As coffee continues to be an integral part of Timor-Leste’s economy, there is a growing need to ensure that local communities have the skills and knowledge to optimize their coffee production and hospitality services. In response to this need, Asosiasaun Cafe Timor (ACT) launched a regional coffee exchange training program in 2021, aimed at enhancing practical skills development for guesthouse and restaurant staff in Aileu and Maubisse.
The program, which spans over a week, starts with a one-day orientation training at the ACT lab in Dili. During the orientation, participants are introduced to the program’s objectives and receive training on coffee production and hospitality service. After the orientation, the participants are placed for four days at a Dili-based cafe/roastery member of the ACT network. Each participant receives a full guided tour of the ACT labs and mentoring to help prepare for the National Brewing Competition.
During their four-day placement, participants receive hands-on experience in customer service and hospitality across various member businesses in Dili. They get to work with baristas and roasters, learn about different brewing methods and techniques, and observe the art of coffee cupping. This exposure to different aspects of coffee production and hospitality service helps the participants broaden their understanding of the coffee industry and refine their skills.
At the end of the program, a debriefing and certificate-of-participation ceremony is held to acknowledge the successful completion of the exchange program. The program has proved to be a valuable experience for participants, providing them with a practical and hands-on understanding of coffee production and hospitality service. It has also helped in strengthening ties between ACT and local businesses in Aileu and Maubisse, creating opportunities for collaboration and partnership in the future.
Overall, the Aileu and Maubisse Coffee Skills Exchange Program is an excellent initiative that contributes to the development of practical skills and knowledge of local coffee communities in Timor-Leste. It serves as a model for other coffee-producing regions in the country, promoting skills exchange and collaboration between businesses and communities. As the program continues to grow and evolve, it will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the future of the Timorese coffee industry.