TOWN: Haupu, Letefoho
REGION: Turiscai, Ainora and Same
ARABICA VARIETALS: Timor, Typica
ALTITUDE: 1200-1500 meters above sea level
FARMERS: Various smallholders
FARM SIZE: 1 to 2 hectares on average
PRODUCER: Lutlala Washing Station
In the cup: Berry, caramel, raisin, winey with baking spices
Smallholders cultivate coffee under the shade of albizia and casuarina trees.
Harvest & Post-Harvest
Due to their remoteness and minimal infrastructure, farmer typically process coffee on their farms. After selectively handpicking ripe cherry, farmers pulp cherry and ferment it for approximately 36 hours. Following fermentation, parchment is washed in clean water and laid on tarps to dry. Parchment is raked frequently to ensure even drying.
Coffee in Timor-Leste
Timor-Leste has had a long and tumultuous history that has seen colonization, several occupations, independence and a long and difficult path to peace. Coffee has played a role in Timor-Leste’s economy since the beginning of the country’s modern history.
While coffee production in Timor-Leste continues to expand and quality continues to improve, the climate presents difficulties. The arid weather and short rainy season make it difficult for coffee cherry to grow. On top of contrarian weather, the low nutrient-content in the soil and negligible access to fertilizers and pesticides makes it more difficult for coffee trees to thrive. The average farmer currently collects only about 500 grams of green coffee per tree (2-3 kg cherry).
Timor-Leste’s coffee industry is prevailing in the face of these difficulties. Both quality and productivity are rapidly increasing. Small changes are increasing coffee quality by leaps and bounds, while several programs, funded by NGOs, are working to fundamentally change coffee harvesting and processing in the country.
The government is also playing a role in improving coffee quality by investing in infrastructure, such as new roads, that will make transporting both cherry and parchment easier. Timor-Leste is poised to be a reliable producer of good quality and versatile coffees
(Info courtesy of Sucafina)