At a time when the latest coffee boom in the city has become more and more dominated by big chains and standardised shops serving quick fixes, Fnny&co goes against the grain and taps into coffee houses’ historical role as a close-knit social hub from its humble quarters in Cipete.
It’s a mission founder and barista Fanny Chandra Wijaya carried over from her experience working at multiple coffee establishments across the city; most prominently at Brookland Coffee, where she spent three years providing a caffeine fix for the cycling community that frequented the joint in Panglima Polim.
“I want [Fnny&co] to be a place where everybody knows each other, just like coffee shops in the early days. Students from the school next door would often drop in after class, and they’d play chess with the other regulars,” described Fanny of her own coffee shop, an intimately quaint yet comfortable and homey space that she fittingly describes as her living room.
The shop is also attached to the boarding house where she lives, a long-standing establishment once known as the home of aspiring stars. Residents now make up a community of creative workers; from a ceramicist to photographers and designers. Some of their works, like the custom-made cups and framed illustrations, can even be seen decorating the space—which was also designed by a housemate.
With Fanny, her co-founder-slash-boyfriend Tommy Anwar or one of their friends behind the bar, ordering coffee here can feel like one’s guesting at the home of a long-time acquaintance. Beans include those sourced from the highland Semendo region in South Sumatra, crowd-favourite Aceh Gayo or a customised mix of both, which the passionate and ever-curious baristas readily prepare upon request.
Alongside staples like the Cappuccino, signatures like the espresso-based Arabella and the refreshing Sunshower also occupy the concise menu. Named after an Arctic Monkeys song, the former packs a subtle fruitiness with pineapple and lemon notes, while the latter has a kick of strawberry flavour.
While most establishments discourage customers to bring food from outside, at Fnny&co, it’s part of the charm. If their ragout and smoked beef-filled Risoles aren’t quite enough to quench the appetite, those hanging out at the shop would regularly bring rice from nearby warteg or even borrow the microwave to heat up leftovers.
This established closeness among regulars and baristas alike might make an introvert feel like an intruder at first, but after a cuppa, an impromptu conversation and a curious inquiry into the two pictures overlooking the barista bar (they’re Fanny’s parents), one would easily find their place in the company of Fnny&co.