Goulala puts East Timor on the coffee map

All adventurous souls, the next bean addition to our menu is for you. When we first cupped the sample from East Timor, our coffee heads were buzzing with curiosity about what this relatively new player had to offer. Many slurps later… did the Timor coffee stand the test alongside the bigger players like Ethiopia or Colombia? It sure did.

We’re happy to offer you our new coffee that will be replacing our popular Peruvian San Jose de Lourdes. This particular lot was sourced from a collective of family farms around the village of Goulala in the Letetoho region.

Have you ever wondered how the Timor Hybrid tastes like? “Hibrido de Timor” varietal is a nature’s trick discovered in the 1920’s. This spontaneous Arabica-Robusta mutation miraculously provides the best qualities of both species in a single plant. The hybrid became the genetic foundation for almost all leaf mould resistant varieties world wide.

East Timor Hybrid Coffee Cherry

Country born from the ashes

But first things first. Let us tell you a story of what East Timor and its people went through before the country finally got its independence.

In 1975 when Indonesia invaded the country, a 24 year period of bloody occupation followed. It cost the lives of more than 250,000 Timorese that were lost to violence and famine.

In 1999, the Timorese voted overwhelmingly for independence. The Indonesian army withdrew in 2002, but not without a burning and killing rage on their way out.
East Timor became the first sovereign state of the 21st Century – literally born from the ashes.

The incredible story of Goulala involves two respected war heroes who fought bravely in Timor’s Resistance Army – Señor Domingos Sarmento and Manuel da Costa Silva.

These men now grow and collect the best coffee from around the township and help rebuilding the coffee industry. Manuel is a true model farmer who sets an example of how to cultivate, process, and dry coffee to the highest standards.

Goulala coffee from East Timor

Change lives for the better

The Ermera region is extremely remote with a short wet season and 10 months of dry season. The cherry trees grow in the high altitude of 1,450 – 1,600m.

Timor coffee is often marketed as “Wild Timor” thanks to the cherry trees that are tall and scraggly and look like they have long since been picked and never pruned.

Besides the exhausting transport up and down the mountain, the major struggle the local farmers faced in the past was selling their high quality arabica for a very low price to a collector.

Manuel da Costa Silva and Señor Domingos Sarmento at coffee wet mill

Luckily, with the on-site presence and help from specialty coffee trader MTC Sucafina (our green bean supplier), their conditions are starting to improve.

MTC set up a collection station, donated more than 160 raised bed, taught farmers new processes and quality control. Where farmers had to wait two to five months to receive their payment, now they’re getting paid in cash. Only 48 hours after collection!

You too can help improve their livelihoods by buying this coffee at specialty coffee rates.

Goulala comes from a relatively new country in the coffee market. We could only get our hands on 360 kg this season, so make sure you try it before it’s gone. If you’re intrigued like us, read Jason Joffe’s notes about his origin trip to East Timor.

Goulala Single Origin Clandestino Roasters

Goulala tastes like a chocolate winter hug with sweet notes of dried plums, molasses, brown sugar and baker’s chocolate.

We hope you enjoy this coffee as much as we do.