals: Bourbon and Timor Hybrid (Hibrido de Timor)
Roasting: Start with a Full City Plus (Medium Dark), or just into the second crack. If you can't hear the cracks, then roast until the beans are smooth and medium dark brown with just the first hint of sheen as the oil emerges. Like most Indonesian coffees, this bean handles heat well and you can take it as dark as Vienna with great results.
Reminder: This coffee is raw. You have to roast it before brewing.
Our Review: Timor has a very turbulent political history to say the least. For centuries the Dutch controlled the western half of the island (granting their colony independence in 1950, when it became part of the new nation of Indonesia. The Portuguese controlled the eastern half, and it wasn't until the East Timorese rebelled and declared their independence in 1975 that they relinquished control. Nine days later Indonesia invaded and annexed the eastern half, setting off years of insurrection and bloodshed. But East Timor isn't Indonesian. They are largely Catholic while the Indonesians are largely Muslim. There are language and cultural differences as well. So East Timor continued to fight a civil war until finally gaining independence in May, 2002. However, like Papua New Guinea coffee, we still classify this coffee as "Indonesian" just because it is from the same region of the world and carries many similar characteristics.
Although the Dutch introduced coffee as a crop in the 1600's, all that occupation and turmoil did little to enhance it's quality or consistency. Also, all of these original coffee plants were wiped out by an epidemic of coffee leaf rust which led to the development of a hybrid exclusive to Timor: Hibrido de Timor. Since 2002, the East Timorese have steadily made progress in developing a purely organic, specialty grade coffee worthy of note. This coffee is from the Cooperativa Cafe Timor, which works with very small farmers in the Maubesse region of Timor. Most of these farmers own less than a hectacre of land and rely on the CCT to process and get their crop to market. In return, the Coop has helped the farmers integrate organic and sustainable practices.
East Timor coffee is a pleasant, not overpowering, well balanced coffee. Thanks to it being one of the few coffees from this region of the world that is fully washed, it enjoys the body that Indonesian coffees are famous for, but has better acidity and a much cleaner taste profile than the wet-hulled Sumatran coffees. We like the woody tones and finish, particularly when roasted in the mid ranges. It's amazingly well balanced for an Indonesian coffee with sweet notes of brown sugar, cherry and spice combined with a creamy mouthfeel. After a little cooling in the cup, a pleasant cinnamon spice emerges. It makes an interesting single origin espresso, and a fantastic morning cup of coffee.