Almost a year ago our friendship began. We were introduced by a mutual friend, who I recall presented me with a convincing argument as to why Liz and I should meet and would no doubt become very good friends. Although I can’t remember all of the points given, I do recall the following: Liz and I are both teachers, we both have children of a similar age, we both like fashion and homewares… and the one that sealed it? We both love coffee! My love for coffee has even led me to thinking about purchasing my very own coffee machine. Looking at these coffee machines did little to quench my thirst for one!
So of course, Liz and I organised to meet up at one of her favourite coffee shops (which happens to be Monolog and is featured in this post). I recall Liz looking at me expectantly as I took my first sip of my Monolog latte. ‘So…?’ she inquired, ‘What do you think?’ As a coffee enthusiast (and having recently moved to Jakarta), I was finally savouring the taste of my first really good coffee in quite a while. My tastebuds were sighing in relief. My thoughts? ‘Life is good!’
Since that day, Liz and I have trekked all over Jakarta in pursuit of great coffee similar to the coffee that Iron and Fire provide. And we are happy to declare that there’s plenty of top-notch coffee available in this bustling city. To help you find your perfect coffee experience and (maybe) introduce you to some other funky venues, we have compiled the following list of our current favourite coffee spots.
Please note that the following are in no particular order and that the list is far from exhaustive. Consider this our first attempt at listing our favourite places. Another list will be compiled in the near future – we are happy to do the research just for you!
We hope you enjoy!
1. Anomali Coffee
Serving coffee from Java, North Sumatra, Aceh, Bali and Sulawesi, Anomali has been at the forefront of the burgeoning Jakarta coffee scene for more than seven years. Today Anomali is located in several locations in both Jakarta and Bali.
Anomali is famous for offering its clients an all-round coffee experience. You can sip your favourite coffee in one of its many cool, industrial-style cafes. Whilst there, you can also purchase freshly roasted coffee beans along with any necessary coffee equipment. Anomali also offers coffee training and cupping classes as well as a coffee cart service.
* Since posting Anomali will begin brewing in Plaza 1 Complex Pondok Indah, in the same building as Ranch Market. Opening in August 2017
Jl. Senopati No. 19
Opening hours: 7:00am – 11.00pm
Kemang Roasting Facility and Training Centre (and Cafe)
Jl. Kemang Raya No. 72 Unit G
Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav 62
eX Plaza Indonesia, Level 5
Jl. Teuku Cik Ditiro No. 52
Menteng, Jakarta Pusat
Web: Anomali Coffee
We like to sip: Single latte and cappuccino
Why this place? The coffee is consistently of a high standard. Service is always efficient and friendly. Although our favourite barista, Mila, has moved to Anomali Senopati, we are still able to enjoy the good quality coffee that Anomali is famous for at our local Anomali. And when we are in the Senopati area, we always drop in to say ‘Hi’ to Mila and enjoy one of her beautiful brews.
2. Common Grounds Coffee Roaster
Although relatively new to the Jakarta coffee scene, Common Grounds has quickly established a firm footing as one of the leading coffee establishments in Jakarta. Its collaboration with Melbourne’s famous St. Ali Cafe in 2014 further added to Common Grounds already emerging reputation and it is now regularly credited as The place to get your coffee.
* Since posting, Common Grounds has set up another cafe in Pondok Indah Mall 2, on the same level as the movie cinemas.
Jl. KH. Mas Mansyur No. 21
Opening hours: 8.00am – 10.00pm
Instagram: Common Grounds Coffee Roaster
We like to sip: Gibraltar (Common Grounds version of a Piccolo)
Why this place? Firstly, its reputation beckons you to visit at least once and see what all the fuss is about. Being from Melbourne (it’s Jo writing this bit!), I was keen to visit due to Common Grounds’ association with the revered St. Ali Coffee. The level of expertise that can be found behind the espresso and brew bars is also noteworthy (Common Grounds boasts both the 2014 Indonesian Barista Champion & 2014 Latte Art Champion as members of its crew).
Other noteworthy information: Common Grounds is located in Jakarta’s city centre. If you are coming from Jakarta Selatan (South Jakarta), it is advisable that you leave early (around 7am) to avoid traffic (good luck!). Perhaps make Common Grounds your breakfast venue before you head out for a day of shopping or sightseeing. You will find Common Grounds on the entrance level of Citywalk Shopping Centre.
3. Goni Coffee
What do they say about the best things coming in small packages? Goni is a great example of this old adage. Located at the lower end of Jl. Kemang Selatan 1 (on the right hand side as you approach Hero supermarket), you will find this super-cute cafe tucked into the wall of quaint little shops (also worth a visit!)
Jl. Kemang Selatan 1, No. 20
Opening hours: Mon-Sat, 7am – 5pm
Sunday, 8:00am – 5:00pm
We like to sip: Either a long black or a cappuccino (dusted with cinnamon, not chocolate). The single latte is also very good! And when we are feeling a little homesick, we order a flat white
Why this place? Goni is located in a wonderful part of Kemang. Pull up a window seat and soak up all the vibrancy of everyday living. Enjoy watching Bajaj’s buzz pass the window and directly opposite you will see school children milling around the kaki lima (food carts), purchasing their snacks.
Sipping on a coffee that has been made with genuine attention to detail and immersing yourself in the village atmosphere of this part of Kemang reminds you of what Jakarta is all about. Goni has soul and we like it!
Other noteworthy information: Goni is very small… in fact it’s tiny! Although we believe that this adds to its appeal, you should understand that meeting your 20 best friends at Goni could prove to be pretty squashy. Also, anyone thinking of taking a pram inside might find it a little awkward.
Want to know more about Goni? Check out our story on this great little coffee spot: Goni Coffee
4. GayoBies Kopi at Pasar Santa
GayoBies Kopi is located on the second floor of the very ‘popular’ and ‘happening’ local market space; known as Pasar Santa. GayoBies coffee is single origin and single estate coffee that grows on ancient volcanic soil, around 1400 meters above sea level. As reflected by the name, GayoBies Coffee originated from the Gayo Highlands in a village called Bies in Central Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia, which makes for a very special coffee shop.
Block AL.01-BKS No. 75-77
Jl. Cipaku 1
Opening hours: Best time to visit is the weekend from 2pm in the afternoon. Opens until late or as GayoBies says, ‘until the last drop’.
Web: GayoBies Kopi
We like to sip: Cappuccino and iced latte
Why this place? Gayobies Kopi provides both hot and cold coffee options, and both are excellent. The staff are wonderfully friendly and wish to please you with the perfect cup of local coffee. The times we have visited the staff have been happy to share the ‘Gayobies story’ with us – a story they are very proud of. GayoBies is the perfect ‘pit-stop’ after working your way through the eclectic mix of shops run by young local entrepreneurs at Pasar Santa. With Pasar Santa not air-conditioned, GayoBies provides the perfect opportunity for you to try their refreshing cold brews. We give the thumbs-up to the iced latte for that reason.
Other noteworthy information: GayoBies offers classes in Basic Espresso, Latte Art, Cupping, Advanced Espresso and Manual Brewing. When it is coffee harvest time, GayoBies offers Eco Tours to interested people wishing to witness the coffee harvesting process. For Eco Tour information they can be contacted on +62 81808296699.
5. Komunal 88 – Cafe Market
Located on the boarder of Pejaten and Kemang, the recent opening of Komunal 88 required no advertising. The news that a new cafe with a twist had opened spread like wildfire in and around Jakarta Selatan. The point of difference with this venue is that it is a ‘Cafe Market’, offering not only great coffee but a range of fresh providore items such as fruit and vegetables, charchuterie and baked goods.
AMPERA SIX Building
Jl. Ampera Raya No. 6
Opening hours: 7.00am – 10.00pm
We like to sip: V60 pourover (300ml of black coffee), caffe latte (200ml) and if you need an even bigger caffeine hit, we recommend the Komunal latte (350ml). If you are looking for that great coffee taste without the caffeine load, Komunal also makes a great decaffeinated brew.
Why this place? Using locally roasted and produced coffee, Komunal 88 attest that ‘our baristas are passionate about their work and will bring you the coffee you want, made the way you like it, or we’ll try again’. You can’t fault their desire for customer satisfaction. Komunal uses a range of brewing methods including Espresso, V60 pourover and French Press. For a chilled coffee option, Komunal also offers a black lemon coffee, made using an Ice drip coffee maker (a piece of equipment that looks like it belongs in a science laboratory).
Other noteworthy information: Komunal offer their coffee takeaway, however, to minimise landfill waste, they require you to purchase one of their double-walled ceramic cups. This once-off purchase enables you to buy your take away coffee at a lower price than if you were to buy a coffee in-house. Also, if you are keen to try the traditional Indonesian Kopi Tubruk, Komunal 88 is able to oblige!
6. MONOLOG Coffee
MONOLOG Coffee not only prides itself in being an excellent coffee shop ‘on par’ with cafes abroad, but they also offer a full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. MONOLOG Coffee can be found in Plaza Senayan and PIM 1. Both MONOLOG venues have a vibrant industrial style atmosphere and distinctive decor. Think exposed brick walls and large glass windows framed in black steel. MONOLOG Coffee also support local artists, and their work is featured throughout the MONOLOG cafes.
Street Galley 1st floor No. 101 B, Pondok Indah Mall 1
Jl. Metro Pondok Indah
Opening hours: 7am – 12:00am Mon – Sun
Plaza Senayan CP 101 B, Palm Gate Entrance
Asia Afrika No. 8
Opening hours: 7:00am – 10:00pm
Web: MONOLOG Coffee
We like to sip: Piccolo latte, cappuccino and regular latte
Why this place? Very friendly service, consistently good coffee and they open for all ‘early birds’ at 7:00am. Staff are also happy to make your coffee ‘extra hot’ if you prefer. MONOLOG Senayan is particularly unique. When we first arrived in Jakarta, (it’s Liz here!) a friend described the location as ‘in the basement of a mall’ and ‘within a carpark’ and ‘in an alleyway’. It is all of these things, and makes for a unique coffee experience.
Other noteworthy information: On car free Sundays you will meet Jakarta cyclists sipping their morning coffee at MONOLOG Senayan. It’s a great weekend meeting place; one because it opens early, and two because bikes can easily be rested next to your table, against the wall in the outside alleyway section of the cafe. How good is that!
7. Trafique Coffee
Trafique Coffee, located in the hip neighbourhood of Kebayoran Baru summarises their values in three points: The Coffee, The Space and The People. They proudly serve their own freshly roasted Indonesian coffee in a space that encourages dialogue about their passion for coffee. Trafique is comprised of communal tables, bar seating as well as individual tables. The People at Trafique are knowledgeable about coffee and are keen to share their understanding with other coffee enthusiasts. They genuinely believe that some of the best ideas are sparked over a cup of coffee.
Jl. Hang Tuah no. 9 Kebayoran Baru
Opening hours: 9:00am – 9:00pm
Web: Trafique Coffee
We like to sip: Cappuccino
Why this place? Don’t get us wrong, the coffee at Trafique is great but even if it wasn’t, a trip to Trafique is a must purely to experience the beautiful building and say ‘hello’ to the super-friendly staff. Trafique won our hearts as soon as we set eyes on its gorgeous yellow door! Our first step into this fantastic building had us hooked forever. In fact, the more you look, the more you find to appreciate at Trafique. The icing on the cake is that the coffee is wonderful and these guys know their stuff!
Other noteworthy information: Although you can drop in to Trafique for a quick coffee, it is worth making it more than just a ‘pit stop’. Trafique’s beautiful artworks beckon you to stay and linger a little longer. The atmosphere is relaxed and serene and therefore makes for a great venue to catch up over a quiet coffee, or read a book and settle in for brunch. Trafique also has meeting rooms available for hire.
8. Woodpecker Coffee
Woodpecker Coffee is also located in the very hip Kebayoran Baru neighbourhood and is a MUST visit. Look out for the super-cute woodpecker logo on the facade! The space is ‘petite’ but don’t let that deter you. The staff are very friendly and it almost feels like you are sitting in a ‘friend’s kitchen’ as you can chat to the barista whilst your coffee is being made.
Woodpecker Coffee serves their coffee hot and cold, fresh juice by Juice & Co and their signature dish is the ‘waffle’; which they offer with a range of sweet toppings and served on a very cool wooden board.They also have a small selection of pastries, muffins and cookies
*Since posting Woodpecker cafe has also nested on Jl. Terogong Raya
Jl. Panglima Polim V, No. 23
Opening hours: 7:00am – 9:00pm Monday to Sunday
Jl. Terogong Raya No. 34
(opposite Jakarta Intercultural School, and next to Jeeves laundry)
Instagram: Woodpecker JKT
We like to sip: Barista Hendar makes a ‘mean’ flat white
Why this place? Your coffee will be presented in the Woodpecker Coffee signature style; which is on a small tray accompanied by a small glass vessel of water. Woodpecker is in a very cool South Jakarta locale which means it is a great spot to meet friends (not too many remember… due to size) before you explore the rest of the neighbourhood and most importantly it ticks all the coffee boxes. It has a great fit-out. Think concrete, wood, glass, copper and indoor plants!. It is light and bright and features a modern concrete bench which you can sip your coffee from, wait for it… on the cutest goat hide stools by nagarey HOME. Your kids will also love Woodpecker Coffee. One for the waffles but also if they are avid Instagramers. It’s Instagrammer’s heaven in here!
Other noteworthy information: Woodpecker Coffee is environmentally aware. If you ride your bike to Woodpecker on Saturdays and Sundays, you will enjoy a 10% discount on any cup of coffee. They also have a separate glass room for smokers, which makes it comfortable for everyone; smokers and us non-smokers alike. Woodpecker Coffee also encourages local artisans and has a general store.They have a very small but beautifully curated selection of locally made and designed products which make great gifts. Recently they have stocked ceramics by Ayu Larasati napery by kasual + project and modern batik pot blankets by Sejau.
9. 1/15 Coffee
1/15 Coffee is located in the Gandaria neighbourhood, not far from Gandaria City Mall. They are serious about coffee! 1/15 Coffee pride themselves in sourcing beans from across the archipelago; roasting them by their very own Morph Roaster and serving ‘consistently good’ coffee using the 1:15 coffee to water ratio method. 1/15 Coffee is set in a large, architecturally designed space with polished concrete floors and excellent usage of glass and timber.
*Since posting 1/15 Coffee has spread its wings to include a cafe in the new Terminal 3, Domestic Terminal and the Katamana Hotel Bali
Jl. Gandaria 1, No. 63
Opening hours: 7:00am – 9:00pm daily
Web: 1/15 Coffee
We like to sip: 1/15’s hot and cold selection – cappuccino and cold drip Rojali and Rock Java Lime, and enjoy their take away service
Why this place? This is the place to come to if you want to ‘mix it up bit’… your coffee choices that is. It was here that I took the plunge and dove right into 1/15’s selection of cold drip coffee offerings. (It’s Liz here!) It has taken some time; but I now can add cold drip coffee to my coffee drinking repertoire. The Rojali is a favourite and is made from coffee brewed over-night and allowed to cool, soda water, lime and ice. I highly recommend it! but I’m still getting used to sipping coffee through a straw..(see image below). The 1/15 motto of consistently made coffee certainly rings true here. The coffee and service are both excellent and the spacious and inviting environment makes for the perfect venue for large groups. Why not take the family for breakfast here this weekend!
Other noteworthy information: As well as being a vibrant coffee hangout, 1/15 also hosts events, bazaars and coffee classes throughout the year on their second floor above the cafe. Follow them on Instagram to be kept updated. 1/15 is also a health conscious cafe. Owing to the large number of smokers in Jakarta, they ensure non-smokers aren’t compromised and provide a separate closed off room.
You can read more about 1/15 Coffee and its founder, Nathalia Gunawan here.
5 Facts about Coffee in Indonesia
1. Coffee crops were introduced to Indonesia in the late 1600’s with the first exports of coffee being sent from Java to Europe in 1711
2. Indonesia is the World’s 4th largest producer of coffee (behind Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia)
3. Due to the climatic & environmental diversity of the Indonesian archipelago, more than 20 varieties of coffee arabica exist. Distinct variation in the style of coffee is apparent: from the spice and earthy tones of Aceh Gayo, to the sweetness of dark chocolate found in Toraja, to the orange peel notes & fruity acidity of Kintamani Bali
4. The famous Luwak coffee is made when the Asian Palm Civet (a small nocturnal mammal) eats the coffee berries and defecates them. The berries are then collected, washed and roasted
5. Coffee ‘beans’ aren’t beans at all. They are infact the ‘pit’ inside the fruit, which is often referred to as the ‘cherry’. They are called ‘beans’ because they resemble legumes
Words: Liz and Jo Photography: Nita Strudwick, a journey bespoke, Goni Coffee and 1/15 Coffee