The year 2015 clearly marks the pinnacle of Jakarta third-wave coffee renaissance. While ristretto and manual brew have started to sink in to most of us, but the concept of café versus coffee bar is still hazy to the majority of coffee drinkers.
We’re already used to the general notion of a café – a place where one could sit for a long stretch of hours – but coffee bars are rampant in Italy, the country from which the core of coffee culture sprung up. Perhaps, close enough to be categorised a coffee bar is Toko Kopi TUKU, a diminutive coffee place in Cipete.
TUKU is petite, homely and welcoming. The exterior alone sends off a familiar aura that invites you to saunter into the room with ease, as though you’ve been to that place a dozen times before. Inside, the owner – as if oblivious to the tiny size of the space – seems to cram a bunch of things into the place like coffee equipment such as espresso machine and a roasting machine to boot. It’s mind-blowing how the space serves as a roastery aside from coffee bar.
It’s the perfect spot to grab a fast coffee, and that’s probably why TUKU is rarely empty. The seating area is only adorned with one long wooden bench with no signs of tables, an obvious hint that coffee is here should only be downed in two or a couple more gulps, just how you do it in Italian coffee bars.
But it’s not like TUKU doesn’t want a company that outstays one’s welcome. Everyone is welcome to stay longer and have more of Kopi Tetangga, a list of coffee selections that are popular among TUKU’s neighbouring friends (that’s how it derives its name), that comes with price as low as IDR 5000 for a small cup. Furthermore, it’s not everyday you can have your coffee with Debussy’s Clair de Lune playing in the background.
Well, pedants can always debate TUKU’s café-or-coffee bar status. But who cares about that matter anyway if the place is pleasant and serves fine coffee to match?