Coffee aid for Timor-Leste

caffeine magazine australia timor leste flood coffee aid

The specialty coffee world is pulling out the stops to help our troubled neighbours in Timor-Leste
Image – Reynold Atagoran / Getty Images

At the beginning of April, tropical cyclone Seroja swept through the island nation of Timor-Leste (T-L), destroying property and decimating essential infrastructure.

The subsequent flooding and landslides killed scores of people and have left over 14,000 people homeless. An estimated US$100 million of damage has been caused in the capital city of Dili, with the majority of aid currently being directed there, leaving the outlying farms and villages to fend for themselves.

Many of these people were already existing below the poverty line, as well as dealing with the Covid threat. Their plight has attracted the attention of Raw Material (RM) – a not-for-profit social enterprise with a mission to improve the fortunes of coffee-growing communities – who were already working with the local farmers.

RM’s efforts since 2018, have influenced a major improvement in coffee quality from the region; sparking increased interest from Australian specialty coffee roasters.

With the news of the need for support, this new roasting collective is looking to donate to the cause.

Five Senses Coffee have made a direct donation of US$2,800 to help purchase a motorbike for the members of Raimutin Village – where they source their coffee. Five Senses Director of Coffee, Matt Slater, thinks that unique flavours are only part of the story. “In pandemic times, the increased focus on the importance of people, connection, and collaboration in the world makes this even more pertinent,” he explains.

There’s a growing list of smaller businesses following suit. Gina Di Brita from Numero Uno Coffee says: “We are contributing 100% of profits from sales of our Atsabe washed coffee to go towards the flood appeal.”

Monastery Coffee will also be donating 100% of their proceeds. “If we sell every bag that will equate to around $4,000,” says Adam Marley, Head of Operations.

Matthew Hatcher from Guerilla Roasters in Moruya, NSW, has a special connection with T-L as it was his first origin visit. They are giving back $10 for every kilo to support his friends in need.    

Other big-hearted artisans redirecting their profits include; The New Paradigm (pictured), Thirteen Coffee, Veneziano Coffee Roasters, and Grace & Taylor Coffee.

Not only is this a great way to try out new coffee flavours, it’s an opportunity to do some real good for a neighbouring nation in desperate need of support.

You can donate directly to  Raw Material’s campaign by visiting

This feature appears in issue 03 of Caffeine magazine Australia

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