Green Coffee

Timor Robusta

Timor Robusta

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This is a fair trade organic Robusta, grown right alongside Arabica plants. The Coffee Cooperative of Timor (CCT) has organized farmers in the growing regions of Aifu and Ermera to produce this coffee. I don’t have much experience with robusta, but here’s what I’ve learned so far. First, organic robusta is very hard to find. The varietal was genetically created to be able to grow at low levels with high yields, at the expense of losing its good taste (think Florida tomato industry…) So most of it IS grown at low levels where pests are a problem. This also causes most robusta to be very small and a soft bean — tricky to roast and susceptible to burning. Third, robusta does not have a lot of body to it and tastes “thin” and “rubbery” Fourth, it smells awful when you roast it and has quite a bit of chaff. Fifth, why even bother?

The arabica varietal that Timor grows already has some robusta strains in it, so it makes sense for them to also grow straight robusta. The beans are relatively well sorted and look clean -- nicer  than most robusta. 

So here’s what you do with it. You almost always want to roast robusta medium-dark to dark. I’m taking this one 10 seconds into second cracks (the 2nd cracks are late), but you could definitely go darker. There aren’t any complex undertones to unlock, so you might as well go for as much taste as you can and roast it into the 2nd cracks.

Then, you probably don't want to drink it straight. You keep it to about 10-15% in your espresso blend to give it a nice edge and potency.

Or you create a high-caffeine drip blend. Blend it with something light and sweet, like a Tanzania or a New Guinea. Roughly 50-50 and you get a cup of coffee that 1 — makes everyone extraordinarily cheerful and 2 — tastes different than what you’re used to, but is not offensive — just different.

Drinking it straight is a little rough. The flavor is that of a bitter coffee, but if you pair it with something like dark chocolate, you can get it down. The aroma is a little rubbery and the aftertaste is mildly earthy. 

If you’re curious or adventurous, go ahead and try a pound.

US Arrival: January 2024