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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. This coffee was cultivated by 542 smallholders in Aileu in Timor Leste.
Their farms are typically small and are located at 1,550 to 1,600 meters above sea level. The landscape in Aileu is steep and mountainous with high altitudes that are perfect for coffee cultivation. Coffee is grown under casuarina shade trees. The average farm size is 0.5 hectares. Farmers selectively handpick ripe, red cherry and sell it to a mill in Gleno. At the mill, cherry is laid to sundry.
Cherry is raked frequently to ensure even drying. It takes approximately 18 to 22 days for cherry to dry.
ALTITUDE: 1,550 - 1,600 masl
OWNER: 542 smallholders
SUBREGION: Fatubessi, Kirlelo & Laclo, Aileu Vila
FARM SIZE: 0.5 hectares on average
Cupping Notes: Aromas of cocoa, raspberries and brown sugar. Flavours of chocolate, raspberry, and caramel. Sweet and sticky body with a creamy mouthfeel and lactic acidity.