Atsabe Washed


Impressions: prune, brown sugar, tropical
Roast degree: light (2.5/5)

Country: Timor-Leste
Region: Atsabe, Ermera
Variety: Moka, 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 natural process here) are so interesting.

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.


It should come at no surprise by now that we absolutely love Asian/Island coffees a lot as they always seem to provide a beautiful mix of classic and tropical notes. This lot is no exception!

The coffee ''felt purple'' according to David. What does purple taste like you ask? It feels like fresh prunes, with a deep brown sugar finish.
There is also a subtle tropical linger in the aftertaste, something like lychee or pineapple.

Weather you are an espresso fan or filter coffee lover, the Atsabe is roasted fast with a medium/light profile and will taste great with any method.

Method Dose Ratio Time
Espresso 16-20 g 2.2:1 30-34 sec
Espresso with milk 16-20 g 2:1 32-36 sec
Americano 16-20 g 2.4:1 26-30 sec


18-32 g 16:1 3:30-4:00 min

 Chemex & Batch Brew

40-60 g 16:1 5:00-5:45 min

 French Press

18-25 g 15:1 4:45 min steep time

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

Price we paid for the landed coffee in our Montreal area roastery: 14,10CAD/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.


Ripe 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. This well-sorted harvest is now pulped, separating the cherry from the parchment coffee. The sub-region of Atsabe is mountainous, where the washing stations sit at a range of different altitudes. These altitudes differ between 1,000 - 1,800 MASL. To consistently ensure the best outcomes, the length of fermentation times varies depending on the location. For these combined lots from two stations, two fermentation times were used. The coffee processed at Malabe was fermented for 16 hours, and the coffee of Raimutin for 24 hours. 

Once this stage is complete the parchment is washed again, removing any residual floaters and cherry skin in the process. These floaters are not discarded, but instead are sold with other low density coffee into the local market.

The parchment is then transported to raised beds, where the coffee is dried in high. The staff turn the lots regularly to ensure even airflow and sun contact, for a duration of between 15 - 20 days. 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 is complete, the coffee is prepared for export at the Railaco dry mill. 

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