Since its inception in 2013, Kyoto-hailed Kurasu has been synonymous with nuanced coffee beans, precise hand-pour methods, and artisanal home brewing equipment. Building on the success of its first outpost in Jakarta, Kurasu introduces its second location, Kurasu Kissaten in Melawai, widening its repertoire of celebrated coffee selections to also include a listening bar with cocktails and an extended food menu for the first time.
Drawing from traditional Japanese kissas, the day-to-night concept is carried out in a manner that still builds on the brand’s home-brewing roots. With a retail section in one corner and a vinyl collection display in another, the warm wood-clad interior fluidly opens to the back, where an elongated slow bar doubles as a listening slash cocktail bar. It’s here under the soft gleam of the rectangular, layered paper lamp that the quintessential Kurasu experience feels most pronounced.
Baristas move with purpose and confidence that speak to their ease behind the bar; whether whisking matcha for the fizzy Yuzu Matcha, or hand pouring over their signature drip coffee all made using beans flown from their Nishijin roastery.
Once the sun sets, the lights are dimmed and the music cranked up as the space slowly transforms into a sophisticated cocktail bar. On the menu, drinks like Men Without Women leaves an impression not only for its name but the smoky blend of mezcal, elderflower liqueur and pineapple cordial. For those inclined toward a coffee-based cocktail, there is the creamy After Dark with Kahlua and espresso, as well as a selection of natural wine for a nightcap.
Like most traditional kissas, music isn’t merely an add-on experience here. If one pays close attention, depending on the time of day, the mood and genre vary to shape the atmosphere of the space. Moving between jazz, soul and blues, the tracks set a laid-back and intimate tone where one would feel cosy enough to settle in with a book and drip coffee on a slow morning, or unwind for after-work drinks with a side of the Classic BLT that packs pan-seared bacon with wasabi mayo, shredded beef and arugula in toasted plum sourdough.
Regardless of the occasion, it’s the attention to detail that calls for a repeat visit. From the subtle notes and aromas that surface in your coffee cup and cocktails, the strings of the track reaching a crescendo, or simply watching the shadow play of light or trickle of rain out the window, Kurasu Kissaten welcomes those seeking solitude to appreciate the finer details over drinks and music—just what Japanese kissas were designed for.