Situated on the ground floor of Byraa’s headquarter, a multidisciplinary construction and design firm, Kaja Kofi is a private café that revels in its hidden quality. It has no flashy signage or a distinct storefront as if it wants to stay concealed within the residential area of Taman Permata Buana in West Jakarta, where curious customers would have to call and make a reservation to go in.
Before it turned private, Kaja had opened to the public hoping that it’d serve as a neighbourhood café. It was initially designed as an addition to Byraa’s office, where clients, close friends and family, and nearby residents could meet up and have a cuppa. But as the word-of-mouth crowd swarmed in following its opening in February, owners felt it was losing its purpose: no one was truly enjoying the space that was intentionally designed to be at one with its surrounding elements.
An imposing concrete facade meets a zen-like garden with tall trees, arranged rocks and rippling water from the pond. A play of marble, flamed granite and brass are dotted around its modern interiors. Sturdy and stylish camping chairs make up the outdoor seating area as customers sip their day’s refreshments. Those who come would probably (silently) gawk at the owners’ collection of Vespas shown in the space, while their pet birds become the café’s unintentional playlist from time to time.
In the indoor area, where a stunning green marble coffee bar sits, customers can order Kaja’s concise lineup of coffee, artisan tea, mocktails and pastries. Expect smooth espresso blends from Titik Temu roastery and bottled coffees such as Social, the café’s kopi susu with jelly. There’s also artisan tea with the likes of nalesha peach and English breakfast from Haveltea, and homemade pastries such as crispy cheese and the buttery gourmandise filled with chocolate chips.
With its 90-minute time limit, Kaja wants to make sure that the flow is paced in a way that those who come can wholly bask in its environment. It may not be one’s ideal work-all-day-in-the-café atmosphere, but there’s a charming quietude to Kaja Kofi that is in sync with its physical surroundings, and that undoubtedly comes with its own appeal.