Jakarta - It was a typical Sunday afternoon at Pasar Santa. Inside this used-to-be a traditional market, one stall called the ‘ABCD’ was flocked by a number of young urbans longing for coffee.
With a cup of black coffee on their hands, these people wandered around the market, which has recently become a hype in Jakarta. They then logged on to Instagram (posting out the #ngopidipasar – literally drinking coffee at the market) and discussed the coffee characteristics.
Welcome to the emerging coffee scene of Jakarta.
Here is the tip: Do not compare them to your Caramel Machiatto or a Kopi from random kopitiam in Singapore – to these people, their coffees are on a whole different level. Hence, some refer these people as: “the coffee snobs”.
“Full body”, “chocolaty”, “earthy”, “acidity like orange peel” are some of the words thrown around to describe “the coffee”.
Whatever the coffee taste like, it never seemed obvious for ordinary people. For instance, my parents. At most, according to them, the coffee only have a stronger, non-coffee like aroma and a hint of acidity.
The Rising Popularity of Coffee
Over the past couple of years in Jakarta, there have been an increasing number of coffee shops selling the ideas of specialty or artisan coffee.
More popular ones include One Fifteenth at Gandaria, Anomali at Senopati and Tanamera at Thamrin area.
Shops also showed up in the outskirts such as Turning Point at Gading Serpong, Head&Brew Coffee at Bekasi and Casa Verde at Tebet. These so-called third wave coffee shops are slowly getting as popular in Jakarta as they are in Melbourne, Australia.
Whilst the number of cafes and coffee drinkers expand in Jakarta, some have asked whether this is just a temporary phenomenon that is propelled by the recent hype of the coffee itself.
To the regulars however, drinking ‘specialty coffee’ is not just a hype. It is a lifestyle.
A friend of mine who has frequented all the coffee shops mentioned above once told me that drinking coffee is “like killing two birds with one stone. On one hand, you want to have coffee to kick-start your weekend. On the other hand, you yearn for good coffee”, said Joshua.
The Coffee Culture
Coffee is part of life for many people around the world, such as in Australia, where many coffee shops have served a variety of good quality coffee even though the country is not a major coffee producer, in terms of quality and quantity.
However, whilst people in Australia enjoys many different coffee varieties, Indonesians traditionally are more familiar with bitter, black coffee. In Java, “Kopi tubruk” is served at many places, even at the smallest warungs – traditional minimarts. It is only recently that the more complex-tasted coffee attracted the domestic consumers.
Despite the recent expansion of cafes, coffee is actually not a new concept in Indonesia. The country is actually one of the world’s largest producers. Within the country however, it seems that Indonesian consumers only recently realized the potential of the quality in their domestic coffee products.
The fact that various established coffee chains worldwide brew Indonesian coffee is a testament to its unique taste and quality.
Even then, many still found third wave coffee to be a costly consumption. A cup of cappuccino at the coffee shops in average costs as much as a meal at McDonald’s. Moreover, coffee shop managers may also find that experienced baristas are rare and far between.
Whilst the Jakarta coffee snobs are busy tasting the coffee (and updating their social media status), the industry players are brewing the best formula to sustain the hype so that it can stay more like a lifestyle, just like in Melbourne.
Will these challenges be overcome so the coffee culture can be instilled to the urban lifestyle in Jakarta?
Or will this go down as another temporary hype? Only time will tell.
Source : http://www.globalindonesianvoices.com/18381/jakarta-coffee-snobs-hype-or-lifestyle/
Image Source : Casa Verde Jakarta Instagram