Tenom Fatt Choi Coffee in Sabah

Sabah Tenom Fatt Choi Coffee

Tenom Fatt Choi Coffee in Sabah is one of the most popular coffee brands in the entire Sabah and possibly in Malaysia.

Some even call it Tenom Old Town Coffee, while the locals call it 'Kopi Tenom' in Malay. For coffee lovers, you will not want to miss this chance when you are visiting Sabah.

For coffee, you can also check out some of the local Kopi Tiam or coffee shops around Kota Kinabalu. The brand is undisputed as one of the best local coffees from Malaysia.

Sabah Tenom Fatt Choi Coffee

Records show that the Tenom Coffee factory has been around since the 1960s, and in 1986, a local businessman named Foong Choon Sang established his coffee factory and the bungalow coffee house or cafe in town.

If you are self-driving, you can get to Tenom by using the Kimanis Highway from Kota Kinabalu, and the journey will take about 3 hours, during which you will pass through the beautiful Crocker Mountain Range.

Tenom alone is a scenic journey with amazing views of the mountains, cool air, and very little traffic.

Passing towns like Tambunan and Keningau, you will reach Tenom, a laid-back small-town catering mainly to local and foreign tourism.

Tourist places include the Sabah Agricultural Park (in Lagud Seberang), the Kalang Waterfalls, the Murut Cultural Center and the famous Padas River White Water Rafting.

Sabah Best Coffee
Variety of coffee to sample at the Tenom Coffee Shop.

Sabah Tenom Coffee

Sabah's Tenom coffee is still being made the traditional way of roasting the coffee beans over the wood fire, which brings out the full aroma of the Robusta beans.

I swear that smelling the coffee alone was such a nice feeling, so imagine tasting it. The good thing about this place is that you can taste the different coffee types sold there.

They have a tasting coffee bar where you can try various coffee products. From plain black coffee, espresso, and iced coffee to the now-famous Tongkat Ali Tenom Coffee, which was my favourite, not for the wrong reasons, mind you.

Sabah Coffee Grinder
An old coffee grinder from Borneo.

In the Fatt Choi coffee corner, located in a long-standing old bungalow, you will see several antique coffee grinders, framed newspaper cuttings, and even pictures of famous ministers, including our former prime minister, Tun Mahathir visited the coffee outlet.

The coffee corner is located on the bungalow's ground floor, serving and selling the famous Tenom Coffee. The upstairs of the bungalow is living quarters and not for visits.

There is a large compound for parking. Ask anyone about this place in Tenom, and they will gladly tell you where it is.

There are also two famous plantations in Tenom, Fatt Choi and Yit Foh Coffee, also from Tenom.

However, Fatt Choi has taken things a level higher and even offers an experiential coffee plantation experience stay at the Fatt Choi Cabins.

Various choices of Tenom coffee are for sale at Fatt Choi.

Fatt Choi has a great range of coffee products for sale; one can choose as many as one like. I was told that several customers who come here buy them in boxes to be taken back.

This simply says that the coffee is excellent. From pure roasted beans, ground and even pre-mix 3 in one packet, they are very cheap and sold right here.

However, if you see some sold in Kota Kinabalu, be cautious as many other similar brands ride on the Tenom coffee brand but are not.

Video of Tenom Fatt Choi Coffee Corner

Shop selling Tenom CoffeeMe with the Tenom coffee in a large box.

As you can see in the photo above, I am standing outside the Tenom coffee shop, where I purchased a large box of various coffees as gifts to friends and relatives. 

I recall paying about RM 120.00 (US$30.00) for over 15 large packets of Sabah Tenom Coffee as they make perfect souvenirs or gifts. 

Update: The old bungalow is now used as an office, and Tenom Fatt Choi Coffee has moved to a factory. You can get the directions on the Google map below.

Other Popular Coffee From Asia

Tenom Coffee is undoubtedly one of the best coffee produced in this region. Apart from this, the Luwak Coffee from Indonesia is one of the best coffee I have tasted.

I also tried Weasel Coffee in Hanoi, Vietnam, in 2010 during my travels there. That is probably one of the best coffee I have tasted in Indochina.  

Over in Semenanjung Malaysia or Peninsular Malaysia, there is also the famous Ipoh White Coffee Wah Nam Cafe, which you can find in Ipoh city, in Perak. That is also one of the famous White Coffee producers in Malaysia.

In Sarawak, there is local coffee available, but not country famous. They have unique ways of preparing their coffee and tea, so you must try the Teh C Peng Special or Three Layer Tea Sarawak if you are a tea lover.

Address to Fatt Choi Coffee in Tenom;
Jln Tenom-Kemabong Tenom Lama,
89900 Tenom Sabah,
Tenom 89900,
Telephone: 087 735230, 087 735043
FAX: 087 737230 (Really?)

Map to Tenom Fatt Choi Coffee Factory


This unique brand of coffee is currently sold in Peninsular Malaysia at selected outlets. One of them that carries this brand is Chawan in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.

But having tried it there before, it is not close to comparison with the real thing; hence as some say, the best things are always the original.

If you are a coffee lover or coffee connoisseur, you should explore Malaysia to sample some unique coffee from state to state.

And if and when you travel over to East Malaysia, you must try the Tenom Fatt Choi Coffee in Sabah, which is undeniably the best in Borneo.

Malaysia Asia

Blogging since 2007, but writing online since 1997. I belong to the 1st generation of worldwide bloggers, which is of course old-school. Since 2008, I created Malaysia Asia and this travel, flood, gadget and lifestyle blog has won numerous physical awards from tourism boards around Malaysia. (Not those online awards). After 12 years of blogging, I have semi-retired and now blog about things I like, do product reviews and enjoy life. My work has been featured in Lonely Planet, CNN Travel, Yahoo Travel, Wall Street Journal, and many other international publications. Find out more about me and thank you.


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