Tenom Fatt Choi Coffee in Sabah is one of the most popular coffee brands in the country. Some even call it Tenom Old Town Coffee while the locals will call it 'Kopi Tenom' in Malay. For coffee lovers, you will not want to miss this chance when you are visiting Sabah. You can also check out some of the local Kopi Tiam or coffee shops for the coffee. The brand is undisputedly one of the best coffees from Malaysia. 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 you about 3 hours in which you pass through the beautiful Crocker Mountain Range. The drive to Tenom alone is a scenic journey with amazing views of the mountains with cool air. Passing towns like Tambunan and Keningau, you will then reach Tenom which is a laid back small town catering mainly to tourism for the Sabah Agricultural Park (in Lagud Seberang), the Kalang Waterfalls, the Murut Cultural Center and of course, the famous Padas River White Water Rafting.
The coffee is still being made the traditional way of roasting the coffee beans over wood fire which brings out the full aroma of the Robusta beans. I swear to you that smelling the coffee alone was such a nice feeling so imagine tasting it. At the Fatt Choi Coffee outlet, one can actually taste the different types of coffee sold there. They have a tasting coffee bar where you can try out various coffee products. From plain black coffee, espresso, iced coffee to the now famous Tongkat Ali Tenom Coffee which was my personal favourite, not for the wrong reasons mind you.
In the Fatt Choi coffee corner which is located in a lone standing old bungalow, you will see a number of antique coffee grinders, framed newspaper cuttings and even pictures of famous ministers including our former prime minister Tun Mahatir who visited the coffee outlet.
The coffee corner is located at the ground floor of the bungalow where it serves and sells the famous Tenom Coffee. The upstairs of the bungalow is living quarters and not for visits. There is a large compound for parking. Just ask anyone about this place in Tenom and they will gladly tell you where it is in town.
There are also two well known plantations in Tenom, one being Fatt Choi and the other called Yit Foh. However, Fatt Choi has taken thing a level higher where they even offer you a coffee plantation experience stay at the Fatt Choi Cabins.
Fatt Choi has a great range of coffee products for sale and one can choose as much as they like. I was told that a number of customers who come here, buy them in boxes to be taken back. The coffee is that good. From pure rosted beans, grinded and even pre mix 3 in 1 packets, they are very cheap.
As you can see me standing outside the shop, I purchased a large box of various coffees as gifts to friends and relatives. I recall paying about RM120.00 (US$34.00) for over 15 packets of the Sabah Tenom Coffee. I still have some in my cupboard till today.
Tenom Coffee is no doubt one of the best coffee produced in this region. Apart from this , the only one coffee I am yet to try is the Luwak Coffee from Indonesia. I have personally tried the Weasel Coffee in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2010 and right now, that is the ultimate winner for my taste buds. There is also the famous Ipoh White Coffee Wah Nam Cafe and for the Tea Lovers, you must try the Teh C Peng Special or Three Layer Tea Sarawak.
The address to Fatt Choi Coffee in Tenom;
Jln Tenom-Kemabong Tenom Lama,
89900 Tenom Sabah,
Telephone: 087-735230, 087-735043
Tenom Fatt Choy Coffee website
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. If you are a coffee lover or coffee connoisseur, you have to try the Tenom Fatt Choi Coffee in Sabah.