The force is strong with this one: Jakarta cafes and coffee shops with intense brews

Some great third-wave Jakarta cafes that specialize in great, strong coffee. Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media
Some great third-wave Jakarta cafes that specialize in great, strong coffee. Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media

Indonesia’s burgeoning third-wave coffee culture means that new coffee shop openings have become commonplace – blink, and it seems a new one pops up in Jakarta. While some people seek coffee shops simply because they want to be the first among their friends to post social media photos of their visit, there are also plenty of us who are there for the liquid gold itself: coffee.

If you fall into the latter category, then here are some great third-wave Jakarta cafes that specialize in great, strong coffee. Some of these places also operate as high quality coffee roasteries, with solid reputations throughout the country – so if you’re into brewing at home, then you can also bring home a bag (or two) of their beans.

For the sake of consistency, we ended up ordering cappuccino at every spot we hit up, so that was our point of reference – but hey, you can’t make a strong cappuccino without a pure, properly intense espresso, so we think it’s still a pretty good indicator for the strength of the brew.

Giyanti Coffee Roastery

Photo: Instagram/@giyanticoffee
Photo: Instagram/@giyanticoffee

You can’t talk about Jakarta’s coffee scene without mentioning THE Giyanti. Nestled within Jalan Surabaya — a street in Menteng area that’s famous for its flea market — their shop is like a wonderfully calm respite in the middle of the city.

Another great thing about this place is that you can choose between light, medium, or strong blends. Giyanti rotates their beans quite often, among others are North Sumatra’s Siraja Biak Biak or Aceh’s Gayo Meriah Sengeda. The menu can be quite pricey compared to other Jakarta coffee shops — it’s Rp44,000 (US$3.12) for a cup of cappuccino — but believe us, it’s worth every penny. We love their gluten-free brownies, which makes for a perfect match to accompany the flavors of the coffee.

However, take note that Giyanti only opens on Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30am to 5:30pm — they’re roasting on closed days — so you need to plan your visit accordingly. What makes us love Giyanti even more is they prohibit the use of professional cameras and photo shoots, so you can enjoy your cuppa in peace.

Jalan Surabaya No. 20, Menteng, Central Jakarta. Order your beans here. Instagram

Tanamera

Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media
Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media

Currently one of Indonesia’s biggest roasteries and coffee chains, Tanamera offers a wide selection of premium Indonesian beans. For your espresso-based drinks, you can choose between the lighter or bolder blends (spoiler alert: they’re all good). One cup of cappuccino is Rp45,000++ (about US$3.2), so it’s again, on the pricier side.

Tanamera also makes a solid option for brunch, as they serve a selection of pastries, snacks, and main courses with prices ranging from moderate to maybe-a-tad-pricey.

If you feel like ordering another cup, ask the baristas for suggestions on their single origin selections and try them made with manual brew. Our favorite is the best-selling Rasuna Natural from North Sumatra to balance out the heaviness of the espresso blend. It’s quite rare to find a single origin like this anywhere else, where the sour taste of apple meets the sweetness of caramel. Yum.

Tanamera has 7 locations throughout Jakarta, including a newly opened outlet at Kemang, and at Serpong. Order your beans, capsules, or coffee drip here. Instagram

Crematology Coffee Roasters

Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media
Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media

For their espresso-based drinks, the Swedish and Italian-inspired coffee shop uses their own blend, dubbed the Crematology Blend. It consists of beans from Brazil, Ethiopia, and Aceh Gayo. We thought it was super smooth, and tasted a bit nutty (in a nice way). The prices here are pretty good, too — you can get a regular-sized cappuccino for Rp37,000 (US$2.6), and a large cup for Rp42,000 (US$2.97).

If you’re a bit hungry, but maybe not really ready for the main course, try the Mac & Cheese Balls (Rp50,000/US$3.53) – one of our favorite snacks in the city.

Crematology has 3 locations throughout Jakarta. Instagram

Pison Coffee

Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media
Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media

The Bali-based cafe opened its Jakarta shop at the hip Senopati area over a year ago. If you’re into bolder-flavored, dark roast coffee, then Pison’s the place for you. After peeping social media pics of the place online, we came in thinking that the offerings here would be a bit pricey, but to our surprise, a cappuccino was only Rp35,000++ (around $2.47).

Their espresso-based drinks lineup is pretty impressive — you can find variations of affogato, and even one espresso drink with avocado. For a coffee shop, Pison has an extensive food menu, which includes a selection of starters, salads, and main courses, some of which look like they’re restaurant-quality. We couldn’t try them all – but we can vouch for the signature Oxtail Fried Rice (Rp85,000/US$6), which was excellent.

Pison’s Senopati outlet isn’t really big, so expect to be put on the waiting list when you show up — especially during weekends.

Jalan Kertanegara No. 70, Senopati, South Jakarta. Instagram

Shoot Me in the Head/SMITH

Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media
Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media

Previously known as CoffeeSmith, Shoot Me in the Head (SMITH) is also a roastery – fun name aside, the most notable thing here is definitely their amazing SMITH blend, made with beans sourced from Toraja, Garut, and Argopuro.

SMITH is also great as a quick lunch or dinner spot, thanks to its affordably priced menu (mains range from Rp42,000 to Rp56,000/US$3.95). On one recent visit, we had a cappuccino and Dory Mentai, which at a promo price, came out to just Rp65,000/US$4.6. We’ll be back. Soon.

SMITH has 2 locations throughout South Jakarta. Order your beans and merchandise here. Instagram

Sagaleh

Photo: Instagram/@sagaleh
Photo: Instagram/@sagaleh

This is the only es kopi place on our list. Es kopi, or iced coffee, is a mixture of robusta coffee with milk, and sweetened by liquid palm sugar. A cup usually costs around Rp18,000 to Rp25,000 (US$1.3 to $1.76), and has been hugely growing in popularity across Indonesia.

Sagaleh is among the first es kopi spots in Jakarta. The shop got its name from Minang language — sagaleh means “segelas” (a cup or a glass). While other places offer milkier variations of the drink, Sagaleh is known as the es kopi for people who prefer stronger coffee. Their house blend is a mixture of eight (EIGHT!) different beans, and they use regular cane sugar to sweeten the drink. You can also customize how much coffee, as well as the sugar level (low, medium, high) of your es kopi, which costs Rp19,000 (US$1.34) per cup — perfect to be brought home for a get-together with friends and family.

Sagaleh has 2 locations in South Jakarta. Instagram

Honorable mentions:

7 Speed (from Smoking Barrels Craft Coffee)

Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media
Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media

This hidden coffee shop at Kemang is really cozy, great for working on your laptop, or for a quick catch up with friends. At a recent visit to 7 Speed, one of the baristas told us that they’re currently using North Sumatra’s Dolok Sanggul. They source their beans from Smoking Barrels Craft Coffee, and rotate their beans often. 7 Speed also offers sandwiches and rice bowls to nosh along with your coffee.

7 Speed: Komplek Mirasari Ruko No.1, Jalan Kemang Utara 33, Kemang, South Jakarta. Instagram

Smoking Barrels Craft Coffee: Ruko Plaza Marga Guna No.3, Jl. Radio Dalam Raya No.RT.3, RT.3/RW.11, North Gandaria, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta City, Jakarta 12140. Order your beans here or via Whatsapp: +62 878-8897-7300. Instagram

SRSLY Coffee

Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media
Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media

SRSLY Coffee, the coffee shop that’s famous for their colorful floor, uses single origins beans for their espresso-based drinks. When we visited them recently, we were able to choose between North Sumatra’s Mandailing and Aceh’s Gayo Pondok – which are both great (a couple of our favorites, in fact). The barista told us that the Gayo Pondok is the stronger of the two, though, so we went with that one.

They also have a house blend called Double Trouble, which uses a blend of beans sourced from Guatemala and Ethiopia. It’s on the light side of the flavor spectrum, but still tastes great. It’s only available on weekends, which is apparently because — according to the baristas – people tend to order stronger coffee during the work week, and lighter, less intense brews during the weekend.

Jl. Cipete Raya No. 7C, Fatmawati, South Jakarta. Instagram

Publichood Coffee

Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media

We recently visited popular café Publichood Coffee’s newest branch at Kemang, which will also serve as the brand’s roastery. For their espresso-based drinks, they use their in-house Publichood Blend, which is smooth, and a little bit nutty. Prices here are nice and affordable, too, with most coffees coming in at Rp30,000 (US$2.12) for a cup.

Publichood Coffee has 2 locations in South Jakarta: Equity Tower, SCBD and Ruang 48, Jalan Bangka Raya No. 48, Kemang. Instagram

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