Top 10 Coffee Shops in Jakarta

By Tibs
In a hedonistic city like Jakarta, having a cup of coffee is more than just personal sensory indulgence. People go to cafés and coffee shops to see-and-be-seen, meet the celebrity owner, or even to get free WiFi. With such diverse consumer demand, no wonder many of these places got lost in fancy décors, so-called seasonal blended beverages and artisan-desserts, and forgot the one thing that (should) really matters : a proper cup of coffee.

Amidst all the craziness, here are 10 places where you can still be sure your coffee does not come from a sachet (in no particular order, except perhaps the possibility of you ever being there before you read this).

Let’s start with the easy one. With 6 locations in Jakarta and Bali, Anomali is probably Indonesia’s answer to the invasion of foreign chains like Starbucks. And the good news is, they are selling real coffee – not milk/dairy creamer based beverages disguised as coffee. It’s a one-stop shopping for single-origin Indonesian originals such as Sumatra Mandailing, Flores Bajawa, Bali Kintamani, Toraja, and organic Aceh Gayo.

Don’t let the “in-mall” location fool you into thinking it’s just another socialite cafe. Their simple menu showed what you’re getting in your cup and in which ratio (very helpful for beginners to differentiate cappuccino and latte macchiato). Coffee beans from various countries are used based on formula developed by Australian coffee expert, Saxon Wright. The delicate roasting technique optimized fruity flavor extraction in the coffee, but also means less caffeine kick. Take the glass-half-full approach : that means you can order two cups!

Giyanti Coffee Roastery
The cozy space feels more like visiting a friend’s home rather than a coffee shop. They specialize in Indonesian coffee beans (including the uncommon Sulawesi Gowa) and the menu changes as the owner get inspired so it’s always fun to stop by and try his latest creation. Sunday to Tuesday is time for coffee bean roasting, so they only open on Wednesday to Saturday 9.30am to 17.30pm (if you missed their business hours, you can console yourself with an excellent Vietnamese ice coffee and baguette sandwich (banh mi) at Calideli, their sister restaurant next door).
1/15 Coffee
You can tell they’re serious about their coffee from the exceptionally well-trained crew. Everyone from the cashier to the baristas (one of them Indonesian Barista Champion 2013 Doddy Samsura) are caffeine savvy (and will patiently explain to anyone interested that one fifteenth is a well-known coffee-to-water ratio that yields an ideal cup of coffee). Pick a spot on the communal tables, loners bar looking out the glass walls, or loungy sofas to enjoy your coffee. Food on offer ranges from homemade baked goods (try their Earl Grey cookies!) to savoury snacks like corn fritters and Palembang dishes like pempek (fish cakes) and mie celor (noodles in thick seafood broth). They also host cupping sessions on the multifunctional space on the second floor every Saturday morning. Parking is a nightmare and will probably get worse as word spread about the place so either come early or take a cab.

Cappuccino aficionados hailed theirs as the best in town.  The man behind the gun – Australian roaster/barista Aidan Broderick recommends the single origin Aceh Gayo Natural with its unique strawberry notes paired with a slice of their caramel-coated banana cake. The tiny establishment could hardly fit 15 people and only open till 6pm on weekdays and 8pm on weekends.

Common Grounds
With hosts like Indonesian Barista Champion 2014 Yoshua “Yoshi” Tanu and Indonesian Latte Art Champion 2014 Iwan “Joni” Setiawan, you know you’re getting the best of both worlds. Their house blend Cloak + Dagger is a must-try for Espresso enthusiasts. They also serve awesome all-day breakfast menu with unique egg- dishes like Huevos Rancheros con Rendang and Tunisian Shakshouka.
Coffee Tree
A hidden gem in Kelapa Gading – this unpretentious place is a well-kept secret in the coffee lover society.  It’s not uncommon to find both professional and home baristas shopping for beans here while discussing various roasting techniques. The owners are fifth generation micro-roasters whose main business is to supply coffee to other establishments in Jakarta, so their own cafe is almost an afterthought. That said, they certainly know what they’re doing and at least one of the owners will always be present and happy to share his wisdom. The unique variety on offer is Sumiyaki roasted Java Arabica – which the owner learnt from one of his Japanese clients.

Another hidden gem – this time in West Jakarta. Crowd is a bit on the younger (giggly) side, lured in by their cute Korean style decor and bright airy space. Selection is pretty basic and a bit outnumbered by their food menu, but unquestionably good. Their Spirit espresso machine shows they mean business.

The place to go for Toraja Coffee. The unique brewing technique used here creates a frothy foam like you normally found in the Malaysian drink teh tarik. With its acidity profile, Toraja Coffee goes well with sweetened condensed milk but you might also like to try the unique combo of coffee + milk + honey + ginseng. If you – like so many others before you – fell in love with their legendary kaya (coconut milk and egg yolk custard) toast, prepackaged jars are also sold here. Similar to their flagship café in hometown Makassar (South Sulawesi), the crowds in their Jakarta branch in Jl.Wahid Hasyim are mostly older men and journalists debating politics over coffee and cigarettes (yes, unfortunately you have to bear with the stank of smoke here). A second Jakarta branch recently opened in Kemang, hopefully without the smoke this time.

Tak Kie Ice Coffee (Es Kopi Tak Kie)
The original old-school no-nonsense kopi tiam. You will have to find your way through the maze of small alleys and crowded food stalls of Chinatown Gang Gloria in Pancoran, but their ice coffee is totally worth it! You only have two options : black or with sweetened condensed milk. (and better make up your mind quickly, because they only open till 2pm). The dishes on offer are the typical Chinese breakfast options of noodles with roast pork, porridge, Hainanese chicken rice, and dimsum.

There are so many other options that I have probably forgotten some! Please don't hesitate to share with me about your favorite coffee shops in Jakarta...

Photo credit: All photos in that article are from Tanamera's Instagram account

7 comments to '' Top 10 Coffee Shops in Jakarta "

  1. U should create instagram account seriously

  2. u should try all beans in tebet.... its really good

  3. Coffee tree? Seriously? Shouldn't have trust the review

    1. What is wrong with Coffee Tree?

  4. i love unpretentious coffee tree :D

  5. Just so you know...I'm bookmarking your blog. Thanks for the great reviews. Two thumbs up!

  6. St Ali Family is a good one too... a favorite for the Indonesian community of Melbourne...