The country name of Sulawesi may seem unfamiliar to you. Located in the middle of the Malay Archipelago in Indonesia, it is still recognized as Celebes, it’s former name. It is an island of intense exotic beauty with rich volcanic soil, ample rainfall, high rugged peaks, and breathtaking landscapes. All of those attributes not only make it magnificent to visit, but is equally ideal for the cultivation of coffee.

A neighbor of Sumatra, Java and Timor, coffee from Sulawesi has the similar family characteristics of natural processed Indonesian coffee. Look for each of these traits as you enjoy this month’s selection of Sulawesi Toraja from your favorite Coffee of the Month Club: heavy body, medium-light acidity, and rich, earthy flavors.

More than 100 years ago, the Dutch discovered one of the finest locations in the entire world to establish a coffee plantation. That place, high in the fertile Rante Karua Mountain Range in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, became known as a “paradise” for the production of extremely good coffee beans. These coffee beans became known as Kalosi Toraja Coffee. Then, because of wars and other calamities, the original Dutch plantation was abandoned.

Over the decades, most of the plantations in that area were reclaimed by the jungles of Indonesia. After years of neglect and abandonment, the plantations were once again claimed by the Indonesian people. The coffee is known for its heavy body and slightly spicy flavor. The beans, jade in color, are hand-picked and sun dried in the traditional ways. They are harvested between the months of September and January. Exportation starts in early October and lasts until February.


Oberon coffee could be described as the Queen of Brazilian coffees. Only the best and finest from Brazil’s Cerrado region find their way into Oberon. The Cerrado region is located in the southwestern part of the Minas Gerais state.

It is a region famous for its homogeneous climate, altitude and product quality characteristics. The average temperature lies around 20°C. The average rainfall of about 1,600mm per year occurs mainly during the rainy season from December to March. The Cerrado, with its production area of about 140,000 ha, is between 900 and 1,250 meters above sea level. This area is home to roughly 3,600 coffee producers, the majority of them organized in large cooperatives.

Because the area is mainly dry and flat, producers can worry less about the elements and focus more of their time and energy on producing great coffee. The cherries are picked at the best stage of their maturation, allowing the bean to absorb as much sweetness as possible.

The Oberon is the perfect blend of the three main characteristics found in coffee — acidity, body and sweetness. This makes for a well-balanced coffee that has pleasant, citric acidity, a smooth and full body, with great sweetness and dark chocolate flavor nuances.

All year long, a work force of some 20,000 men and women are employed here. This work force is necessary to take care of the plantations during the growth and ripening stages. During the harvest season the number increases up to 180,000 workers, all striving to bring in the coffee as fast as possible in order to guarantee the high quality that this region is so well known for.

What will you find in your cup of Oberon? An outstanding coffee that is sweet, full bodied, and lightly acidic. It’s a clean, balanced coffee with chocolate notes and fruity aftertaste — pleasant morning, noon and night!

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Tracie Burket
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