Flores is small by island standards, just about 360 kilometers end to end. It is in the Indonesian archipelago, between Sumbawa and Timor islands. The name Flores is an abbreviation of "Cabo de Flores"; a name used by Portuguese sailors in the 17th century to identify the cape on the eastern end of the islands because of its underwater gardens. Divided by mountain chains and volcanoes, the island populated by ethnic groups with their own traditions and languages.
Predominantly Catholic, the people of Flores have retained several aspects of the Portuguese culture, such as the Easter parade held annually at Larantuka, and the Royal Regalia of the former King of Sikka. The coffee areas are higher altitude compared to other Indonesian origins, but the highest peak is just 1736 meters above sea level (MASL). The milling tradition is wet-process, so this coffee bears resemblance to the coffees of Timor-Leste, New Guinea and Java, more than to the semi-washed coffees of Sumatra and Sulawesi. It is sweet, floral (appropriately since Flores means Flowers), with good syrupy body, and a clean cup overall. It is also worthy to note its usefulness in espresso blends.
Before the horrible Asian Tsunami of Dec. 2004, there was a smaller but no less devastating one off of Flores. An earthquake of magnitude 7.8 occurred just off the north coast of the eastern part of Flores Island on December 12, 1992. This shock was felt on the island of Bali, 700 km to the west. It set off a series of tsunamis, which arrived on the shores of Flores as shortly as two minutes after the initial shock, and which reached every part of the north shore within five minutes. The epicenter was located approximately 35 km NW of Maumere, which is the largest city on the island. 1690 people were killed and 18,000 homes were destroyed.