“When I hear the sound of our grinder from my room, I know that it’s time for me to wake up. It truly signifies the start of my day,” said Wiwi Juventia, owner of premium scented soy candle brand Duft and Chandelle. The signature crunch reverberates in her kitchen counter at least twice a day, as her coffee routine consists of two cups in the morning, and one in the afternoon—sometimes an extra cup for a treat.
Wiwi’s interest towards coffee grew during her college days in Melbourne, where specialty coffee joints were ubiquitous and home brewing was already a subculture. Upon returning to Jakarta in 2014—when the third-wave coffee movement had started to mushroom and spawned coffee houses like Giyanti, Common Grounds, and One Fifteenth Coffee—she started experimenting with various brewing methods, from V60, french press to Aeropress.
Nowadays, she likes to play around with her espresso machine. “With a machine, you have the liberty to do bean rotation and determine, at your own pace, what you want and like in a cuppa,” she shared. One of her favourite coffee beans is Puntang, an acidic variety of beans native to West Java.
When the lockdown struck early in the pandemic, caffeine ventures became a comforting ritual that she and her husband shared in their home. “We like to experiment with the temperature, dosage and yield for every new batch of beans that we have at home. There was even a time when we bought all kinds of fresh milk to find out which one we preferred to froth our coffee with,” recounted Wiwi.
The caffeine hub
This shift to home brewing—which was further spurred by the pandemic—was also noticed by Ario Fajar, head of marketing at Toffin Indonesia. “We’ve been amazed by how many people use coffee machines at home nowadays. People are more informed, they are getting the hang of the tools to use and are looking for a more advanced coffee-making process.”
Starting out as a coffee ingredient supplier in 2007, Toffin has since expanded its enterprise to coffee machines amongst other professional-grade F&B appliances. Their headquarters in Pluit is a five-story showroom that stores an arsenal of state-of-the-art coffee machines from selected, notable brands such as Victoria Arduino, Nuova Simonelli, SMEG and Toffin’s own espresso machine Allegra, displayed in a kitchen setting that looks like it came straight out of a magazine spread.
Part of the showroom is their coffee studios, where Toffin welcomes eager learners and aspiring entrepreneurs as a way to connect to a new generation of consumers and enthusiasts. Their long experience in the industry has given them the confidence and credibility to share about the intricacies behind each cup of coffee; from its ingredients, and brewing recipes to the 101 of starting and running a coffee business.
Responding to the growing interest in home brewing, a wide range of user-friendly equipment and resources are getting increasingly available for coffee enthusiasts to recreate café-quality coffee at home. First-time brewers tend to start with manual brews, with simpler and pocket-friendly equipment to cover the basics of coffee brewing. While some seasoned brewers, like Wiwi, look to professional-grade machines to match their brewing habits.
“People dare to spend money on their serious hobbies. It’s different when their goal is opening a business, they would be more calculating. Everything matters when you’re deep into the hobby,” observed Tony Arifin, founder and CEO of Toffin Indonesia.
An upsurge in demand for professional-grade coffee machines for home use was noted in 2019, and the pandemic only adds momentum to this trend. By now, over 1000 customers have already purchased them from Toffin. As Tony commented on this trend, “When it comes to purchasing a coffee machine for home use, you would have to be a real hobbyist. For them, there is a certain joy in switching their coffee beans, exploring their diverse origins as well as playing with different brewing methods and temperatures.”
From entertaining guests to quiet breaks
Beyond the personal delight of concocting a perfect cup, there is also the longstanding social draw to coffee. “There is an element of prestige. Owning a good machine allows you to entertain your friends at home, which is also satisfying in its own way,” added Tony.
This notion is seconded by Fellexandro Ruby, entrepreneur and creator of the Thirty Days of Lunch podcast, who mostly serves coffee for his home guests using his coffee maker, equipped with a built-in grinder. “The main point of owning a coffee machine is convenience. You can just put your beans into the machine, pour the water in its tank, and you can make as much as five cups of coffee in one go,” he said.
On busy days, he values the no-fuss quality of the automatic machine. Though he admits it’s not quite the same as doing a proper manual brew where temperature, scale and brewing time are carefully thought of and determined to the dot, he can’t deny the ease of pressing a button and coming back to find a freshly-brewed cup on the kitchen counter. He shared, “Sometimes, you just want a quick caffeine fix without dropping the quality so much that it doesn’t become enjoyable.”
Whether one prefers a speedy track or a slow brew to their coffee, home brewing allows one to take a step back from the demands of the day and fixate on the ritualistic process of churning aromatic beans into a stimulating drink. For the growing community of passionate brewers, this particular process still holds out against the current wave of affordable, go-to coffee.
As Ruby mused with delight, “Drinking the coffee I make at home has become one of life’s little pleasures that I look forward to on a daily basis. Sometimes I purposefully plan my work days to have that 30 minutes of peace to drink coffee.”
If you want to know more about Toffin Indonesia and its services, click here.