Kedai Kopi Makes Itself at Home

22 August 2011 at 04:01 Leave a comment

Kedai Kopi is situated in an old industrial-looking building in Kemang, South Jakarta. The owners were going for a vintage, kitschy style, combined with a renovated facade, no doubt hoping to stand out among all the other coffee spots and cafes popping up around the capital.

Kedai Kopi, which translates simply as coffee shop, is the creation of six women: Rae Sita S. Massie, Lucya L. Tumboimbela, Upik Miliani, Sinta Purwanti, Putu Borrawati and Martalena.

Upik said the decision to embrace a vintage look in decorating the shop created some extra work, as the women found themselves hunting through flea markets looking for antiques such as wooden doors and stained-glass windows.

“We chose a chandelier with different colors of glass,” she said. “When it’s hit with a low light, it creates an exotic, twilight glow.”

The tables and chairs in the shop are made from teak wood, and were ordered from furniture craftsmen in Solo. Each seat has a base cushion covered with batik cloth, also from Solo.

“Some of the batik on display was even taken from my grandmother’s wardrobe. We tried to make it warm,” Upik said.

She added that all of the women, during their travels outside of Jakarta, keep an eye open for possible treasures they can use to decorate the shop.

“We deliberately do not display paintings on the walls,” she said. “Instead, putting up old posters or classic trinkets gives a feel of the past.”

The first floor of the shop is a non-smoking area and that is where the open kitchen is located. “Visitors can see how the barista makes beverages. No smoking is allowed so that the aroma of the coffee is concentrated,” Putu said.

Smoking is allowed on the second floor, which features plenty of windows offering views of the traffic in Kemang.

“Unlike franchise coffee shops that offer a wide range of cakes and biscuits in a refrigerated showcase, and a selection of coffee processed by state-of-the-art coffee machines, we offer the simplicity of good coffee and homely snacks,” Putu said. “The coffee grounds and beans come from coffee plantations in 10 areas of Indonesia and are world class.”

She said Kedai Kopi had beans from Aceh, Mandailing in North Sumatra and Bali. There is Sidikalang coffee, which can be served with sweetened condensed milk, brewed Java coffee, Sumba coffee made with beans roasted by firewood, and beans from Toraja in South Sulawesi and Papua, which are sent directly from the source.

“Our country has a wealth of coffee because of the archipelago’s tropical climate,” Putu said.

She added that Kedai Kopi also served a variety of teas purchased from farmers around the country.

If you are not a big fan of black coffee, iced coffee blended with milk and kawista fruit from Rembang, Central Java, is a fantastic choice.

“The combination of all three creates a soda effect in the coffee,” Putu said.

Kedai Kopi also offers up a selection of food. Putu said menu items may appear suddenly or be deleted if there is a lack of demand or if there aren’t any top-quality ingredients available.

“We actually purchase ingredients for drinks and food directly from remote villages. For sugar apple jam, for example, we decided to buy it from Pematangsiantar in North Sumatra. And when supply falters, we do not sell toast with sugar apple jam,” she said.

Other snacks featured on the menu include fried spring rolls and rujak Bali , a fruit and vegetable salad.

“For dishes such as vermicelli with cakalang fish, Upik and Lucya, who both like to cook, take the lead,” Putu said.

Kedai Kopi also offers fried rice, rawon, Balinese rice, chicken soup, Purwokerto soup, vegetable rice cakes (lontong sayur), tofu meatballs and omelets.

Dewa Budjana, guitarist for the band Gigi and Putu’s husband, said he was proud of the work his wife and friends had put into the business.

“Putu and her companions are yoga classmates. They took the initiative to create a hangout spot rather than spend money for snacks after class,” he said. “My friends and I like to come here and kill time.”

And killing time is easier with the free Wi-Fi, which gives guests a reason to linger, besides the coffee.

“The atmosphere here is far from a formal cafe, but it is still classy,” Dewa said. “It feels like home.”

Kedai Kopi
Ruko Kemang Platinum
Jl. Kemang Selatan Raya No. 14A
South Jakarta
Tel: 021 90482880
E-mail: kedaikopikemang@yahoo.com
Twitter: @kedaikopikemang
Facebook: Kedai Kopi Kemang

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