There are some new kids on the ‘coffee block’ in Kemang and they are already making quite an impact. In recent months I have regularly passed the shop space, watching the construction and fit out of the building with curiosity. As soon as the words, ‘Goni Coffee’ were inscribed on the window, my anticipation piqued. Another good cup of coffee in the Kemang area would definitely serve to up the ante.. no room for a mediocre cup of coffee in Jakarta!
Occupying a small space in Jl Kemang Selatan 1, Goni Cofffee are committed to the quest of ‘finely crafting coffee’. The team consists of a couple of local lads, Fauzan Ambadar and Argam who also moonlight as the baristas. Their dedication to their business is reflected in the fact that they are open seven days a week. Their menu is evolving and currently consists of a variety of pastries, including locally baked almond croissants and pain au chocolat, as well as delectable banana bread made by Fauzan’s talented sister. A small variety of gourmet sandwiches, including a waffle-style french toasted sandwich with smoked beef, are made on site as well as waffles ‘with a twist’ including brownie and banana waffles (as well as the trusty original variety, if you so choose) . These guys are focusing on quality over quantity; an approach that will certainly serve to keep their happy customers coming back.
The coffee… well, it was worth savouring. It was presented in an elegant black cup and was served at a perfect sipping temperature. I chose a cup of flat white and found it to be beautifully balanced with a full body and just a hint of bitterness. If you like to taste your coffee and not just a milky version of it, then this is the perfect cup for you. Moreover, the serving quantity was just right. The slice of banana bread that I ordered was fresh and I could detect hints of nutmeg and cinnamon. It was served warm and accompanied my coffee perfectly.
For the majority of their brews, Fauzan and Argam have chosen to use single origin Bali Kintamani beans which have been processed twice, followed by a full wash and honey process. Fauzan and Argam also offer a second type of bean, which they change ‘every so often’. Goni’s beans are roasted by Farouk Fahrany from San9a Coffee in Bekasi, East Jakarta. Fauzan explains, ‘San9a is a small roastery and their product is very good. This is why we choose to use this company’.
With such a small floor space to work with, the fit out is intelligent and maximises every inch of space available. A bench seat runs along one wall with three small tables nestled in front. Stools are positioned opposite, allowing for three small groups to be present at one time. Also, seating for two is available at the window, allowing you to sip your coffee and watch the hive of activity outside from the serenity of your seat. Seating out the front of the cafe is also available, where you can immerse yourself in the wonderful energy of this part of the Village.
If you are in the Kemang area and are looking for that perfect coffee shop to unwind or meet a friend or two, then Goni is well worth a visit. After thanking the boys for their hospitality, I had one final question for them: ‘Why Goni Coffee’? Fauzan explained that goni is the name for the fabric used to make burlap bags; the bags in which the green coffee beans are transported. He reasoned that he and Argam were keen to pick a name that was humble – what a balanced and considered choice (a lot like their coffee).
Stop Press! Since this original post was published back in January 2015, the boys from Goni have been so well received on the Jakarta Coffee Scene that they have had to move to a bigger premises. Liz and I have visited Goni’s new spot on numerous occasions and can reassure you that a trip to Goni is still associated with great coffee and friendly service.
Goni’s new location is:
Jl. Kemang Timur Raya 78 C&D
Kemang, Jakarta Selatan.
Words: Jo Photography: a journey bespoke and Goni Coffee