Crown Jewel Timor Leste Farmgate Organic Ducurai Café Brisa Serena Home Processed CJO1554 – Lot 1 – 32609-1 – SPOT RCWHSE

Position Spot

Boxes 0

Warehouses Oakland

Flavor Profile Pineapple, lime curd, strawberry, nutmeg, praline, floral, buttery, bright, full-bodied, sugary

Out of stock


This is a traditional home-processed coffee from Letefoho, Timor-Leste, produced by 14 heads of family from the Ducurai village organized around Café Brisa Serena. It is certified organic and comes with Farmgate pricing transparency. 

In the cup, this small-lot coffee displays abundant sweetness and approachable complexity in the form of maple and cooked fruits when approached more gently in the roaster, while clear chocolate and almond confections were complemented by a crisp pop of acidity when roasted more aggressively.  

Our roasters found this coffee to be flexible, with high heat application leading to a syrupy and dense cup, and roasts with gentle heat application developing open flavors with crisp, clean sugars and citric acidity.  

The baristas found that when brewing, taking a middle-of-the-road approach in terms of grind size and yield achieved great results in both brewed coffee and espresso.  

Taste Analysis by Evan Gilman 

The Timor Hybrid can get a bad wrap from cuppers, but its inclusion in the breeding of so many currently used cultivars confirms its quality and resilience. Since this lot is comprised of Timor Hybrid in its own birthplace of Timor-Leste, a certain advantage may have been conferred.  

This coffee is a flexible one, with sugary notes ranging from comforting maple and marzipan to chocolate fudge and hard candy. Mellow Medjool date got a nod, as well as toasted coconut. Meanwhile, acids tend to be represented by cooked fruits like peaches and orange, or even zesty lime acidity depending on roast style. On the back end, look for chamomile florals. This coffee can perform well as a single origin or blender, and we’ve used it for anything from cold brew to espresso! Chug with great abandon. 

Source Analysis by Charlie Habegger & Evan Gilman 

Timor-Leste, or East Timor, takes up the eastern half of the greater Timor island, part of the Indonesian archipelago and not far from the northern coast of Australia. It is a young republic with a long and chaotic political history, having only achieved full independence in 2002, after almost 500 years of consecutive occupations by the Portuguese, the Dutch, and Indonesians. 

Timor-Leste’s coffee is small in an overall scale but highly significant to the Timorese, 25% of whom rely on coffee production for their livelihood. The island’s inland forests also happen to be historically significant, being the origin of coffee’s most adaptive genetic cross—the Timor Hybrid—a natural breeding of local robusta and typica trees that were identified in the 1920s, and whose vigorous genetics can be found in countless Timor-based cultivars in almost every producing country today. The island’s isolation has also allowed for the unique preservation of endemic typica variety coffees, whose purity and diversity resemble those of nearby Papua New Guinea and are expressed similarly in the cup. 

The greater Timor Island is sun-baked and humid along its coast, but the interior quickly rises to lush and rugged highlands, with sharp ridges and vibrant grass-covered slopes. The Ermera municipality is one of the island’s highest in elevation and includes its highest peak, Tatamailau. The villages in the mountain’s vicinity are where Café Brisa Serena (CBS), a social enterprise and exporter, has spent the last 10 years developing smallholder coffee value chains.  

This coffee is produced by 14 heads of family from the Ducurai village. Ducurai is just north of Tatamailau’s peak. It is one coffee in a small portfolio we import each year from CBS, who began by training remote smallholders in farm management and processing, and who is now a highly capable exporter with some of the best smallholder traceability in the world. Each year we receive a spreadsheet with farmer names, data, and parchment prices paid. This harvest, Lacau group farmers received $3.25 per kilogram of dried parchment, which after final dry milling is roughly equivalent to $2.11 per pound of exportable green coffee.  

Coffee in Letefoho is not young. Trees have been tended to for decades, and due to the lofty, vine-like typica varieties throughout, coffee is often harvested by leaning long wooden ramps against the trunk so that pickers can access the sprawling canopy. Farms range between 0.5 and 1.5 hectares only and tend to be well-shaded by evergreen she-oaks, a natural mulcher and nitrogen fixer. During harvest coffee is picked painstakingly by hand and processed at home on personal or shared pulping equipment, which is often hand-made using wood and textured metal discs. 

After fermenting in small personal containers, the coffee is dried on raised beds and constantly sorted for quality. Many of the current harvesting and processing standards come directly from CBS, who has helped establish specialty protocols and invested in improvements to processing equipment. The addition of drying structures, for example, has greatly improved farmers’ ability to consistently meet quality standards for moisture content and water activity.  

In addition to coffee, Ducurai farmers also manage personal crops of taro and cassava, as well as pigs, goats, fowl, and cows. Many also have personal compost programs in addition to being organic certified. CBS and Peace Winds also provide technical assistance from regional specialists like Eko Purnomowidi, who introduced ‘biopori’ composting and other permaculture processes to the village heads in CBS’s network of farmers. 

Café Brisa Serena works with over 400 farmers in the Letefoho area. The organization was formed in close collaboration with Peace Winds Japan, a Japanese NGO that had been working in Timor-Leste’s coffee lands during the first decade after independence, when violence and crumbled infrastructure had disenfranchised many remote coffee communities. CBS continued the development work of Peace Winds, and in 2015 began a formalized specialty export chain. CBS also runs a café in Dili, the nation’s capital, where it promotes Letefoho’s specialty coffee to locals. 

For more on CBS and Peace Winds Japan, see Evan Gilman’s interview with Armando de Araujo of CBS, here: 

Green Analysis by Isabella Vitaliano 

Home-processed, this coffee has had some extra careful eyes on it due to the small-scale production, which you can tell by looking at the specs. The moisture content is a little bit below average and the water activity is in an ideal range. With an above-average density, it should take heat well in the roaster and offer smooth sailing toward a delicious roast profile of your choice.  

Not only is this coffee from the Pacific Island of Timor, but it is also a Timor hybrid. Maybe a more apt name is “Timor Timor” (chai tea anyone)? I digress, this cultivar is a result of the spontaneous hybridization of Robusta and Arabica. This particular hybridization yielded great results, as it was able to maintain Robusta’s resistance to diseases like leaf rust while preserving the flavor from Arabica.  

Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Doris Garrido 

This coffee is a blend of Timor Hybrid and Typica. It was interesting to observe how this coffee behaved during roasting. While there may not be a huge difference between this blend and other Arabica cultivars, I did notice some slight variations. Initially, the density of this coffee was above average (698 grams per liter). However, during the roasting process, the coffee easily absorbed heat and quickly lost its moisture. Given its density reading, I would have expected a little more resistance to the heat. 

For this roast, I planned to extend the drying phase and yellowing, aiming for slightly longer development while keeping the end temperature under 400°F. My goal was to highlight the pleasant sweetness inherent in this coffee. 

I charged the coffee at 401°F and waited to pass the turning point before adding gas. Surprisingly, the temperature I reached was higher than anticipated (174°F at 1 minute and 33 seconds). I adjusted the gas to 85% and achieved yellowing within 5 minutes. Lowering the gas to 60%, I observed the color change. Noticing that the speed was a bit high, I further reduced the gas to 30% at 360°F. As the rate of change gradually decreased, I introduced air—first at 50% and then immediately at 100%. At first crack, the rate of change remained elevated, prompting me to drop the pilot to 0% gas momentarily before restarting it after about a minute. The coffee developed for 1 minute and 30 seconds, reaching an endpoint temperature of 394°F. 

While grinding in preparation for cupping, I was greeted by a pleasant, sweet chamomile aroma. Upon tasting, I detected notes of crispy lime, lemongrass, and orange sweetness. As the coffee cooled, the sweetness became even more pronounced, revealing flavors of raw sugar, caramel, dates, and delightful dried fruits. Overall, I enjoyed an exceptionally clean cup with a perfect balance of sweetness and lemony acidity. 

Aillio Bullet R1 IBTS Analysis by Evan Gilman 

Unless otherwise noted, we use both the site and Artisan software to document our roasts on the Bullet. You can find our roast documentation below, by searching on, or by clicking on the Artisan links below.  Generally, we have good results starting our 500g roasts with 428F preheating, P6 power, F2 fan, and d6 drum speed. Take a look at our roast profiles below, as they are constantly changing! 

As we move into early spring, I have come into the habit of anticipating coffees from Timor-Leste. This is one of the first coffees I helped to bring in for Royal Coffee, and I’m happy to see it on our table once more. I feel a certain sense of responsibility in making sure this coffee ends up both roasted well in its final home so for this, our favorite lot this year, I did two roasts with different approaches.  

My first roast was my ‘fast’ roast with a higher charge temperature (491F), more heat applied early in roast, and sharper movements in the application of airflow. I started with P9 and F2 fan as usual for a fast roast, and at 305F / 2:30 I reduced heat to P7 and increased fan to F4. I kept that up until just after First Crack at 7:00, when I reduced heat to P6 and increased fan to F5. Then I rode out until 396F, allowing this coffee to slowly but surely develop for a final roast time of 8:43.  

This roast was tasty but relied a lot on familiar notes of maple, simple orange acidity, and the much-vaunted chamomile note that so many of my compatriots noticed. It was tasty, but on the syrupy side and lacking in the clarity I knew this coffee could achieve. Certainly, I’d drink a number of cups of this roast, but why settle for less? 

The second roast was a slower roll, a gentler touch. I started with 464F, P9, and F2, but reduced my push by one notch at 1:25, well before I had hit a peak rate of change. Before yellowing, I reduced the heat once more to P7 and increased fan to F4 just after yellowing. At 378F / 7:00 I noticed a spike in the rate of change and added a fan to F5. After the crack, I reduced heat to P6 and allowed the roast to ride out into the sunset. 

This second roast popped, and not just at First Crack. Clean chocolate notes (think chocolate hard candy), lime acidity, herbal sage, and a touch of floral came through very nicely. These was a lot to note here, and I kept coming back for more sips even though this is what I’d consider more of a ‘comforting’ coffee.  

Furthermore, I had the opportunity to provide coffee for use in a coffee beer by the newest brewery in Oakland, Brix Factory Brewing. I’m proud to say that this coffee from Timor-Leste will be on menus not only at The Crown here in Uptown Oakland, but throughout the Bay Area and beyond in the form of a Tropical Stout – with history in archipelagos in completely different hemispheres.  

Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Isabella Vitaliano 

Our current Ikawa practice compares two sample roast profiles, originally designed for different densities of green coffee. The two roasts differ slightly in total length, charge temperature, and time spent between color change in first crack. You can learn more about the profiles here. 

Farmers from Ducurai, located on the island of Timor, organized by Café Brisa Serena have been showcased in our Crown Jewel program before. Not only does the cup express high scrutiny and excellency, but consistency as well. When it first came through our lab the team got notes of cherry, berry, chamomile, dried stone fruits, orange zest, and hints of floral.  

The high-density roast had lots of notes of marzipan, vanilla, raw sugar, and lime juice. It was zippier than one might expect from this region, and I found myself going back to this cup to determine what flavors I was experiencing.  

On the low-density roast, we got notes of deliciously sweet caramel, toasted coconut, juice, cooked orange, and tootsie roll. Noticeably rounder, incredibly sweet, and easy to slurp down, this was a wonderful version of this coffee.  

I had expected to prefer the low-density roast profile since we often end up serving this cultivar type and region on our dark roast. I assumed the longer roast profile would create caramelization and sweetness that would complement the profile better.  

In this case, I think my expectations limited me a bit. I really enjoyed the high-density roast as I was pleasantly surprised by the acidity and complexity of the cup. Both cups were incredibly tasty, and this is a testament to the versatility this coffee could offer on your menu. We are thrilled to be showcasing this group again and we hope you enjoy!  

You can roast your own by linking to our profiles in the Ikawa Pro app here: 

Roast 1: Low Density Sample Roast 

Roast 2: High Density Sample Roast   

Brew Analysis by Tim Tran 

We were happy to delve into this exciting toponymic cultivar from Timor-Leste. As a smaller coffee-growing region, the painstaking attention and care that goes into growing coffee here was something we wanted to highlight and were looking forward to analyzing across these brews.  

We started our brew analysis on a conical brewer with a moderately coarse grind setting at a standard 1:15.79 ratio. The resulting cup was a pleasantly sweet coffee, both rich in body and with a lingering aroma of toffee and graham crackers. Our team tasted notes of effervescent ginger ale, herbal roots in the vein of sassafras, and chicory that rode on sweeter notes of toffee and dark cocoa. Some Meyer lemon zest peeked its head through amidst the flavor bomb to really round out the cup. This first brew gave us a TDS of 1.45 and a moderately high extraction percentage of 19.07%. 

Moving to a much coarser grind led to a lower TDS and extraction percentage of 17.65%, where we found a more citrus-dominant flavor in the cup. The sweetness became a little more withdrawn and made way for a more lemon-zest-forward flavor profile coupled with hints of graham cracker.  

Maintaining a moderately coarse grind setting but reducing the coffee dose highlighted herbaceous notes backed by some sweet plum. This brew had an extraction percentage in between the two previous brews of 18.5% which served as an appropriate middle-of-the-road cup in terms of the tasting notes the team found as well.  

We found the cup brewed on a flat-bottomed brewer to also carry a heavy body and extract at a similar percentage, but the sweetness was dialed back in favor of a much more citrus-forward flavor profile. 

For this coffee, we would recommend brewing with a moderately coarse grind setting, a moderate dose, and on a conical brewer. We enjoyed this coffee at a higher-than-average TDS. 

Espresso Analysis by MJ Smith 

For those of you desperately trying to hold onto all those warm, spicy, cozy flavors of winter, I’ve got the perfect espresso for you! This coffee from the Ducurai village of Timor-Leste definitely makes for a wonderful espresso; one that is interesting, but also very approachable to the average consumer. It’s delicious on its own, as well as in milk-based drinks (I tried it in a cortado, and it was gone in seconds!) Each shot had its own individual characteristics of course, but the underlying notes across the board included dried fruit, cacaos, baking spice, and an exciting acidity that ranges from grapefruit to tart cherry. Here’s the two recipes I liked this most… 

First, we have a shot with a dose of 18.5g, 40g yield, and 28 seconds. I picked up notes of dried apricot and persimmon, ripe plum, cherry pie, and baking spice, held down by some wonderful sweetness in the form of caramelized sugar (think crème brûlée) and honey. This was the shot that I tried in a cortado and was blown away by how comfortingly delicious it was! 

For the next recipe, I increased the dose to 19g, dropped the yield to 38g, and increased the pull time to 31 seconds. This one was so good that I had to run samples out for the rest of the barista team to try! My personal tasting notes included Medjool dates, apricot, rice cakes, golden raisins, allspice, cacao nibs, and cherry cola. The rest of the team agreed with me about the allspice and chocolate notes, but they were also able to pick out some dried orange, grapefruit, tamarind, and apple cider. Some people were even able to detect some complementary sweet-savory notes.  

As I mentioned in my introduction, this coffee is packed full of warm and cozy fall/winter flavors, but don’t let that deter you now that we’re creeping into spring! This coffee would be wonderful any time of the year. I suggest kind of a middle-ground recipe for this coffee, i.e. medium dose, yield, and pull time. I tried several shots outside of this middle range, and they were okay, but these two were by far my favorites. I hope you enjoy! Salam!