Random News

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 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 around Kota Kinabalu for the coffee. 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 you about 3 hours in which you pass through the beautiful Crocker Mountain Range.

Tenom alone is a scenic journey with amazing views of the mountains with 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 of course, 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 to you that smelling the coffee alone was such a nice feeling, so imagine tasting it. The good thing about this place is that you 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.

Sabah Coffee Grinder
An old coffee grinder from Borneo
In the Fatt Choi coffee corner, which is 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, 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 Yit Foh Coffee which is also from Tenom.

However, Fatt Choi has taken things a level higher where they even offer you a coffee plantation experience stay at the Fatt Choi Cabins.

Various choices of Tenom coffee for sale at Fatt Choi

Fatt Choi has a great range of coffee products for sale, and one can choose as much as they 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 do see some sold in Kota Kinabalu, be cautious as many other similar brands ride on the Tenom coffee brand but are actually 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 the Sabah Tenom Coffee as they make perfect souvenirs or gifts. 

Update: The old bungalow is now used as an office, and the 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 no doubt 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 to date.

I have also personally tried the 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 have to try the Tenom Fatt Choi Coffee in Sabah, which is undeniably the best in Borneo.


chee-v said...

classic grinder

Anonymous said...

nice place! =)

Anonymous said...

So did you fatt choy after drinking the coffee?

YChien said...

woahh..Looks nice! =)

Ben said...

Hogan, enjoy reading your blog pretty much. Informative and hold no barred! Added you in my blog ;)

Malaysia Asia said...

Alvin - I wish they would have sold it to me. :)

Ken Wooi - It sure is, after the journey there..

Nikeez - Haha, I wish... I only could not sleep that night.

Cheie - Looks only, go and experience it one day! No regrets.

Benedict - Thanks so much. Likewise

Unknown said...

Hi David,
Good to know that you enjoyed the coffee.

Hope to see you again in Tenom.

Fatt Choi Coffee


A nice and quiet place to visit.A few years ago I was here. Tenom has change a lot.