10 Minutes with special Jakarta Barista : Citra Ramadhani

We first met charismatic barista Citra Ramadhani back in February 2016, when Jo and I were starting out on our Jakarta blogging adventures together. It was a Thursday morning, and we were exploring Jalan Cipete Raya on foot, researching for our first post in the Top Spots to Stop series. Essential to our list was a Top Spot to Stop for coffee! Tick … Toko Kopi Tuku.

Little did we know at the time, but Citra, Toko Kopi Tuku and her now new workplace, Dua Coffee would become an ongoing part of our coffee journey.

What makes Citra a special barista? Citra has a knack of making all of her customers feel special and connected. She is a gifted listener and learned our names and favourite drinks after our first meeting, and has never forgotten them. When we caught up for this inteview Citra reminded us “Liz drank cappucino, and Jo latte, back then they followed up with a piccolo.”

Let’s start back in February 2016

This is where we first met Citra … at Toko Kopi Tuku a tiny hole-in-the-wall cafe on Jl. Cipete Raya. Citra is a gifted listener who is able to understand the needs of her customers in precise detail. This is particularly important when you consider the sheer range and complexity of modern coffee drinks, which may start from a single (or double) shot of espresso but can include so many additional elements.

This is the barista we came to know! Always retaining an incredible level of calm even during busy periods.

It was Citra who introduced us to the ‘kampung donut’ or local donut which we looked out for every time Citra served us coffee at Kopi Tuku.

What is your full name?
Citra Ramadhani.

Where were you born?
I was born in Jakarta on 12 March 1994.

Can you tell us about your family?
My Dad is originally from Yogyakarta (Central Java) and my Mum’s family are from Cirebon (East Java) and Bandung ( West Java) My parents live in Bintaro. I have one sister who is older than me.

What did you want to be when you were a child?
Tailor, chef, singer. I was in the choir in elementary school. I’ve always loved to sing and particularly enjoy jazz and swing.

When did you first start drinking coffee?
I lived with my Grandmother and she drank coffee and shared it with me. My parents were not coffee drinkers.

Have you always worked in Jakarta? 
Yes! After Senior High School I worked in a Hotel as an Assistant cook.

Where did you learn to be a barista? Kue Kue dessert house Dharmawangsa Square. My boss asked me would I like to learn the skills of a barista and I said yes!

It wasn’t easy at first (learning the skills of a barista) but I was curious. When I started out being a barista I served mostly people from Korea, Australia and America who were living in Jakarta and wanted to drink espresso based coffee.

What makes a good barista?

‘Being a good barista is not just about making and selling what is ‘inside the cup’, it is just as important that you connect the coffee with your customer’

What is your favourite type of coffee to make? I love to make everything!

Favourite coffee beans?
My favourite beans are Tolu Batak from Sumatera (it gives a full body espresso, with notes of cinnamon, citrus and sugar cane) The flavour is not too strong, not too acid. I highly recommend anyone living or visiting Indonesia to try it.

We followed Citra to her new workplace Dua Coffee also on Jl. Cipete Raya and here she recommended Jo try a ‘klavee’ made from a Dua Coffee special recipe containing a shot of espresso, coconut water and ice. For me, she recommended a piccolo latte.
Citra picked up in our early days in Jakarta we also like cake 😉

How has the Jakarta coffee culture changed since you started working in this industry? 
We are seeing so many coffee shops opening across Jakarta. Coffee is a hot topic. For instance, there are forty two coffee shops in the Cipete area. The coffee is the same, but I believe what will always make the difference between each one, is the extra service they provide.

Citra and her ‘brother’ Omar (founder of Dua Coffee) standing in front of the wall map in Dua Coffee Cipete highlighting the regions they source their coffee beans from in Indonesia … Citra says she must refrain from calling Omar her ‘Boss’, as everyone is treated like family.

My favourite coffee – coffee with milk, not too much

What is your favourite food?
I often feel like pasta with salt and black pepper. At other times I enjoy pepes. (Pepes is an Indonesian cooking method using banana leaf as a wrapping.

Do you have a favourite band or singer you like to listen to?
I have more than one! … Joss Stone, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Jill Scott, Blue, Maxwell, Musiq Soulchild

Any exciting plans coming up for you?
Yes! Dua Coffee Cipete is opening a cafe in Washington USA. I hope to move there this year to work as a barista or cook. I’m excited because we will be brewing Indonesian beans.

And finally …

3 words to describe your Jakarta

Jakarta is My Home

Jo, Citra and Liz chatting together at Dua Coffee and enjoying a ‘klavee’ (coconut water and a shot of espresso) and piccolo latte made by our very favourite barista, Citra herself.

You might also like:

10 minutes with Pak Nana : Jakarta Tailor
Top spots to stop on Jalan Cipete Raya
Best places to sip coffee in Jakarta

Let’s stay in touch : Instagram

Words : Citra Ramadhani and Liz McClean   

Photography : a journey bespoke 

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