PHONE 1-800-642-5282

October 2011 - Celebes Toraja - Rante Karua Plantation

October Newsletter from J. Martinez & Company
J. Martinez & Company - Coffee Merchants
October 2011

Company Newsletter
25 October, 2011

Celebes Toraja, Rante Karua Plantation

Celebes Toraja, Rante Karua Plantation, is one of the more exotically named coffees we carry. The coffee is from Indonesia, which is one of the first countries cultivated with coffee by the Europeans. This coffee's name alone allows a little armchair travel, preferably while sipping some of this region’s fine coffee. So where does the name come from?

Map of Indonesia Celebes is the former European name, as bestowed by the Portuguese, of the island of Sulawesi. Sulawesi itself means "island of iron", for the iron ore production in Lake Matano. The island itself is oddly shaped, reminiscent perhaps of a four-year-old’s attempt at drawing an elephant. While the earliest traces on man on Sulawesi date back 30,000 years some believe that the islands formed part of the land bridge to Australia and thus Sulawesi may have been inhabited by Homo Sapiens earlier. Westerners, more specifically Portuguese sailors, landed on the island in 1525. The Dutch arrived in 1605 and within a few years managed to control most of the trade from the island, though it was not fully colonized by the Dutch until 1905.

Rante Karua is a volcanic mountain range located in the northern part of South Sulawesi, near West Sulawesi, which is basically near the top of the left leg of the island. Toraja, meaning “people of the upland”, refers to the indigenous people that live in the mountains in and around Rante Karua.

Tongkonan of the Toraja People The Toraja people are known for the unusual houses pictured here called tongkonan. Previously, only nobles were allowed to construct these homes which are distinguished by their saddle-like roofs which curve into tight upward peaks at each end. These people are also known for their elaborate funeral rites, traditions which they have carried over into their practice of Christianity.

Our Celebes Toraja, Rante Karua Plantation, has a distinctive flavor: mild and soft with a sweet after-taste.

Celebes Kalossi Toraja, Rante Karua Plantation is also our most difficult coffee to pronounce so we will provide here the proper pronunciation. The approximate pronunciation is as follows: SE-le-bees Ka-LOW-see Toe-RA-ja, RAN-tay Ka-RU-a. If you do not remember this, please do not worry; we know which coffee you are talking about.