Coffee Origins: Sulawesi

Sulawesi is an island formerly known as Celebes that lies to the north of Flores in Indonesia. Arabica is the varietal mostly grown here, and it’s grown in several regions:

Tana Toraja: A mountainous region, high in altitude, where most of the Arabica is grown.

Enrekang: South of Toraja, known for growing the specialty coffee known as ‘Kalosi’.

Mamasa and Gowa: South of Kalosi, produce lesser known coffees.

Most of the coffee grown in Sulawesi is grown by small shareholders, with only about 5% of growth coming from larger estates. The shareholders in Tana Toraja have very distinctively built houses in order to maintain the old and complex death and afterlife rituals they have, and interestingly these rituals are also incorporated into the way they process their coffee. Once the coffee is harvested, it goes through the ‘wet hulling’ process, also known as ‘giling basah’.

Sulawesi is a geologically ancient country, dating back more than 100 million years, and thus having soil that is rich and high in iron content. The high iron content is said to give the coffee grown here a unique flavor. The coffees from this region are known to be clean, full, and spicy and sweet. The flavors of nuts, cinnamon, cardamom, and black pepper are often found. The aftertaste is always smooth and soft.