After gaining political independence from Indonesia, Timor-Leste (formerly called East Timor) still has a long way to go ... it's a rough place. Many institutions are not self-sufficient and the economy has few bright spots. And coffee is one of them. Timor has 2 major regions producing coffee: Maubesse is higher-altitude terrain than Aifu region. I like them both. Maubesse is a little brighter so most brokers / cuppers prefer it over the Aifu, but if you selectively buy from the best lots the Aifu can be every bit as good. Early in the crop cycle the Aifu cups best, and later on the Maubesse is a little better. And of course that's why you will see us stock Aifu early in the new crop and the Maubesse later. Quality is def
initely up this year in milling and preparation; the beautiful jade-colored green coffee is evidence of this. The cooperative mills that are the source for our Organic coffee have invested in new facilities, new wet-processing equipment, and improved standards of receiving and sorting only red, ripe cherry. This lot is FTO too- fair trade and organic certified. As far as the cup, Timor is not a funky, earthy coffee like Sumatra and Sulawesi; it has a cleaner cup profile more like a Java, and is something I would call a "quintessential crowd-pleasing coffee". When I ran cafes it would be a "good house coffee" ... everyone will enjoy it. The cup definitely has an initial hint of its Indonesian roots, just a touch of pleasant woody forest flavor and a more pronounced sweet herbal note in the aromatics. It doesn't spike in scoring at any point; it is a balanced cup. Body is key here: viscous, oily body. While it is a striking coffee at City+ roast (and has a lot of body for a lighter roast treatment), I prefer the roast character at FC+, a few snaps into 2nd crack. I also made some oustanding SO espresso (Single Origin) with straight Timor at FC+ with 2 days rest.