Apai Coffee becoming synonymous with Ranau
Published on: Tuesday, May 17, 2022
By: Clarence Dol
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Barbara showing the Apai Coffee (left) and Coffee roasting at Apai Coffee Ranau.
RANAU: The district is now gaining popularity for another “blend” of attraction apart from tourism with the introduction of the Apai Coffee, which, in the opinion of many, could rival Tenom Coffee.

The Apai Coffee (or Father’s Coffee translated from the Iban language), is a brainchild of a retired nurse, Barbara Bongkok, who at first only tried her luck in venturing into a small village industry.

“In July 2018 I registered the brand ‘Apai’ as Intellectual Property. In Iban language it means ‘Father’. Its symbolic is Apai Coffee being ‘the father of Ranau coffee’. 

“For a year, the coffee brand became a funny substance by people around here who associated the ‘apai’ with ‘tapai’.

“Actually, I never planned to make my own product. After retiring as a nurse in December 2014, I deliberately became involved with the Kumpulan Petani Wanita Maju (KPWM) under the guidance of the Ranau agriculture Department.

“For four months I chaired this group. That was when I saw the potential of coffee and self-studied for 11 months. I like to try out new methods and explore the internet,” she said.

Visitors capture the moment they visit Apai Coffee Ranau workshop.

Barbara told Daily Express that although she has not fully achieved her personal goal, everything is moving towards that, in particular MesTi and halal certifications.

“We still set the certification requirement at the building so we practice the work process with the MesTi and halal requirements, including the staff ratio of 1: 2 (Muslims and non-Muslims),” she said.

“The business was initiated in March 2018 with exposure and coffee knowledge from the Department of Agriculture Ranau.

“We aim to also build the capacity of this company to be the first in Ranau that produces coffee products from the coffee farm at Kampung Toboh Lama Ranau.

“Even before Apai Coffee was introduced, this coffee farm was already known at the international level with a coffee quality score of 80 per cent and above,” she said.

In addition, Barbara added that all manufacturing and production processes are done via “handmade” in order to ensure that all coffee products of the company are high-quality products.

“What are the advantages of Apai Coffee? It is grown organically in the Crocker Range and adjacent to Mount Kinabalu.

“Our coffee is processed from the world-famous Arabica Typica and Arabica Catimor Coffee Beans which tend to grow best in fertile soil. Ideal cold climatic conditions at low temperatures and with adequate tropical rainfall. This gives you the real coffee experience,” she said.

According to Barbara, the brand markets to Hypermarket Bataras in Bundusan, ITCC Penampang, Putatan and Kolombong, in Coop Mart Beaufort, Red Hill Ranau, Agro Bazaar Super Market Sumaang Baru Ranau, Mini Market Polo Ranau, Online GoNet, IKS Mart Kiaaburi Plaza Ranau and in Sabindo Ranau Supermarket.

For local agents, the company has networks in Papar, Kuala Penyu, Kota Belud, Tawau and Vinmanja Bake.

She said the company is also in the process of penetrating the global market in Asia, Europe and the USA.

The three types of coffee products include coffee sacks of 2in1, 3in1, Hazelnut and Cappuccino; Black Coffee Powder and Roasted Coffee Beans.

She said currently Apai Sdn Bhd has two products which are Coffee as well as eco-tourism.

For the eco-tourism part, the main attractions are the coffee workshop and the natural scenery around the premises, where the majestic Mount Kinabalu stood in full view amidst the surrounding green hills.

“In addition to being able to see the staff at the workshop processing coffee, you can relax while enjoying the beauty of the green scenery around the platform,” she said.

Barbara said for the time being, their customers can buy a choice of six flavours of coffee at a cheap price, especially for walk-in visitors at the workshop along Jalan Tambiau Serapong.

She said the hope for the future is that the Apai Coffee brand will reach far and wide.

Those interested to know can contact Apai Coffee Jalan Tambiau Serapong, PO Box 432, 89308 Ranau, Sabah and phone line at 0163864029 or Email [email protected] The Apai Coffee also available on Facebook and Instagram.


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