Caffeine high in Jakarta!

A good cup of coffee is easy to find in Indonesia. Naturally! They don’t call it java for nothin’!

Being the forth largest producer of coffee in the world, it’s not surprising. There are endless varieties and variations on copi here. So far, (and this is just day 2) I’ve had the best coffee of my life! Forget Starbucks when you’ve got strong, fresh Indonesian coffee around.

The first two cups we had were at the lux Cafe Batavia on the main square here in Jakarta. We opted for the “java coffee” and the infamous civet coffee.

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Civet coffee (kopi lewak)

The java was served in a glass boiling hot. We were amazed by the apparently huge portion because this coffee is like rocket fuel. Indonesian coffee is STRONG!!!! Little did we know that a little bit less than half the glass was just grounds. Yes, the coffee is served unfiltered, which is quite different. Personally, I’d rate this as one of the best coffees I’ve ever had. It was served hot, strong and tasted better without sugar than with.

Next up was the civet coffee. Yup, it’s famous because the beans are harvested out of the poop of the cat-like civet. The civet eats ripe coffee beans, then once nature works it’s magic, someone is there to collect the goods. This coffee is really rare and clearly it’s a shitty job, so the beans fetch upwards of 600 dollars a kilo. From what I’ve read, it’s hard to find really copi lewak harvested in a traditional manner and in a way that doesn’t involve civet farms. Either way, I figured I will probably only drink feline poop coffee once in my life, so I downed it.

Was it worth it? I don’t know. It was an amazing cuppa but…..I guess I expected tiny civet angels playing harps to flap around my head. That didn’t happen. It was a smooth cup of coffee, not bitter and had a nice taste to it. For the two coffees we paid 13 euro, which is a pretty enormous sum for Jakarta.

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As an after dinner treat tonight, we decided to stop in a cafe across the street from the hotel. From the moment we stepped in, I knew I was in love! Housed in an old colonial-era building, Bakoel Koffie serves up  traditional coffee and Starbuck-y like treats. We ordered two iced coffees, which were huge. I loved the fact they directly brought simple syrup instead of farting around with sugar, but no milk. Things weren’t too expensive but the place caters to the hip Jakartans and tourists. (Think: we paid more for two coffees than for a full dinner at a simple masakan.)

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Tomorrow we’re off to Singapore, so we will see what they’ve got to offer.

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