Katim Specialty Coffee – THE BEST COFFEE YOU’VE PROBABLY NEVER TASTED
Most coffee is ‘exotic’ in that it comes from distant foreign lands – from Indonesia to Ethiopia to Guatemala and beyond.
One of the most far-off coffee growing areas, at least to Westerners, is the Yunnan province of southern China. Yunnan borders Vietnam and Tibet and the area is quite mountainous. From this region comes our unique Katim coffee.
Katim came about through the mating of Timor or ‘Tim’ coffee and an Arabica varietal. Tim is a naturally occurring Arabica/Robusta hybrid – the only one of its kind on record – which was created by the spontaneous mating of an Arabica and Robusta plant on the island of Timor.
Tim was crossbred with the Arabica Caturra varietal to add sweetness and mellowing flavour characteristics to the coffee, thus ‘Catimor’ was born. In its shortened form it is also called ‘Catim’ in Africa and the Americas and ‘Katim’ in Asia.
I first had Katim about 10 years ago and was absolutely unimpressed. It tasted a lot like a cheap, flat Brazilian ‘filler’ coffee. But a lot has happened since then. Katim has gone from a coffee used mainly in the industrial coffee market to a true specialty coffee. This transformation has mainly been seen in the last two to three years.
What happened is that growers striving for a premium product began focusing not on just growing and harvesting but doing so in a much more refined and scientific way. Growing has been done at higher altitudes, up to 2,000 meters, which makes for more delicate flavour development. Also, a lot more attention has been paid to harvesting and processing techniques. One commentator said Katim ‘grown in such an environment and processed with modern methods can have surprising flavor performance.‘. This has inspired us to create our own blend from this coffee and present it to you as our Katim Speciality Coffee.
Another said that specialty Katim has ‘a soft coffee quality, is balanced, has good body, and a modicum of acidity’. And one said of her experience with Katim that ‘it tends to have a bit of a cherry-like flavor on top of the mushroomy savory qualities that epitomize the flavors of coffee from Sumatra.’
Personally, I like the description of a Chinese coffee enthusiast who says, ‘the coffee is moderately sour, strong, with a unique mellow fragrance giving the coffee a taste like distant mountains and woods.’
I don’t know how Katim coffee will affect your taste buds but if you are a coffee adventurer you may find that our Katim is the best coffee you have never tasted.