A tiny island nation situated between Indonesia and Australia, Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor, is home to 1.3 million people–about the population of Hawaii. Despite producing just 10 million pounds of coffee each year, it’s actually the country’s chief export.
The 1980s and 1990s saw Timor-Leste wage a bloody war with Indonesia to retain their independence. Following the war, international organizations helped the small country get its coffee industry back up and running.
One of Timor-Leste’s greatest contributions to the world of coffee is the Hybrido de Timor, a cross between Arabica and Robusta that has many of the favorable flavors of Arabica with the coffee rust-resistance of Robusta. This hybrid was crossed with Caturra, an Arabica varietal, to create Catimor coffee, which also is resistant to coffee rust.
Timor-Leste’s coffees come from small lot farms and are wet-processed, producing beans that are sweet with mild acidity and earthy flavors that range from slightly pleasing to overpoweringly pungent.