Timor-Leste’s coffee is small in overall scale but highly significant to the Timorese, 25% of whom rely on coffee production for their livelihood. The island’s inland forests also happen to be historically significant, being the origin of coffee’s most adaptive genetic cross—the Timor Hybrid—a wonderful gift from Timor-Leste. A naturally occurring cross of Robusta and Arabica. This hybrid is the ancestor of many of the disease resistant, hybrid varieties that are saving coffee production.
This coffee is fully organic and is produced by select farmers from the Ducurai village. Farms in this area range between 0.5 and 1.5 hectares only and tend to be well-shaded by evergreen she-oaks, a natural mulcher and nitrogen fixer.
The coffee trees in Letefoho are decades old, and due to the heavy, vine-like typica varieties throughout, coffee is often harvested by leaning long wooden ramps against the trunk so that pickers can access the cherry. During harvest coffee is picked painstakingly by hand and processed at home on personal or shared pulping equipment, which is often hand-made using wood and textured metal discs. After fermenting in small personal containers, the coffee is dried on raised beds and constantly sorted for quality.
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