Atsabe Natural


Impressions: kiwi, apricot, cane sugar, spices
Roast degree: light (2/5)

Country: Timor-Leste
Region: Atsabe, Ermera
Variety: Bourbon, Typica, Hibrido de Timor.
Process: Natural
Partner importer: Raw Material

We are so happy to have yet another new origin on the menu: Timor-Leste! The two lots we selected (see the washed process here) are so interesting. Check out our brew guide and transparency page for all the details!

These are also our first coffees from Raw Material, a social enterprise whose values connected with ours a lot. So much in fact that we order those coffees from their UK warehouse since they do not store coffee in North America yet.

Raw material gives all the profits back to farmers, showing that selling tasty AND ethical coffee is possible. We truly love what they do.

Improving the coffee sector in the country is one of RM main goal. Coffee is the second-highest earner for the country after oil, and 37% of households depend on coffee for a portion of their income.
Amongst other things, they are currently building the first cupping lab in Atsabe village. This will be the first of many quality management and information hubs run by local women.

You can learn more by visiting the RM Timor-Leste Page.


Natural coffees from Asia are absolutely stunning. This Atsabe natural lot reminded us of a fun Papua New Guinea and Yunnan blend we did a while back.

It's tropical and we had lots of kiwi and mango notes. The sweetness is also tropical with an intense cane sugar impression.

The finish is full of dried apricot, and as it cools, you can start noticing beautiful spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.

Method Dose Ratio Time
Espresso 18 g 2.3:1 30-36 sec
Espresso with milk 18g 1.9:1 34-38 sec
Americano 18 g 2.3:1 28-32 sec


23 g 16.5:1 3:15-3:45 min

 Chemex & Batch Brew

40-60 g 16.5:1 5:00-5:30 min

 French Press

18-25 g 16:1 3:30 min steep time

Farmers: Atsabe-Ermera group
Exporter & importer: Raw Material

Price we paid for the landed coffee in our Montreal area roastery: 17.80CAD/kg

Since Raw material is a social enterprise giving back 100% of the profit to farmers, this transparency report is a little different than our usual one.
To better understand their cost structure from production to export and everything in between, we have this ver nice graph that you can also find here alongside a ton of interesting information about the work they are doing in the country.


Firstly, all the producers RM Timor-Leste work with are informed of best picking practices, with the intention of only ripe cherry being picked and sold for processing. This cherry is first floated in water, to separate the fruit by density. The higher the density, the higher the quality of the coffee. This leaves the low density, less mature cherries to float to the surface, which are easily removed from the water. Though not used for export, these cherries are processed separately, and sold to the local market.

The station staff then meticulously hand-sort the freshly picked and well-sorted cherry, removing all damaged or underripe fruit by eye. The cherry is then transported to raised beds, where they are dried in high sun for one month. The staff turn the lots regularly to ensure even airflow and sun contact. When the cherries have reached a drying level of around 14%, the coffee is then transported to lower altitudes with higher temperatures, to complete the drying phase.

Once the drying was complete the cherry was separated from the parchment, and the coffee was prepared for export at the Railaco dry mill.  The remaining cherry was not discarded, rather, it was saved for redistribution as fertilizer to the farmers who grew the harvests.

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