The journey to Tenom located 170 kilometres from Kota Kinabalu, the State Capital of Sabah can be quite interesting especially if one travel on the train and enjoy its scenic journey through quaint villages. One of the only surviving transport system from the British era, operating since 1896, the experience can be fun if a little bumpy.
After the three hour train ride, the priority after food and drinks is a place to crash. One of the highly recommended place to stay here is the Yit Foh Coffee Park.
Walking into the area, one is struck by the almost toy-like quality of the place. The little touches on the fences and the meandering walkways actually gives it a quaint look. However, the accommodations are highly functional.
This brand new establishment comprises of 12 very new chalets, that can accommodate 35 people. The chalets are very nicely made, the rooms are clean and the layout are spacious. There is also a single unit, especially for visiting dignitaries and VIPs, although it is available to anybody when its not in use.
The park is sited on a 7-acre plot with a reception area and restaurant in the foreground. The restaurant can accommodate up to 100 people.
Yit Foh Coffee’s Managing Director Alex Yong shares that they are planning to build 10 more chalets to meet the demand of tourists to Tenom as he believes that the Sabah Government’s focus on promoting rural tourism will ensure more arrivals to the area.
Yit Foh is one of the leading manufacturer of coffee in the State. It is a brand well known to all coffee lovers in the State. Founded by Yong Loong Vin in the 1960s, it is the oldest and more famous coffee vendors. It is now synonymous to Tenom.
Alex shares that they have maintained the quality of coffee throughout the years by employing the same method of processing, which is roasting with firewood.
Yit Foh Coffee is considered a symbol of Tenom and after half a century in operation, they still produce the same high quality coffee using traditional method, the wood fire drum technique. This ensures that the beans are roasted to perfection before the next process. When passing by the factory, the aroma of coffee can be so tantalising, that one wants to stop by and have a few shot of this drinks.
Alex has been hands on in the business all his life and upon completing his high school he took over the business when his father passed away and his 11 older siblings did not show any enthusiasm in the field.
When he took over the business, he planned to go beyond being a mere manufacturer of loose coffee and give the market more of their products. His idea translated into the creations of several choices for coffee lovers.
Nowadays, Yit Foh also produces products in sachets such as Kopi-O (black coffee without sugar); Kopi-O 2 in 1 (black coffee with sugar); Café Latte 3 in 1 (coffee with sugar & creamer); Cafe Latte 2 in 1 (coffee with creamer only); White Coffee and Café Au Lait. They now have durian Coffee, Oat Cereal and Teh Tarik.
In 2015, Yit Foh launched the Americano, Italiano and Java Mandheling coffee. So now the array of coffee they have is tremendous.
These products are readily available in most supermarkets and grocery shops in the State. They are also available in Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Brunei.
Looking beyond the production of coffee and developing it as a tourism attraction, Alex came up with the idea of the chalets and restaurant and in future offering guests a tour of the factory.
“We hope to do this in future of course. I believe that our outlet which offers our various type of coffee and a place to sit down and enjoy drinks and snacks can be an attraction to our guests. Plus we have the background for photographs like our airplane model and umbrella shades,” he shares, adding that there are many attractions in Tenom especially those who like nature.
Visitors can visit the Lagud Seberang Agriculture Centre and know more about the the Murut culture at the Tenom Murut Cultural Centre.
More information on Yit Foh Coffee Park can be acquired from 087735657.-ce/BNN