CAFE2U BLOG

Drinking Coffee In… Jakarta

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Last month on the Café2U Blog we spoke at length about the delicious coffee and superlative coffee craftsmanship of Panama.


This month we are going to explore another country which is intrinsically linked with coffee – that is Indonesia, specifically Jakarta.


Indonesia is the fourth largest coffee producing country in the world, behind, in order, Brazil, Vietnam and Columbia.


One of the most popular places to sip coffee in Indonesia is, of course, the country’s vibrant and colourful capital, Jakarta.


So to aid you, our readers, should you ever visit this amazing city, here is our pick of the best coffee shops in Jakarta where you can sample authentic Indonesia coffee.


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1)      Phoenam


Phoenam is, without question, one of the city’s must-visit coffee shops.


It has a palpable sense of history since it has been opened for business since 1946 where, in its early days, it was a popular meeting place for the capital’s Makassarese community.


This historic – almost nostalgic aura – is enriched by the numerous older patrons who frequent the shop daily.


2)      Tanamera


Although easy to miss – the coffee shop is hidden in a small downtown commercial complex – Tanamera will give you an unforgettable coffee drinking experience.


Indeed, the coffee here is as good as it gets in Indonesia, as each drink, alive with subtle shades and flavours, is brewed and crafted with meticulous attention to detail.


However, because of this attention to detail, be prepared to wait a little longer for the barista to deliver the goods!


3)      Wisang Kopi


This tiny, vibrant coffee house, which is located in the Mampang Prapatan of Jakarta, specialises in espresso-based beverages.


Unusually, however, there is no espresso machine in sight at the rustic Wisang Kopi - instead, the shop implements a very unique human-powered espresso pump to produce the coveted black elixir.


What’s more, to lend to its informal atmosphere, visitors can lend a hand as baristas work on their brew.


4)      Trafique


Trafique is not so much a coffee shop, more a coffee drinking experience.


Indeed, the shop – which boasts a very welcoming and warm atmosphere – combines a roaster, a coffee bar, a coffee laboratory, and even dedicated space for having coffee-based discussions and cupping sessions.


However if you didn’t know Trafique exists you would never find it, seeing as it has no exterior sign – instead just look out for a bright yellow door!


Over to you


Have you ever been to Jakarta?


And if so did you visit any of these coffee shops?


Have we missed any more off the list?


As always, get in touch with us here at Café2U with your comments and questions!


To Boldly Go Where No Coffee Has Gone Before

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Is it a bird? … No.


Is it a plane? … No.


Is it an espresso machine… Yes!


Over the course of the last 50 years, we have sent many weird and wonderful objects into outer space.


From monkeys, teddy bears and Bonsai trees to sex dolls (true story – she was named Missy), hamburgers, and even a bobblehead doll of Breaking Bad character Walter White, we must seem an extremely strange species to any extraterrestrials overseeing us from afar.


And now, for the first time in history, we are on the cusp of sending arguably man’s finest invention into orbit… the espresso machine.


Indeed, the next delivery to International Space Station (ISS), which is a habitable artificial satellite orbiting Earth, will include a high-tech espresso machine… which will surely please those coffee-starved astronauts no end!


This new coffee maker, which is being dubbed the ISSPresso Machine (get it?), will, if all goes according to plan, be launched into outer space to day (that’s Monday April 13, 2015).


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So long as whether permits, the espresso machine will be loaded this afternoon onto the SpaceX supply ship, along with scientific research equipment and over 1,800 kilograms of food.


Coffee addicts on board the International Space Station will be awaiting this delivery with baited breath, since the ISSPresso Machine was meant to be delivered at the end of 2014 – however it was destroyed when the Orbital Sciences Antares supply rocket it was being carried on exploded.


This high-spec coffee maker is the rest of a combined effort from Lavazza, engineering firm Argotec and the Italian Space Agency.


It was designed for use by Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti who has been aboard the International Space Station since November 2014.


So, you might ask, how does it work?


Well, a series of modifications have been implemented to allow the machine to make a decent cup of coffee despite microgravity.


For instance, the steam pipe, which is made from plastic and only needs to withstand a mere 9bar of pressure on Earth, has been replaced with a steel version that can handle around 400bar of pressure.


However, astronauts aboard the ISS will have to enjoy their coffees through a straw, as rather than delivering freshly brewed coffee into a cup, the ISSPresso pours into a small pouch not unlike a saline bag.


What do you think about this latest invention?


If you were to become an astronaut would you miss your daily Cafe2U coffee fix from our various vans and shops?


Make sure you get in touch with us here at the Cafe2U Blog with your comments – we love hearing what our readers have to say!


Take A Coffee Tour In Panama

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

More so than the clear turquoise seas, indigenous cultures, astounding wildlife and beautiful cloud forests of Chiriquí, Panama is world-famous for its coffee.


The country and its people live and breathe coffee – indeed Panama's economy relies heavily on the export and trade of coffee beans.


When there, you won’t be able walk a block in Boquete - a small town on the Caldera River - without stumbling upon a coffee shop.


So, if you ever find yourself in this small country right at the bottom of Central America, nestled in between Costa Rica and Colombia, do yourself a favour and take a tour of a coffee plantation.


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Why is the coffee in Panama so good?


There are many intersecting factors that make the coffee in Panama so very special.


First off, Panama boasts an ideal coffee producing environment – a combination of volcanic soil, high elevation and a tropical climate combining the right balance of sun and moisture.  


In addition, the profusion of many different microclimates produces a special variety of unique coffee flavours and tastes which can’t be created anywhere else in the world.


What’s more, in Panama coffee farmers combine generations of traditional farming know-how with very advanced technical skills and an innovative mindset to continually take coffee cultivation to new and unsurpassed levels.


Also, all the farms in Panama are tended with love and attention – everything is worked on by hand as large mechanical and industrial style equipment is non-existent.


Indeed, as the years progress, in Panama coffee is grown more and more in an environmentally sensitive way.


For example, Panama farmers are embracing sustainable agricultural practices for growing, harvesting and processing.


Panama coffee tours


There are a variety of coffee tours in Panama, here are some of the best to choose from, as selected by us here at Cafe2U:


http://coffeeadventures.net/coffeetour.html


http://www.boquetecoffeetour.com/


http://www.hablayapanama.com/ecotourism/boquete/coffee/


http://www.caferuiz-boquete.com/


Most plantation tours available in Panama are 1/2 day tours and will cost between £15 and £25.

They make for a superb and educational morning or afternoon tour.


You can book them through any hostel or from the tour shops in the centre of towns.


Over to you


Have you ever been to visit a coffee plantation in Panama?


Or have you been on any other coffee tours?


Be sure to get in touch with us here at the Cafe2U Blog with your comments and questions – we love hearing from our readers!