Toraja Coffee, The Exotic Black Gold of Sulawesi


Toraja Coffee know for its full body and low acidity. Especially the Arabica Toraja, Japanese, European and United States Market are the main consumer. The character of this coffee makes it suitable for various brewing methods. Either it’s made for Turkish coffee or espresso, the taste is special. Often times, it’s also used for house blend formula to make a final result that is syrupy and bold. It’s indeed one of the best Indonesia Coffee. Toraja can be reached from Makassar by 9 hours ride. There are also Pongtiku Airport while the government is still building Toraja International Airport.

Coffee War in Sulawesi

Toraja is located in the north of Makassar. Bring Arab traders in the 17th century. Locals name it as kawa, while the Arab calls coffee as qahwa. The resemblance is thought to be a sign that coffee in Toraja firstly came from Arab Traders. Coffee from the Toraja Height was highly demanded since then.

As Toraja Coffe becomes a profitable commodity, people called it as the black gold. There are two powers that want to control the coffee trades in Toraja. One is Lawu Trader, from Luwu Kingdom in the northern Toraja. While the other one is Pare-Pare Merchant, from Sindreng Kingdom in the southern Toraja. Initially, the power is held by the Luwu Kingdom, by an Arab merchant named Said Ali. But then, the Sindreng Kingdom surged with military power. Since then the trading center changed from Palopo into pare-Pare. After the coffee plantation control by Sindreng Kingdom, the coffee war is end.

From Dutch Colonial into Indonesian Company

In the early 1900, the Dutch colonial starts to modernize the coffee farm. Van Dijk opened his coffee farm in Toraja. Later, after the Indonesian Independence, the Indonesian government launched a nationalization policy that takes the Dutch-owned farm. In 1950, coffee farms become Indonesian property. But, there was an uprising that made the coffee trading jammed. Only certain people are can pass the blockade. But it was quickly overcome by the Indonesian force. Now, the ex-Van Dijk farm i operate by PT Sulotco Jaya Abadi. PT Toarco also an old coffee far company that operates before the nationalization policy. Besides that, there are also a lot of farms run by individual people.

Full Body, Chocolaty, and Earthy Flavor

The special character of the Toraja coffee is its thick body and low acidity. The taste is dominated by chocolate and earthy notes. Other notes that come from Toraja Coffee are spices, cinnamon, and berry. The Toraja Coffee is also known to leave a dark chocolate aftertaste. While the low acidity property comes from the processing method that utilizes the wet hull process. These flavor sets of Toraja Coffee becomes the favorites amongst northern European nation like Denmark and Iceland.


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