History of Coffee in East Timor
Like most of its island neighbors in the region, the history of coffee in Timor is closely tied to the history of colonization. From the time coffee cultivation was introduced by the Portuguese in the 1860’s, production has waxed and waned dramatically depending on who had political control of the island nation. East Timor did not gain relative independence in any sustained and meaningful way until 2002, which has led to increasing stability and investment in improving the quality of coffee production.
Growing Coffee in East Timor
The island produces both Washed Arabica and Robusta coffees which grows at altitudes above 1,000 m under towering shade trees. With the combination of high altitude, great shade, cool microclimate and a pristine natural environment this wild coffee has shown great potential and with the right efforts can become the source of unique specialty grade coffees. Coffee is primarily grown in the high land area on the west side of the country in 6 different districts. Main growing area being Ermera, Aileu, Ainaro, Liquica.