Timor-Leste: wild coffee forests and a revolutionary hybrid coffee variety  

Hibrido de Timor (HdT)

Timor-Leste is home to a hybrid coffee variety (arabica x canephora) that has revolutionized the global coffee industry. Hibrido de Timor (HdT) is the basis for plant breeding and the mother of many important disease resistant varieties. It is also an excellent coffee in itself.

photograph taken in Timor-Leste by HyCoffee partners Karst Organics

After years of brutal colonisation and occupation, the small South-East Asian island of Timor-Leste became an independent nation in 2002. Coffee plays a pivotal role in Timorese society and today Timor-Leste is reclaiming its rightful place as a producer of high-quality coffee. The coffee in Timor-Leste still grows wild, in coffee forests or in agroforestry systems.   

A spontaneous hybrid and its revolution of the coffee industry  

Decades of Indonesian occupation meant that the coffee plantations dating back to the Portuguese colonial era were neglected, allowing coffee to spread across the island uncontrolled. The result was a spontaneous interspecific cross between C. arabica (Arabica) and C. canephora (Robusta), called Hibrido de Timor (HdT). HdT is characterised by the high-quality flavour profiles originating from its Arabica parent and disease and climate-resistance of its Robusta parent.  

HdT was discovered on the island in the 1930s. Due to its pest and disease-resistance it spread via Portugal to research institutes across the coffee-producing world. Crossed with Arabica coffee, it is the parent of some of the most important disease-resistant cultivars consumed today, including Catimor, Sarchimor and Ruiru to name a few.  

HyCoffee’s work in Timor-Leste 

In Timor-Leste, we work with our friends form Karst Organics, a coffee importer specialising in the direct import of coffee from the small island state. Karst is tightly integrated at origin, spending the entirety of the harvest working side by side with coffee farmers to produce high quality speciality green beans. HyCoffee and Karst share a deep love for the country and the believe that the best coffee comes from strong and fair relationships with the farmers. 

HyCoffee coffee packages with Hibrido de Timor coffee

In the past years, we have sold Hibrido de Timor to consumers, office spaces, cafes and roasters across Europe.

In 2022, we partnered with the Munich Security Conference and brought HyCoffee to the United Nations Climate Conference COP27.  

HyCoffee package at the climate conference COP27.