Jl Banceuy No. 51
+62 22 423 0473
Despite the fact that Indonesia exports a lot of coffee beans, it’s actually very hard to find good coffee in this country. And by good, I mean anything that’s slightly better than Starbucks. I guess it’s fair enough though, Indonesia doesn’t really have a strong coffee culture like Melbourne does. In Indonesia, tea is king. That, and bubble tea (winning). That said, if more people knew about Kopi Aroma, well, I think things might be a little different.
Kopi Aroma has got to be one of the coolest places in Bandung. When I first heard about this ‘cool coffee place’, I thought that it would be a café where you can sit down and enjoy your coffee. I was only slightly disappointed to find out that it was a little shop that sold bags of ground coffee. The disappointment, however, didn’t last long once I was entranced by the sweet and seductive aroma (har-har so punny) that filled the shop that looked like it hadn’t changed since it first opened.
Founded by Tan Huow Sian (Indonesian-Chinese represent!) in 1930, the humble little koffie fabriek (coffee factory in Dutch) is now owned by his son Widyapratama. Despite Kopi Aroma’s success, there are no plans for it to branch out. Even though that sucks for out-of-towners, it just keeps Kopi Aroma legit.
I love how Kopi Aroma still uses the same wood-fuelled German roasting machines from when they first opened. Kopi Aroma specifically uses wood from rubber trees to heat the beans up slowly and evenly, thus increasing its flavour.
Using scales from Rotterdam, each bag is weighed as per the customer’s request. The most you can buy in one go is 5kg – I stuck to 200gms. I don’t remember how much I paid for it, but suffice to say that it’s a lot cheaper than a bag of Vittoria from the supermarket.
I love the classic packaging: brown ink on white paper with Dutch on the left and old school Indonesian on the right. The flavour is them stamped in blue ink on the top. In case you haven’t figured it out, I ordered a bag of mocha Arabica beans (mocha? What? It’s essentially just a sweet Arabica blend…)
The coffee isn’t bad either. The thing is Indonesian coffee is that it’s better if you drink it black, with only the slightest amount of sugar if required. Being a white coffee drinker, I initially struggled with it. In fact, I still do. While I love the smell of my Aroma Kopi beans (if cocaine smelt as good as this…), I did find the taste a bit too strong for my delicate (read: whimpy) Melbourne tastebuds. Having said all that, I know that I will one day become accustomed to good ol’ Indonesian coffee and if you happen to love your blacks, Aroma Kopi is definitely the place for you.