When discussing coffee varieties you often hear the words Arabica and Robusta mentioned. Arabica beans are known for a sweeter, smoother flavour profile while Robusta is what gives you intensity and a hefty hit of caffeine. Over recent years it has become popular for blends to be 100% Arabica, with Robusta seen to be harsher and often inferior. But what if there was another variety, completely different, bringing together the best of both worlds? Almost like a blend in one bean.
Four years ago, four Aussie soldiers stationed in East Timor as part of a peace keeping mission discovered something wild and mysterious, a hybrid coffee in the jungle planted over 200 years ago by the Portuguese and left neglected under Indonesian rule. Over time the plants combined creating this organic hybrid which grows pesticide free in the mountain regions around Timor-Leste. Without common diseases and pests which normally affect the coffee, the beans also don’t need to be chemically treated before importation.
Known simply as Wild Timor Coffee, this is not a brew for the faint hearted. It is dark and intense, earthy and woody, yet still bright. Single origin maybe, but rich and multi layered with a boldness that befits a coffee from this tiny nation who have fought fiercely for their independence. Employing ethical and sustainable practices, the boys wanted to give back to the villages and farmers to ensure they benefit from this beautiful product and the growing success of the coffee in Australia. Most notable is the Wild Water Project which has recently resulted in the building of a water tank in the village of Belumuhato in the area where the coffee grows, which now means the inhabitants don’t need to travel up to 10 kilometres each day for fresh drinking water. Most often it is the women and children who make the trip, preventing them from going to school and their mothers from being able to grow and irrigate the crops. There is also a high mortality rate amongst children there who have limited access to water, so these facilities will make a huge difference to the lives of those who reside there.
One cup of each coffee sold results in one litre of clean drinking water for those in need and while we may not think about it when we order our daily caffeine hit, it is clean water which is also required to make our coffee, something we often take for granted. So if you want to be a part of this social project, buy the beans online or just go to one of these cafes and order an awesome coffee and see if you’re as wild about it as I am.
Here are a few cafes where you can enjoy WILD TIMOR –
Wild Timor Coffee – 282 Sydney Road, Coburg
Wild Timor Coffee – 251 Faraday Street, Carlton
The Espressionist – 100 Lorimer Street, Docklands
Gioia Mia – 217-239 Montague Street, South Melbourne