The Legendary Coffee, Once Valued and Forgotten...
And Now It is Brought Back to the World Again.
At the end of the 17th century, coffee plantations in Indonesia began. Because of its rarity and elegant flavor, Toraja coffee was meant only for European royals. However, once WWII began, the farms were abandoned. Everyone thought Traja coffee was gone forever, but KEY COFFEE INC brought it back to the world. 40 years later, in 1978, the legendary coffee came back to the market as TOARCO TORAJA.
Field research started at the Indonesian island of Sulawesi
In April of 1973, Kimura Coffee, which was the predecessor of present-day KEY COFFEE INC , sent off one of its executives to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The purpose was to find out the situation of Toraja coffee, which was once deemed the legendary coffee of the world before disappearing from the market place as a result of the war. Because Toraja coffee only grew in the deep mountains at the island’s center, the roads that led to the plantations were extremely rough. The executive had to switch from jeep to horse and lastly travel by foot in order to reach his destination. When he finally arrived, the plantations appeared to be bare, but in reality, the local farmers were only growing Toraja coffee in small amounts, which saved the plant from going extinct. After his delightful discovery, the executive reached the decision that Toraja coffee could be revived as well as the profits that he imagined would come would not only benefit his company, but also the local community’s economy as well. With a strong will, he brought back Toraja coffee to the international market.
The Sulawesi Industry's Toraja Coffee Regeneration Project was founded.
- Toraja Coffee Development Plan
The Indonesian local subsidiary, P.T.TOARCO JAYA, was established.
The first Toraja coffee beans grown by PT Toarco Jaya was shipped to Japan.
TOARCO TORAJA Coffee was released all over Japan with the catchphrase, "The revival of the legendary coffee."
On last year's Christmas Eve, PT Toarco Jaya delivered its first load of Toraja coffee via the ship, Chieripon-Maru, which arrived in Yokohama on January 4th. After a thorough inspection using our one-of-a-kind cup-testing procedure, the coffee was evaluated as being of excellent grade. The product was then officially called “TOARCO TORAJA,” and its launch date was aimed for March 10th. Before its debut, at the sampling party, TOARCO TORAJA received reviews of high praise from experts. The media not only focused on the product itself but the culture behind the coffee as well. As a result, the Toraja Coffee Regeneration Project garnered much attention. After its release, the unexpected demand of TOARCO TORAJA was so high that it was soon sold out at stores and many generic imitations popped up in its wake. There was no way to imagine its popularity when we first visited the land of Toraja five years ago.
- The First Exporting Boat
- The TOARCO TORAJA Sampling Party
- Managed-cultivation at the modeled farm
The beginning of regular production and harvesting at our directly-managed Padamaran Farm.
The year of a full harvest in Toraja.
- A Torajan woman picking cofee beans at Padamaran Farm.
The seed cleaning & grading factory was built at Padamaran Farm.
- The construction of Padamaran Farm's seed cleaning & grading factory.
- Participated in the International Food Exhibition
- The coffee industry's informational magazine "FROM KEY" did a special issue on TOARCO TORAJA.
Kimura Coffee company changed its name to "KEY COFFEE INC "
- The refinement of examining the percentage of uncompleted beans
The TOARCO TORAJA's New Declaration of 1991
It had been about 20 years since we started producing TOARCO TORAJA. Our effort to bring back the world's legendary coffee has made it possible to supply the coffee in large amounts. KEY COFFEE INC stated "The TOARCO TORAJA’s New Declaration of 1991," emphasizing the TOARCO TORAJA brand by releasing a new line of related products, the start-up of special campaigns such as publishing "TOARCO TORAJA Tsu-shin," and opening up TOARCO TORAJA coffee lessons. Two other memorable events had happened in 1991. After the Emperor and Empress of Japan visited Jakarta and had a cup of TOARCO TORAJA, they purchased TOARCO TORAJA as a souvenir before returning back home. Furthermore, when Mr. Kunihiro, the Japanese Ambassador to Indonesia, and his wife visited Padamaran Farm, an arbor was built in the center of the farm in their honor. The arbor was named "Mutsumi Teahouse." which was taken from his wife's name, Mutsuko. Many events occured related to goodwill that year.
- The first issue of "TOARCO TORAJA Tsu-shin"
The Coffee Roasting Project began in Indonesia.
TOARCO TORAJA coffee started domestic sales in Sulawesi Island.
- The inside of Pasaraya Department Store in Jakarta KEY COFFEE INC shop counter
- A magazine advertisement
The use of special shipping containers, which are kept at a constant temperature of 15 degrees Celsius
To keep the coffee’s freshness and aroma as well as its high quality, harvesting, grain cleaning, roasting, packaging, and distribution has to be controlled under stringent rules and done within a short period of time.
To pursue the highest quality of coffee, we need flexibility to improve our products. In 2000, to sell a higher quality of TOARCO TORAJA and to improve the way of transporting TOARCO TORAJA First Crop from Indonesia to Japan, we started using containers, which are constantly kept at 15 degrees Celsius, to deliver our products to Japan. First Crop is a premium product of TOARCO TORAJA that only uses coffee beans that are picked at the beginning of the harvest season in April. No other coffee company has sold this type of coffee before. Since the production quantity is limited, it can only be purchase by pre-order. Every time First Crop goes on sale, it immediately sells out. Coffee fans await the new season to have a cup of First Crop.
- A newspaper advertisement
The trading area expands to purchase coffee beans from local farmers.
Since Toraja project started, we have continuously organized seminars for farmers in many locations, and the result has made it possible to grow coffee at higher locations in the mountains. In 2002, we began purchasing coffee from farmers in Minanga, which is an area at an elevation of 1,500m. The quality of their product was higher than the ones that we had purchased before. Furthermore, the limited edition coffee that was produced in Pulu Pulu, located at an elevation of 1,800 meters, was released. The quality and its alpine, clean aroma was greatly admired.
- Pulu Pulu Village, located at an elevation of 1,800 meters.
- First Indonesian farm foreman, Mr. Yuusuf
The start of purchasing coffee from Uma, Perangian, and other areas.
While promoting our seminars for locals, we had started forming stronger bonds with farmers. With new trade in Uma, Perangian, and other vicinities, the area where we purchased coffee from had expanded. Uma is located at an elevation of 1,600 meters, which is one of the highest farm locations. Its soil is rich with leaf mold and volcanic ash, making it a suitable place for planting coffee. On the other hand, Perangian is where passionate farmers reside. They had expanded their farm area by planting the saplings that we had provided them. The mountains in Perangian are located in the east. It gets a lot of sunlight during mornings and shade in the afternoons. These conditions make coffee grow slowly, resulting in bigger and better quality beans.
Our directly-managed Padamaran Farm had been approved by UTZ Certified "Good Inside," which is the largest program for sustainable coffee farming in the world.
Right before the 30th anniversary of TOARCO TORAJA, Toraja's rebranding began, which involved changing its logo design as well as the regulations for the standard of quality. In October 2007, New TOARCO TORAJA was released, attracting attention from the media. Our directly-managed Padamaran farm, which practiced recycle-based farming was approved by UTZ Certified "Good Inside,” which is the world's largest program for sustainable coffee farming. Besides just the quality of the coffee, UTZ Certified examines more than 200 conditions, including social, cultural, environmental, and economic factors. For a long time, we have received a good evaluation as a Japanese-Indonesian joint-venture.
- The old and new logo design
- The 30th Anniversary Gift
- Participated in the weeklong Indonesia - Japan Expo 2008
The renewal sale of TOARCO TORAJA-based "TORAJA Blend" series
・VACUUM PACK TORAJA BLEND(ground coffee)
・LIVE PACK TORAJA BLEND(beans)
・DRIP ON TOARCO TORAJA
- Renewal "VACUUM PACK TORAJA BLEND"
The TOARCO TORAJA 35th Anniversary Campaign
- The TOARCO TORAJA 35th Anniversary Campaign website
The TOARCO TORAJA showroom was open in Makassar on Sulawesi Island
- The TOARCO TORAJA showroom
"DRIP ON TOARCO TORAJA" were released
- DRIP ON TOARCO TORAJA