About This Coffee
This Wet Hulled coffee is produced by smallholders in Timor Leste who cultivate coffee on small plots of land. Their farms sit at 1,000 to 1,900 meters above sea level, where the conditions are ideal for the Catimor, Typica and Timor varieties they cultivate.
Harvest & Post-Harvest
While Wet Hulling is best known in Indonesia, the process is also used in Timor Leste. Though its exact origins are unclear, wet hulling most likely originated in Aceh during the late 1970s.
Wet hulling’s popularity can be attributed to producers’ need for prompt payments. It was also adopted specifically by many producers who lacked the drying infrastructure that was needed to shelter drying parchment from the high humidity and inconsistent rainfall typical in Sumatra. At higher elevations with constant humidity and unpredictable rainfall, drying can prove to be slow, risky and difficult.
The basic process for wet hulling is as follows: Cherry is harvested and pulped at or near the farm, on small hand-cranked or motorized pulpers. The coffee is fermented overnight (in small tanks, buckets, or bags) and washed with clean water the following morning. Parchment is sun-dried for between half a day and two days, depending on the weather, to allow for skin drying which eases the removal of parchment.
At this juncture the moisture content is between 30-40% and parchment is delivered to a processor (often by the village collector) for wet hulling. A wet hulling machine is larger, requires more power, and runs at a faster speed than a traditional dry huller. After the hulling, the coffee seed is whitish and pliable. It is laid out to dry on tarps or patios, where it reduces in size and moisture to 14-15%. Exporters will finish the drying down to 12-13%, sort and prepare for shipment.
Our premium and specialty wet hulled coffees are produced in direct collaboration with village collectors and processors so that the drying, storage, and lot integrity remain in place from the farmer all the way you. In this way we can export cleaner, more stable and more traceable regional lots.
Coffee in Timor-Leste
Timor-Leste has had a long and tumultuous history that has seen colonization, several occupations, independence and a long and difficult path to peace. Coffee has played a role in Timor-Leste’s economy since the beginning of the country’s modern history.
While coffee production in Timor-Leste continues to expand and quality continues to improve, the climate presents difficulties. The arid weather and short rainy season make it difficult for coffee cherry to grow. On top of contrarian weather, the low nutrient-content in the soil and negligible access to fertilizers and pesticides makes it more difficult for coffee trees to thrive. The average farmer currently collects only about 500 grams of green coffee per tree (2-3 kg cherry).
Timor-Leste’s coffee industry is prevailing in the face of these difficulties. Both quality and productivity are rapidly increasing. Small changes are increasing coffee quality by leaps and bounds, while several programs, funded by NGOs, are working to fundamentally change coffee harvesting and processing in the country.
The government is also playing a role in improving coffee quality by investing in infrastructure, such as new roads, that will make transporting both cherry and parchment easier. Timor-Leste is poised to be a reliable producer of good quality and versatile coffees.
We’re proud to be active in Timor-Leste. We work alongside farmers, cooperatives and agricultural extension officers to help farmers increase yields and quality. Our goal is to work with our partners to help farmers reach an average yield of 2.5 kilograms per tree while also increasing quality. Higher production and higher quality will mean larger incomes for farmers.