East Timor & Australia’s Coffee Bonds

One of our nearest coffee neighbours, East Timor has had a tumultuous history with war ravaging its land, its coffee crops and its people. While the people have experienced great trauma and upheaval it has never stopped them from their natural inclination for hospitality offering coffee to those in need. This has created a bond between the East Timorese people and the Australian Army going way back to World War II.

Sparrow Force

In 1941, British and Australian soldiers formed a guerilla army called Sparrow Force which were called on by the Dutch army in East Timor to fight the Japanese who were trying to invade the country. For more than two years, this group of soldiers resisted all attempts by the Japanese to take East Timor, ultimately ending in failure. During this time, the Sparrow Force were left to their own devices with very little food and drink. This is where the native East Timorese people stepped in to help with their supply of local food and, most importantly, coffee. Grown, picked and roasted by the East Timorese, the soldiers enjoyed freshly brewed coffee with wild grown honey. This display of hospitality and kindness surely gave the soldiers of Sparrow Force the drive, determination and energy to fight with all they had against a determined enemy.

Australia Remembers

Even today, the Australian Army holds a fondness for the East Timorese people who continue to provide freshly brewed locally grown coffee to battalions of visiting soldiers. Some Australian servicemen have even returned to East Timor, tracking down the friendly locals who helped them with something as simple and nourishing as a cup of coffee when they needed it most. These soldiers have helped the East Timorese people set up their own businesses, streamlining their coffee production providing them with a future and a steady income for their families and communities.

Sacred Grounds & East Timor

Like these Australian soldiers, we also want to give back to the East Timorese people. This country has experienced more upheaval than we can ever really comprehend and this is one of the reasons why we choose to source some of our coffee from this tiny nation. Not only has its past been troubled but the effects of it lingers today with high levels of poverty, 50% infant mortality rate and half of all East Timorese are illiterate. There are still so many problems but one of the solutions that has been a crucial part of the healing process has been coffee.

We work closely with our producers in East Timor, the Cooperativa Café Timor (CCT) who have been operating since 1994. Today CCT boasts 23,000 members across 16 cooperatives and 494 small farms. Fairtrade certified in 2001, this co op has made a massive impact on its surrounding communities with projects such as a business development program, a wholesale purchasing co op and 11 healthcare clinics and 28 mobile clinics to provide medical attention for those who can’t afford it.

Coffee crops are grown alongside rice, fruit, beans, spices and more providing a really unique environment for beans and the farmers themselves to thrive. And the taste? We use East Timorese coffee beans in our Neighbours Blend that has a beautiful combination of subtle berry with a nutty aftertaste.

Shop for Sacred Grounds Neighbours Blend here… 

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Our Neighbours Blend Unpacked

Smooth and delicious, coffee blends are one of our biggest sellers and a popular option for those after a smooth, tasty finish. Today on the blog we’re looking at one of our favourite blends, the Neighbour’s Blend. The great thing about this bean is that is has been sourced from some of our nearest and dearest neighbours which means it’s great for the environment! Read on…

Low Carbon Footprint

Thanks to the producers’ close proximity to Australia, our Neighbours Blend has the lowest carbon footprint out of all of our beans. This means the transportation mileage required is a lot less than its Sacred Grounds cousins and so has a smaller impact on the environment.

So who are our ‘neighbours’? This bean sources coffee from countries like Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Origins Breakdown

Sumatra

The coop in Sumatra that we source our beans from is called Permata Gayo Cooperative. These guys ensure quality is maintained by cutting the middle man and managing the process from farm to exporting. Additionally, the cooperative employs two cuppers who ensure premium quality from each batch of green beans. Most impressively, coop workers have also attended international events such as the Specialty Coffee Association of America in the US and cupping training to stay up to date with current coffee practices.

What makes this bean so good? The abundant rainfall, rich volcanic soil and an equatorial climate all contribute in producing the very fine, exotic flavours found in this incredible coffee. With a bright tangy acidity, this coffee delivers beautifully light notes of blackcurrant followed by touches of dark cocoa and soft spice. So good! 

East Timor

Sitting pretty north-west of Darwin, this tiny country creates world-class coffee that we simply can’t get enough of. The coffee industry has actually been a crucial part of the rebuilding of this nation after years of unrest. Poverty is rife thanks to high unemployment rates but the coffee industry is slowly changing all of that. The coop we work with is called Cooperativa Café Timor (CCT) and is one of the biggest employers in East Timor.

CCT grow organic Arabica coffee that is wet-processed which only adds to the high quality of the coffee beans. And the taste? A beautifully spicy and sweet aroma with hints of clove, tobacco, leather and pepper. It has a lovely orange acidity with a smooth body finishing up with a malt, walnut and burnt toffee flavour combination.

PNG

Famous for its beautiful mountains, volcanic soil and tropical climate, PNG provides the ideal growing conditions for coffee. Located in the Eastern Highlands of PNG, the Co-operative Highland Organic Agriculture Cooperative (HOAC) has developed a close partnership with Sacred Grounds with their coffee becoming our highest selling Single Origin.

Within our Neighbours Blend coffee, the PNG bean provides a lovely chocolate and nutty flavour notes, with hints of cherry and vanilla. An ideal addition to any blend, this coffee brings a beautifully smooth finish that will leave you wanting more.

Sustainable  Coffee

Here at Sacred Grounds we’re all about sustainable processes and products which is why all of our coffee is certified organic. Through reputable certification bodies such as Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and Australian Organic, we ensure that all our producers are not only treated fairly but their products live up to their claims – ie 100% organic.

Our Neigbours Blend is no different. Each coop, farm, producer that contributes to this beautiful coffee has been monitored carefully ensuring that this blend is having minimal impact on our world.

Coffee Profile

With all these beautiful beans blended together, you can imagine how incredible our Neighbours Blend actually tastes. Here’s the lowdown…

Certification: Organic

Tasting Notes: Subtle berry characteristics with a nutty aftertaste

Origins: PNG, East Timor and Sumatra

Variety: Arabica

Roast: Moderately Dark

Where you can find Neighbours Blend

Get your Neighbours Blend sent straight to your door via the Sacred Grounds website or why not pop into one of our partner cafes including:

About-Life

About Life – Bondi Junction, Rozelle, Cammeray, Surrey Hills, Crows Nest, Lane Cove & Double Bay

 

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Buddha Bowl – Newtown 

 

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Sol Providore -at Mark Moran Vaucluse

 

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Ofarm Organics – Warringah Mall, Brookvale

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