Types of Coffee Beverages that are Unique to Indonesia


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Coffee culture is diverse, vibrant, and internationally renowned. However, many don’t know that Indonesia has a long tradition of producing coffee destined for a local and international audience.

Indonesian coffee is a product with the world’s only variety of beans. And it grows only in Indonesia. This is one of the many reasons Indonesian coffee has gained worldwide acceptance and popularity, aside from its rich taste and unique aroma that is ideal for casual drinking and esteemed gourmet roasted versions.

But the Indonesian concept of coffee is more than just a means for caffeine delivery. For them, it’s also the vessel that holds their culture and identity.

Some people in cities have been drinking gourmet coffees, but some communities from indigenous regions have come up with their own unique methods of brewing coffee.

Focus coffee drinks that are unique in Indonesia

When it comes to your love of coffee and Indonesian culture, this passage offers you a way to express yourself. These culturally significant unique local drinks have accompanied people for decades or centuries on their journey through life. So, whether you’re looking for something new, adventurous, comforting, or familiar, these authentic beverages will be the perfect addition to every setting of home brewing.

1. TUBRUK COFFEE

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Tubruk Coffee | Image Credit: BukaReview

The word tubruk comes from Javanese, which means “collide.” In a cup of brewed coffee, the ingredients are coffee, sugar, and hot water, which collide with each other. Besides, “tubruk” also means hit. When making coffee, it is done by smashing the coffee using a pestle and mortar or, more popularly, by term pound.

The serving of this type of brewed coffee by Indonesians can be modified by adding a mixture of materials (such as spices, hot coals, even avocado juice) and altering the way a cup of coffee is prepared (behind glass).

Another way to enjoy brewed coffee is using “kertoep”. Kertoep is brewed coffee that is drunk with palm sugar. Before sipping coffee using a glass or a cup, we need to chew the palm sugar that has been cut into small cubes.

The main thing that must be considered in making this brewed coffee is the water needs to be hot so that the coffee grounds are not floating above the water surface. The dose of coffee powder typically is 12 grams or about two teaspoons.

This type of coffee beverage is one of the most popular types of Indonesian coffee because it is easy to serve in various ways and can provide the beans’ original taste and aroma. The type of bean that is generally used is the one that provides a strong flavor and aroma, such as civet coffee.

2. HAINAN STYLE ‘KOPITIAM’

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Kopitiam Coffee Shop | Image Credit: HUKUM ONLINE

Kopitiam’s come from Chinese people’s lives during the colonial era. During that time, many Chinese people are migrating to various regions in Southeast Asia, such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.

As life provision, some Chinese people have started a business or trade, one of whom is stalls hawking special for British soldier’s breakfast. The cuisine is simple, just peddling a concoction of black coffee, tea, and toast in a simple way. Gradually, this shop or kedai was called “Kopitiam.”

This name is acculturation between Malay and Chinese culture, wherein the Hokkian dialect pronunciation, the word “Tiam” refers to the meaning of the word “Kedai.”

Kopitiam coffee shop structure was relatively simple. Hainan Coffee is the oldest coffee shop located in Singapore, which opened in 1919 at 67 Killiney Road. This coffee is made traditionally using hot water poured into a pot containing coffee powder, stirred with a long spoon, then filtered using filter length as used in many Indonesian regions.

3. SANGER COFFEE

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Sanger Coffee | Image Credit: RANGGA RUMMY

“Sanger” is an abbreviation of the word ‘same as understanding,’ because the price is low or based on customer pockets.

Firstly, Sanger coffee was introduced by coffee enthusiasts in Aceh during the monetary crisis of 1998. In terms of appearance, it looks like coffee milk. However, coffee Sanger has a different composition of coffee: milk using a ratio of 3: 1. The coffee also must be filtered manually by the barista without a coffee machine.

Sanger coffee has the same roasting process as other types of coffee. However, Sanger coffee is made from beans originating from the Gayo Highlands that have a strong aroma and black taste of coffee without too much acid, so it is safe for our stomach.

Sanger coffee can be enjoyed hotly or coldly for five thousand to eight thousand rupiahs. If you want to get a fine foam on the surface of sanger coffee, you can do it by lifting the container when pouring it into the container.

4. EGG-YOLK COFFEE

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Egg-yolk Coffee | Image Credit: Kru infobudaya.net

Egg-yolk coffee or known as Kopi Talua, is one of the drink-offerings from Minangkabau, West Sumatra. This dish uses egg yolk as the main component of the mixture.

The egg yolk separated from the white is put in a glass filled with sweetened condensed milk and a teaspoon of cinnamon powder. This mixture is whipped until fluffy, then the ground coffee and boiling water are added to create a brew. Steeping the coffee with boiling water serves eggs ripen. Eggs are used in coffee Talua, usually derived from chicken eggs or duck eggs.

Focus coffee drinks that are unique in Indonesia
Image Credit: kararopi

Coffee dish egg is believed to give many benefits for our health. One of them is to increase energy and increase the vitality of men. Although there is no scientific evidence that it directly tests its efficacy, the component content supports this myth’s truth. It can be seen from the relatively complete range of vitamins, amino acids, and vitamins in egg yolks. 

5. BAJIGUR 

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Bajigur | Image Credit: Poskota Jatim

Bajigur is a typical drink from West Java that is made from palm sugar, ginger, and coconut milk. 

Bajigur has a dominant flavor of sweet sticky palm sugar and coconut milk. Now some people make bajigur by adding pandan leaves and a pinch of salt to balance the taste. 

Bajigur making process was pretty easy. All the ingredients are mixed and cooked until boiling and slightly thickened, then bajigur should be served, still warm so that the taste is more delicious. 

Bajigur is synonymous with a warm presentation. While drinking bajigur, there is also a wide variety of complementary menu stew-like boiled peanuts, cassava, banana, potato until taro. Some often enjoy bajigur with traditional sweets such as thymus cake.

In some areas, there are still many Bajigur sellers walking around using carts. These bajigur sellers always carry a stove to ensure it keeps warm. When allowed to cool, the coconut milk and ginger juice on the bajigur will separate and reduce the taste sensation. 

6. QAHWA’ LEAVES

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Qahwa Leaves | Image Credit: GORDI

In West Sumatra, people brew not only coffee but also coffee leaves or are known as Aia Kawa or Kawa Daun

Kawa Leaves are kind of dried leaves local coffee with roasted for ± 12 hours. After the leaves are dried, it is brewed as tea, poured by cold water, and then cooked in pottery or boil in a saucepan. Water is taken as a daily drink and tastes like tea to get unique foliage. 

Kawa leaves are often also mixed with cinnamon and other spices to make them more enjoyable.

Kawa leaves are a unique way for coffee lovers who never know that the beans and the leaves can also be consumed. In fact, according to research published in the scientific journal Annals of Botany, coffee leaves contain higher antioxidant activity than tea or coffee beans as mangiferin existing on coffee leaves efficacious as an anti-inflammatory.

According to one of the Minangkabau natives, the consumption of kawa leaves only used sugar cane in the past. While still hot, the coffee is poured into a coconut shell underneath an already given tengkak pedestal that serves as coasters not to spill. Tengkak is made of bamboo cut into pieces less than 10 cm.

7. GRESIK COFFEE

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Gresik Coffee | Image Credit: KASKUS

Generally, the coffee will be served in the form of a powder that is instantly stirred. However, this coffee that comes from Gresik is a little different.

It is served with still rough and has a dose more than other types of coffee. The presentation is fairly unique. It is still roughly placed in the glass, then poured by boiling water. The coarse-textured coffee powder will rise to the surface and create a unique sensation for coffee connoisseurs.

Kopyok coffee cannot be enjoyed immediately. First, it must be stirred and set aside the floating coffee grounds with a spoon. If you like, you can chew the coarse coffee grains, but for people who are not coffee addicts, it is advisable to add milk so that the result is not too bitter.

This coffee is the most suitable enjoyed with Nasi Krawu. The price offered is also relatively cheap, only about 8 USD for each cup.

8. ‘STARBIKES’ & ‘KOPI PANGKU’

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Starbikes | Image Credit: SINDONEWS

“Starbikes” in Indonesian are known as “starling” which means Starbucks traveling. This starling coffee seller peddles his product using bicycles from one place to another. 

Starbikes always carry their thermos and holds around 50 pack of coffee sachets and other beverages of various brands. The majority of these starbikes traders are managed by agents and come from the Madurese tribe who have migrated to Jakarta.

Kopi pangku is called the practice of selling coffee, which is also accompanied by female people’s services to chat. As the name implies, Kopi pangku shop allows customers to hold female waitresses as the main attraction.

The waitresses who work at Warkop Pangku are usually women aged 18-30 years. Apart from serving coffee and snacks, some of the pangku coffee shops are even equipped with audio-visual facilities in the form of karaoke equipment along with flashing lights and a liquor menu.

The price is relatively higher than similar coffee in regular coffee shops. A cup of pangku coffee starts from IDR 5,000-IDR 15,000. This figure does not include the “service fee” for the waiter who has accompanied and provided extra services.

9. KOPIKO, ‘KUKIS KOPI’ AND ‘LAWAR DON KOPI’

Focus coffee drinks that are unique in Indonesia

Kopiko is a coffee candy from Indonesia that is made from real coffee so that it has the same taste and sensation as drinking coffee. This coffee candy comes from a round-shaped box and had significant demand from various groups, making it almost available in tiny stalls to supermarkets in Indonesia.

While Kopiko is enjoyed mainly by Indonesians, it has been sold in more than 50 countries globally with two flavors offered, like original coffee and milk coffee.

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Kukis Kopi | Image Credit: Yummyoms

In North Sulawesi, there is the bread that is steamed or known as “cookies.” This food is made using coffee as a flavoring, but nowadays, many add other ingredients such as chocolate and almonds to consume it.

Lawar is a kind of dish made by a mixture of meat, vegetables, several spices, and coconut. Some types of lawar are made by adding blood from the meat to add flavor.

This food is commonly served in Balinese households or is widely sold in restaurants as Balinese lawar, especially during big ceremonies. One cafe in Bali provides lawar made using coffee leaves and has a good taste.

Final Thoughts

While coffee drinks of Indonesia come from producers who pride themselves on preserving ancient traditions coffee is an important part of Indonesian culture. The Indonesians care about the preparation and presentation as much, if not more than their Western counterparts do.

The tone for coffee in Indonesia should never be offhanded or casual–it’s a serious beverage that inspires pride because it has been used to unite people since its inception centuries ago.

Featured Image Credit: jogjaku

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