While walking near Taiping railway station recently I smelt the powerfully delicious aroma of roasting coffee beans. Allowing my nose to lead the way, I headed over a bridge above the railway lines and spotted a sign for Kilang Kopi Antong (Antong Coffee Factory).
Given its off-the-beaten-track location I thought this place would seldom get any visitors. How wrong I was! It seems it is quite a tourist trap and there were three coach loads of school children being given a tour of the factory and demonstration of the manufacturing process.
Antong describes itself as Malaysia’s oldest coffee mill having been established in 1933 by a Mr. Tiah Ee Mooi. Mr. Tiah’s old house stands alongside the factory and a bronze statue of him flanks the front door. Seemingly Dr. Sun Yat Sen, founder of modern China, stayed in this house when he visited Taiping. The factory building itself used to be the stables for this house.
Antong Coffee Factory sources its coffee beans from both Malaysia and abroad. They are roasted in ovens fuelled by recycled wood, mangrove logs and so on. Molten sugar is mixed into the pot together with the coffee beans (too bad if you don’t like sugar) and apparently other secret ingredients are aded to give the coffee mix its distinctive flavour.
Originally their main product would have been Kopi O powder (pre-sweetened black coffee) but to keep up with the times they have broadened their product range to include 3 in 1 white coffee with added creamer (very popular in Malaysia but not my cup of tea) and other instant type coffee mixes. They even sell durian flavoured white coffee. How Malaysian is that!
Good to see a traditional business like this still thriving after all these years.
In case you are interested in visiting:
Address: Antong Coffee Factory, Assam Kumbang, 34000 Taiping, Perak. Telephone: 05-8075189
Shop/Office: 8.30am – 5.30pm daily
Factory Hours: 8.30am – 12.30pm – closed on Sundays