Single Origin: Koileki Village
Nestled in the municipality of Ermera, Timor-Leste, where the coffee farms bask in altitudes ranging from 1700 to 1800 meters above sea level, a remarkable coffee tale unfolds.
Timor-Leste, a country that found its sovereignty in 2002, faces a shifting economic landscape as its oil reserves run dry. In this changing scenario, coffee is poised to be the nation's lifeline and most vital export. Ermera, one of Timor-Leste's thirteen municipalities, is not only the hub of coffee production but also home to almost 60% of its population living below the poverty line. Coffee is not just a crop; it's a lifeline and the key to a brighter future.
Our journey takes us to the Raimutin Wet Mill, a symbol of sustainable coffee processing. Located at 1400 meters above sea level, it serves as the heart of coffee processing for Ermera's producers. It's not just a place for processing; it's a community hub for sharing ideas and fostering a love for specialty coffee.
Selecting The Finest Beans
In Koileki Village, cherries are collected daily, and the Koileki Wet Mill, perched at 1800 meters above sea level, is where the magic begins. Here, a process of density separation in water selects the finest cherries, while the rest are sold in local markets to avoid waste.
The well-sorted cherries undergo pulping and fermentation for 24 to 32 hours before being carefully washed. The parchment coffee is dried on raised beds for 15 to 20 days under the sun's watchful gaze. Finally, when the moisture content reaches the perfect 14%, the coffee is prepared for export at the Railaco dry mill.
For those who appreciate the natural process, the story is equally captivating. Cherries from Koileki Village follow a similar path of density separation and meticulous hand-sorting. Then, they are spread out on raised beds and dried under the sun for three weeks. When they reach the perfect drying level, the seeds are extracted and prepared for export.
More Than Just A Crop
In the high-altitude embrace of Ermera, Timor-Leste, coffee emerges as more than a crop; it's a lifeline and an economic cornerstone. From the sustainable processes at the Raimutin Wet Mill to the meticulous care in Koileki Village, each bean tells a story of resilience and transformation. Timor-Leste's journey, fueled by the rich aroma of its coffee, is a testament to the nation's adaptability in the face of economic shifts. In every sip, you're not just enjoying coffee; you're partaking in a narrative of hope, community, and the promise of a vibrant future.