Before the independence, small scale coffee farming was jump-started by cooperative farming associations, with funding from USAID grants, to revitalize the rural economy and give small farmers a cash crop. The independence of the coops and the presence of NGO groups in the country emboldened the spirit of the Timorese toward independence. The majority of the coffee is from East Timor and directly benefits the organic farmer's cooperatives, rather than being directed to the pockets of exporters and middlemen.
Interestingly, Timor coffee is also cultivated from its own Timor varietal. Timor was a natural mutation between Robusta and Arabica. Timor was later crossed with Caturra to create the disease-resistant Catimor coffee, which has poorer cup quality than other types due to the Robusta genes. Caturra does have a good cup, so it is important not to confuse Caturra and Catimor.
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