This Timor Leste Parami Honey processed coffee was sourced by SevenOaks Trading.
Or what we in the West will call East Timor, is Eastern half of the island of Timor. The Western part is part of Indonesia. So you could argue that coffee growing here dates back to the early Portuguese deciding they owned the land. Coffee production is considered to have started early 1900s and today is their second largest export.
Most of the coffee production is typically by small-holders. Like the rest of the Island nations in this area the coffee are usually wet-processed. This has produced low-key, sweet coffees with a musty pungency that can range from soft and intriguing to hard and oppressive.
Timor Leste coffee
Timor-Leste currently faces enormous economic upheaval, as its oil reserves begin to run dry. In its place, coffee is set to become that nation’s most vital export. In Timor-Leste, coffee production is currently focussed namely in the municipality of Ermera, one of thirteen municipalities in the country. Ermera is home to the largest coffee production volumes, whilst almost 60% of the municipality’s population live below the poverty line. Coffee is Timor-Leste’s most important crop, and with the end of oil income, improving the coffee sector is of critical importance.
Coffee is the second-highest earner for the country after oil, with 37% of households dependant on coffee for income. However, productivity is extremely low, alongside profitability which is both low and volatile. This is because almost all coffee is sold in the commodity market for a discounted C price.
Sevenoaks work with a Raw Material Limited that has met with groups of producers in villages across Atsabe. They have spent time understanding how the coffee market has served them in recent history.
Together they have developed a plan for a prosperous future through:
- Sustainably raising and maintaining the quality of Atsabe’s coffee predictably above 80 points.
- Connecting with those roasters who want to commit long-term.
- Systematically solving the diverse challenges laying along the path to selling in the specialty market; financial, legal, cultural, infrastructural, technical etc.
Their first custom wet mill and processing centre in Timor Leste was built in April 2018, in Atsabe, Ermera. In-house design, this processing centre uses gravity to move coffee through the stages; no double handling, no unnecessary machinery. Here drawing upon their experience of working in many other coffee-producing countries they have combine elements that would most likely improve Ermera’s coffee quality given the unique set of challenges facing the region. Each section of the plan uses materials that are local and readily available.
Raimutin wet mill
The Raimutin wet mill serves as a central hub for processing the cherry of the producers. Raw Material work with across the Ermera municipality. Sitting at 1400 masl, the wet mill has served not only as a place to purchase, process, and dry cherry, but as a meeting point for the village chiefs and neighbourhood leaders, and Raw Material. Expanding the reach of specialty coffee as a viable option for profitable returns includes the importance of training.
The Raimutin Wet Mill has successfully served as the hub for training courses in both cultivation, picking, and processing for local producers. This has extended to offering to a selection of natural, honey and washed processed lots from the suco (village) of Parami. Cherry from Parami, and the nearby 1800 masl neighbourhoods Motalala and Koileki, is collected daily and processed at the Atsabe wet mill in Baboe Kraik.
During the building of the Raimutin Community Wet Mill, it was important to consider the best practices that could be applied to the drying stages of coffee processing. Pulling on the collective knowledge from the managers of the producing countries of the Raw Material team, we were able to hybridise our drying beds. A combination of raised African beds, bamboo sheet beds from Timor-Leste, and stackable smaller beds from Colombia ensured that our drying methods played on the strengths of many schools of thought at one station.
Details of Timor Leste Parami Honey
An intensely sweet and balanced coffee with citric, strawberry, red apple and floral notes, a syrupy milk chocolate body and an enjoyable sugar cane sweetness.
|Region:||Ermera, Timor Leste|
|Farmers:||Parami smallholder farmers through the Atsabe Community Wet Mill, exported by Raw Material Limited.|
|Cultivar:||Arabica Hibrido de Timor, Moka, Typica|
|Harvest:||July – November (2021)|
|Altitude:||1,700 – 1,800 masl (meters above sea level)|
|Processing:||Honey. Dry mill pulped, dried on raised beds, where the honey is sun dried.|
|Characteristics:||Medium-full bodied coffee with nuts and spice, with a citrus after taste.|
|Fertilisation:||Traditional and not certified organic|
|Roast used:||What we call a bump, kick and flatten. Intense flame, followed by little flame into yellowing, then intense flame just before yellowing, and just before first crack no flame, to prolong the mallard reaction allowing for sweetness to develop.|
|Sourced from||Sevenoaks Trading|
|FOB price||est US$4.1/pound|
|Producer/Organisation||Parami farmers via Raimutin and Raw Material Limited|
|Typical lot size bought||2 x 60kg bags|
|Relationship||Our first coffee from Timor Leste.|
- Sevenoaks documents
- Raw Material Timor Leste website…