Around the world, “Java” is synonymous with coffee. Here in Indonesia, Java is the most populous island, and the island on which I live. Am I happy to go live in a place associated with coffee? As a big coffee drinker, of course. Even more, I am happy to contribute to the growing café culture here.
Historically, Indonesia has been one of the world’s largest producers of coffee. Ironically, however, it consumes very little of its own coffee. In the past few years with the international surge of cafés and people sitting for hours with their laptops and lattes, Indonesians too are picking up on the trend and increasingly enjoying their own coffee.
To find out more, recently NPR’s “The Salt” discussed this shift in coffee consumption in Indonesia: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/02/26/517035587/indonesia-wakes-and-up-and-smells-its-own-coffee-then-drinks-it
Thus, discovering cafés all over my city and Indonesia has been a hobby of mine during my grant. I was surprised by both the quantity and quality of great cafés here. In this post, I’ve listed my top five favorite places!
1: Labore Coffee Eatery
Highlights: Labore is the triple threat: great food, coffee, and ambience. Its food in particular is some of the best I’ve eaten in Malang. Its menu features Asian cuisine, including Vietnamese-style pho and Indonesian- style fried chicken and rice. Its menu also has many amazing dessert options to choose from, such as pancakes/waffles, apple pie, and the “panooki” (a giant cookie).
2: 8 Oz Coffee Studio
Highlights: 8 Oz is also great! It is more of an Australian-style café. Its menu features avocado toast and drinks such as the “long black,” which is an Australian way to drink espresso.
Highlights: With exposed brick, a glass case for cakes and pastries, and a bicycle motif, walking into MMMM feels like walking into any hipster café anywhere in the world. MMMM blasts AC and has super fast wifi, which also contributes to its international appeal.
4: Coffee Toffee
Highlights: With locations in Jakarta, Surabaya, and Malang, Coffee Toffee’s slogan is “Yes I drink Indonesian coffee.” Here, you can choose coffees from every corner of the archipelago. I usually indulge in their delicious frappes with added whip cream.
5: DW Coffeeshop
Highlights: This place is low key and a bit cheaper some of the aforementioned places, which is part of why I like it. My favorite part is the wall map of Indonesia.
Note: Call me a millennial, but I’ve found Instagram to be a great way to find new places for sightseeing and for food/coffee while traveling. Indonesians love social media, so its also the most reliable way to find out if a place is open and/or what its hours are.
Bonus: I got to spend last week in Bali with my older sister and boyfriend! In addition to hanging out by the pool and the beach, we took a tour through Ubud that took us to a place where they make “Luwak” coffee. Luwak coffee is highly coveted throughout the world despite its unexpected source: Luwak coffee is from the poop of luwaks, which are in the weasel family. Luwaks are nocturnal, so we visited them while they slept. Even better, we got to taste the special Luwak coffee, which is smooth and delicious. However due to its high price and very low caffeine level, I won’t be trading it for my normal morning cup anytime soon…