Producer: David Soares
Origin: Eratoi, Letefoho, Ermera
Varietal: Hybrid De Timor & Typica
Altitude: 1800-1900 metres above sea level
Process: Washed (Organic)
Flavours: Citrus, Lemon, Floral & Green Tea
Cup Score: 84
Harvest: 2019 (Arrival in UK: December 2019)
Importer: Karst Organics
Where is it from?
East Timor is divided into 13 districts with the most famous regions for coffee farming situated in the western-central highlands of the country. It is generally recognised that the best districts for coffee production are Ermera, Aileu, Liquica, Bobonaro and Ainaro, with most farms within these areas sitting at an altitude of 1400-1800masl.
Eratoi can be found in the sub-district of Letefoho, in the east of Ermera, where the coffee is organically grown underneath the shade of the Albizia Falcataria trees which are abundant throughout the district.
The most common variety of coffee found in East Timor is the Hybrido de Timor, famously known for its high resistance to plant diseases such as coffee rust and the coffee bora beetle, hence its use in influencing the development of several new coffee varieties around the world.
The Eratoi cooperative is made up of a total of 15 farmers, led by David Soares who works hard to emphasise the importance of selective picking to ensure only the best quality cherries are picked and processed. Together with the other 14 members: Abel de Oliveira Pinto, Abrao de Deus, Eduardo L. Pereira, Joao da Costa Soares, Domingos de Deus II, Miguel Lemos, Adolfo de Deus, Jose Mariano de Jesus, Agusto de Deus, Joao Felisberto de Deus, Manuel de Deus, Agostinho de Deus, Orlando de Deus, and Miguel da Graca, thorough sorting is carried out throughout each step of the process, with the beans being fermented for 24-36 hours before being laid out on African beds for 10-14 days.
Drying on African beds is still a relatively new concept in East Timor, however, more and more farmers are seeing the benefits of drying in this way, instead of drying on patios/tarpaulin sheets.
Most farmers in East Timor farm on less than 1 hectare of land and live their lives on a day to day basis. With subsistence living being a normal way of life, the farmers will often sell their cherries to local companies who will purchase coffee cherry of any grade/quality, where in return they will pay on the spot but at exceptionally low prices per kilo. The farmers have unfortunately grown accustomed to this method of working to make ends meet to provide for their families. Our import partners, Karst Organics’ commitment to the farmers is to pay a much higher price than the current market in East Timor dictates, which in return allows them to create a consistent model of income for themselves, enabling them to support not only their families but the local community as well.
Karst Organics has a strong belief in education and has offered training programs around quality coffee processing and coffee cupping to allow farmers to have a better understanding of their product and how different methods affect the final flavour of the coffee. A strong emphasis was initially placed on selective picking – and moving away from strip picking - to highlight that the quality of the final coffee starts from the moment the cherry is picked. They have collaborated with an agronomist in East Timor and are scheduled to deliver further training programs at the end of 2020’s harvest to educate the farmers with regards to rehabilitation and maintenance of their plantations. This will involve a strong focus on planting new seedlings to allow the regeneration of older generation trees which are prevalent throughout the region.
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