Producer: Hunda Community Producers
Cultivar: Typica and Timor Hybrid
Harvest: July – October
Notes: Chocolaty, nougat, cinnamon
Roast: Omni-roat, suitable for all brewing methods
East Timor is an island country in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor. Colonised by Portugal in the sixteenth century and was known as Portuguese Timor until 28 November 1975, when the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (Fretilin) declared the territory’s independence. Nine days later, it was invaded and occupied by the Indonesian military; it was declared Indonesia’s 27th province the following year. The Indonesian occupation of East Timor was characterised by a violent, decades-long conflict between separatist groups and the Indonesian military.
In 1999, following the United Nations-sponsored act of self-determination, Indonesia relinquished control of the territory. As Timor-Leste, it became the first new sovereign state of the twenty-first century.
East Timor is recognized more for the varietal ‘hybrid de timor’ than the coffee it has been producing now for 200 years since its introduction by the Portuguese in the early 19th-century. First identified in 1927, the Hybrid de Timor variety is an unusual natural cross between two species; Typica & Canephora (Robusta) which rarely happens in nature. The result is that is shares the combined common traits of its genetic parents. While it retains its sweetness and good flavour, it is complimented by more spicy and full-bodies characteristics.
Coffee is Timor’s primary export and accounts for more than 25% of the country’s national exports. A quarter of the population supported by more than 30% of Timorese households. The Hunda community of coffee producers live in the Letefoho region, situated in the mountainous northwest of the country, and are leading the way in producing some excellent coffees.
The name ‘Hunda’ is derived from two words, Funa and Dalan which is shorted to ‘Hunda’. According to the community’s elders the word is related to describing the former presence of the Japanese military in the area. The Hunda farming community was established in 2009 with 18 smallholder farmers. They work as a team to selectively pick, collect, and process their coffee cherries.
Each village still process the coffee in a very traditional manner using wooden pulping machines and basic drying beds. Even despite the basic infrastructure, lots of agronomic training on picking, separation and drying is bearing fruit and they are producing some truly great coffees. Thankfully, their 2021 harvest was a success following the disruption caused by the pandemic. The community are being very proactive with the pre- and post-harvest maintenance of their trees, ensuring they are well pruned and healthy for future growth.
Predictable, consistent and a great-sounding first crack, this coffee was a joy to roast from the first batch. We have tried to lengthen out the development time to accentuate some of those more spicy, deeper notes while preserving its chocolatey sweetness and pleasant aromatics. Roasted for filter, we love this coffee for its versatility across a range of brewing methods and it work very well with milk.