This is the third year Karst have been working together with the Hatuhei group. Located in the extremely remote eastern highlands of Letefoho, the trip to visit Hatuhei is always an adventure when traversing the long and winding tracks along the mountain ranges. At an altitude of 1500-1600 masl, the coffee thrives with constant sunny days and mild cool nights.
Due to their remote location, opportunities are limited to earn an income, particularly when the wet season arrives and access in and out of the village isn’t possible due to dangerous road conditions. Carlos de Deus (lead farmer of the Hatuhei group) is particularly motivated to seek out further opportunities by which to optimise his community’s earning potential through their coffee. Under Carlos’s leadership, all members of this group have worked closely with one another during these last 3 years to learn from each other and with a strong sense of togetherness, take the time to process their coffee to the highest quality. With maintained support with materials and ongoing collaboration with Simao (lead farmer of the Eratoi group) with regards to sharing ideas on processing, coffee from Hatuhei continues to improve year on year.
Going forward, Carlos and Hatuhei’s members are keen to take what they have learnt during these last 3 years and share their knowledge with other smallholder farmers in even more remote locations so that they too can gain access to the speciality coffee sector and improve their annual income.
More about Timor- Leste…..
Situated in South East Asia with Australia to the South, Timor-Leste holds the unenviable accolade of being one of the few countries in the world to have been both colonised and annexed; colonised by Portugal from 1600s to 1975 and annexed by Indonesia from 1975 to 1999. Having finally gained independence in 2002, Timor-Leste is the world’s second youngest nation state and still finding its feet in the geo-political world of the 21st century. Coffee was introduced to the island by the Portuguese and went on to become the country’s leading export by the 1900s, however the industry suffered greatly during the years of Indonesian annexation when the sector was largely ignored.
Fast forward to the present day and you will see that the coffee farmers of Timor-Leste are working hard to collectively carve out a place for Timorese coffee in the global speciality coffee market.
Timorese coffee is truly wild and organically grown underneath the imposing shade trees that dominate the landscape. With time old traditions in processing coffee, passed on from generation to generation, coffee is helping to build up more opportunities for Timorese people to create a consistent and sustainable income from which to support and provide for their families and the local community.
Being located at an altitude of 1800masl, the coffee grows in amongst the coffee forests surrounded by the imposing Ai-Samtuku (Albizia) shade trees. Underneath these trees, the coffee is provided with a good balance of sun and shade in which to grow and mature slowly, allowing for optimum sweetness when harvested and processed. All the members of the Eratoi group follow the same processing methods, ensuring that only the ripest cherries are picked and processed with the utmost attention. Carefully fermented for between 40-42 hours and dried on raised beds to an ideal moisture content of 10-12%.