A legend is often told in Timor… It’s about a little boy and his crocodile friend that turned himself into the island of Timor out of love for the boy. The legend explains Timor’s mountainous, crocodile-like shape. Timorese have a special affinity not only with coffee but also with crocodiles!

 Hibrido de Timor (HDT),

also known as ‘Tim Tim’ (the short version for Timor Timur, which translates to East Timor in English). HDT is a rare spontaneous, natural cross between the Arabica and Robusta species. It combines the excellent flavor profiles of the more fragile Arabica pants and the Robusta’s robustness and disease resistance.

Nowadays, the HDT variety is cultivated around the world. Last but not least,

several famous man-made hybrids emerged from HDT, such as Catimor, Sarchimor (Brazil), Costa Rica 95, Ruiru 11 (Kenya) and Colombia.

  • In 1515, this part of the world was colonized by the Portuguese.
  • HDT had been discovered in 1927, on the eastern half of the beautiful, tropical, South-Asian island of Timor.
  • In 1975, it became the 27th province of Indonesia.
  • In 2002, it had been recognized as the independent State of Timor-Leste– also known as East Timor.

The path to independence was a brutal one. A bloody civil war broke out after the withdrawal of the Portuguese. A third of the population died. (John Pilger, Death of a Nation – The Timor Conspiracy 1998)

Timor Leste – The Land of the Sleeping Crocodile

“Grandfather Crocodile”

Xanana Gusmao, President Poet

From the depths of the ocean

a crocodile in search of a destiny

spied the pool of light, and there he surfaced

Then wearily, he stretched himself out

and his lumpy hide was transformed

into a mountain range where people were born

and where people died Grandfather crocodile

– the legend says and who am I to disbelieve

that he is Timor!

Ancient traditions, including the people’s coffee culture, have survived the violent, tragic past. A special “born again energy” can be felt instantly. The free-spirited East Timorese people celebrate their cultural diversity, freedom and the natural beauty of their homeland.

More here.

Timor Leste is one of the world’s newest, smallest and least developed nations.

Coffee is a central part of the country’s economy and way of life. As a matter of fact, coffee is Timor Leste’s second biggest export (oil is the biggest). But it is also a fact that coffee farmers are also amongst the poorest of the country.  

Many projects are being initiated to improve the lives of  East Timorese farmers. Roads are being rehabilitated with the help of the World Bank.

More here.

Photo by samer daboul from Pexels
Photo by samer daboul from Pexels

In October 2017, the 2nd annual coffee festival in Timor Leste also celebrated the 90th anniversary of the discovery of Hibrido de Timor, which still grows high in the mountains of Fatubessi.

The demand for HDT coffee beans is growing. More here.