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Timor-Leste Villa Maria Washed

Origin Timor Leste aka East Timor /

Altitude 1400-1500 masl /

Crop Year 2018 /

Varietal Typica /

Product Code 6541

About Timor-Leste Villa Maria Washed

Timor-Leste has a fascinating and long coffee history. Coffee was first cultivated in the early 19th century while the territory was under Portuguese colonial rule. The Portuguese had arrived for sandalwood but after they exhausted the supply, coffee became the primary export. In the 1920’s a spontaneous interspecific cross between robusta and arabica was discovered, Hibrido de Timor. This became the genetic foundation for almost all leaf rust resistant varieties world wide.

East Timor’s total production is relatively small at around 160,000 bags or 550 containers in a good year. The local market is dominated by a duopoly of exporters that account for nearly 80% of the total exports. Timor’s production is primarily commercial grade arabica, with small volumes of robusta and comparatively tiny volumes of specialty. Despite it’s incredible potential, Timor’s coffee industry has staggered particularly in recent times of war and ensuing political, economic and social volatility.

Our Timor village lots and regional coffees are the result of MTC developing supply lines along with technical assistance and processing equipment being donated to the coffee lands of Ermera. We have worked relentlessly to help organise underprivileged local small-holders while providing much needed market access, infrastructure, and technical support. Today these farmer groups are producing genuine specialty coffees with improved access to international specialty markets. The result and the ongoing goal: a fantastic cup and improved farmer livelihoods.

This particular lot was sourced as cherry from one of the few larger plantations remaining in East Timor, a 95 hectare estate now under the 3rd generation ownership of Sr. Pedro. The area is characterized by thicker top-soils than most of Timor and old, heirloom typica. Sr. Pedro managed the harvest of cherry for delivery to our partner’s mill in Railaco, for wet-processing, drying, and milling for export.

About Timor Leste aka East Timor

The Island of Timor has a fascinating and remarkably long coffee history. Coffee is believed to have been first cultivated on the Island way back in the 17th century. Back when the Island was colonized and subsequently divvied-up and split by the Portuguese and the Dutch, where the Dutch controlled the West and the Portuguese the East. Funnily enough, it’s still unknown as to which Colonial power first commercialized coffee production on the Island. Today the Island remains split between two sovereign states with Indonesia governing the West and Timor Leste (East Timor) the east.

Sadly, the beautiful Island has experienced several periods of political turmoil and the nation’s coffee industry has ebbed and flowed in close correlation to volatility in the region. During the 1974 Portuguese revolution and after years of neglect from the Portuguese government, East Timor was effectively abandoned as a Portuguese colony. Several months of internal political dispute prompted an opportunistic Indonesian invasion that lead to hugely controversial and violent occupation. After years of civil unrest, guerrilla warfare and mounting international pressure, Indonesia withdrew from the East and in 2001, East Timor became the first sovereign state of the 21st Century.

East Timor’s total production is currently at 160,000 bags or 550 containers per year. The local market is primarily dominated by a duopoly of exporters that account for around 90% of the total exports. Domestic production is dominated by commercial-grade Arabica, with a small amount of Robusta grown at low altitude areas.