The history of coffee cultivation in the northern parts of South Sulawesi is covered in mystery. It is not known when the inhabitants started to cultivate coffee and how coffee arrived. It’s only known that coffee was cultivated well before the Colonial period and thus goes back hundreds of years. The most famous part of the coffee area in Sulawesi (previously called Celebes) is Toraja, which is in the center of the coffee production area and located in the highest parts of the Sesean Mountains. Torajan people are descendants of Indochinese (possibly Cambodian) oceanic traders who crossed the sea to settle in the Sulawesi highlands and take up agriculture. They build their houses, called Tongkonan, in the shape of their original boats. Great craftsmanship and eye for detail is something one notices in these buildings and Torajans are known for these skills which are reflected in the dedicated way they cultivate their coffee crop.
The Toraja region of Sulawesi is known for producing one of the world’s finest Arabica coffees. The ‘mellow’ Toraja coffee is known for its rich, smooth body, low acidity, spice, sweetness and very mellow aftertaste which will linger on the palate for many, many minutes. It is grown at altitudes of 4,500 to 6,200 feet. Until the late 1980’s the entire annual crop amounted to 400 tons Toraja and 200 tons Rantepao coffee. The exclusive original green bean varieties sold for one of the highest prices in the world. Since then cultivation of coffee has increased substantially, resulting in much lower prices, but the exclusivity of the excellent cup qualities remains, as today’s coffee is cultivated and harvested the same way their ancestors did hundreds of years ago. Sulawesi Kalossi is one of The Frothy Cup’s top selling dark roasts.