Daily grind: Malaysian mill makes coffee the old-fashioned way

The Antong mill has been using the same methods to produce its coffee for almost 9 years

TAIPING : A Malaysian worker pours roasted coffee beans into a pot of bubbling, melted sugar as an ageing machine stirs the ingredients into a sticky black mixture over a crackling wood fire.

The Antong mill, believed to be the oldest such set-up in Malaysia, has been using the same methods to produce its popular coffee for almost nine decades.

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A Malaysian worker pours roasted coffee beans into a pot of bubbling, melted sugar as an ageing machine stirs the ingredients into a sticky black mixture over a crackling wood fire.Image Credit: AFP
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“I want them to appreciate the old ways of making coffee.”Image Credit: AFP
20201001 coffee beans
I want to let young people”I want them to appreciate the old ways of making coffee.”Image Credit: AFP know what coffee factories looked like 50 or 100 years ago,” Thian Boon Chung, the boss of the small mill in the Malaysian town of Taiping, told AFP.Image Credit: AFP

“I want to let young people know what coffee factories looked like 50 or 100 years ago,” Thian Boon Chung, the boss of the small mill in the Malaysian town of Taiping, told AFP.

“I want them to appreciate the old ways of making coffee.”

The mill — built by Thian’s grandfather and two others in 1933 — is a small wooden building with a zinc roof.

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The Antong mill, believed to be the oldest such set-up in Malaysia, has been using the same methods to produce its popular coffee for almost nine decades.Image Credit: AFP
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The mill workers use wood gathered from construction projects and abandoned houses to roast the beans, giving it a distinct, smoky flavour.Image Credit: AFP
A worker transferring pre-sweetened black coffee for cooling at the Antong Coffee Factory in Taiping in the Malaysian state of Perak. (Photo by Mohd RASFAN / AFP)
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The mill – built by Thian’s grandfather and two others in 1933 – is a small wooden building with a zinc roof.Image Credit: AFP

It houses machines for roasting coffee, removing the husk from beans and mixing them up with sugar.

Many of the contraptions are original, dating from when the factory started operations, although their motors have been replaced.

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It houses machines for roasting coffee, removing the husk from beans and mixing them up with sugar.Image Credit: AFP
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Many of the contraptions are original, dating from when the factory started operations, although their motors have been replaced.Image Credit: AFP
A worker sorting coffee packets at the Antong Coffee Factory in Taiping, Perak September 29, 2020. — AFP pic
A worker sorting coffee packets at the Antong Coffee Factory in Taiping, Perak September 29, 2020. — AFP pic
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After the beans are mixed with sugar, they are dried and crushed into a coarse powder before being packaged and sold to restaurants and other customers.Image Credit: AFP

The mill workers use wood gathered from construction projects and abandoned houses to roast the beans, giving it a distinct, smoky flavour.

Thian said his wood-roasted coffee tasted better than other varieties: “It has ‘power’ in the taste that cannot simply be explained by words.”

After the beans are mixed with sugar, they are dried and crushed into a coarse powder before being packaged and sold to restaurants and other customers.

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The mill can produce up to 2,000 kilograms (4,400 pounds) of coffee products a day, with half its beans sourced in Malaysia and the rest imported.Image Credit: AFP
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Thian said his wood-roasted coffee tasted better than other varieties: “It has ‘power’ in the taste that cannot simply be explained by words.”Image Credit: AFP
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The type of sweet coffee produced at the factory has long been popular in Malaysia, where many like their drinks sugary, and is commonly served at restaurants.Image Credit: AFP

The mill can produce up to 2,000 kilogrammes of coffee products a day, with half its beans sourced in Malaysia and the rest imported.

The type of sweet coffee produced at the factory has long been popular in Malaysia, where many like their drinks sugary, and is commonly served at restaurants.

AFP

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