The unmistakable aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans greeted us as we made our way to Antong coffee mill in Assam Kumbang, Taiping recently.
Known as the most historic coffee mill in Malaysia, being the oldest as it just marked its 80th anniversary in 2013. It was founded in 1933 by Tiah Ee Mooi, who originally named his coffee Aun Tong. The business is now managed by the third generation of the family.
Visitors to Antong Coffee not only get to try out traditional Hainanese breakfast with roti jari dipped in the many home-brand coffee products, they could even see how coffee beans are roasted in a traditional method using wood-fired oven, if an appointment was made beforehand.
Coffee beans used here are mainly sourced from local plantations in Banting, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak. However, beans from overseas may also be used when necessary, imported from countries such as Indonesia, Brazil, Colombia and Kenya.
Coffee beans are put through a multi-step process, from the first process of roasting for 15 minutes to the last step of grinding to powder form, taking a total of 60 minutes to complete. Amazingly, two tonnes of kopi-O (traditional black coffee) are produced a day!
Besides producing home-brand coffee products, Antong Coffee also specialises in premixed coffee O.E.M. manufacturing, packing materials, packaging design and export documentation.
Currently, Antong Coffee carries more than 20 coffee-based beverage products including durian white coffee, some of which are being exported to China, with plans to expand to the Middle East. Locally, Antong Coffee products, branded as AntongCafe’, are available at Chinese coffee shops, obviously, at Chinese traditional medical halls and also sold at Oloiya outlets.
Antong Coffee, which has obtained Halal certification, carries the best (and most expensive) coffee in the world, civet coffee (kopi luwak). The company also has plans to market Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee, which is ranked 6th in the world.
Interestingly, the office of Antong Coffee is the house that the father of modern China, Dr. Sun Yat-sen, stayed in whenever he visited Taiping. His second wife, a Hong Kong-born lady by the name of Chen Cuifen, lived here for 17 years. The couple even adopted a local girl as their daughter. Cuifen subsequently relocated to China, where she passed away.
In fact, the coffee mill was formerly the horse carriage garage of this century-old mansion.
Antong Coffee Mill
Add: 8A, Assam Kumbang, 34000 Taiping, Perak.
Sales office: 8.30am – 5.30pm daily
Mill hours: 8.30am – 12.30pm – closed on Sundays
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