Rewind to 2020 and Kyō Coffee had just set up its first store in Jatiwaringin. At the time, founders and brothers Try Sutrisno and Muhammad Iqbal wanted to step in and spark the rather bare coffee scene in East Jakarta, charming the crowd with a Japanese-inspired design, dark roast blends and homemade pastries.
Four years later, Kyō’s charm still stands, now with a bigger following of regular customers, its own roastery where they’ve started to launch a range of single-origin beans, and a new location in the busy area of SCBD neighbourhood.
Securing a spot on the upper ground floor of ASHTA District 8, Kyō’s open coffee bar easily draws attention; adorned with dark wood pillars and patterned tiles, alongside stained glass table accessories and a cupboard filled with Try’s collection of porcelain knick-knacks, it’s easy to imagine Kyō as if it were a coffee shop that existed in a period piece or ‘50s film sets.
And it’s not far-reaching. Considering that Try wanted to show something different from Kyō’s Jatiwaringin minimalist design, he looked to longtime, solo-run Japanese coffee houses for inspiration. “Elements in the mall can feel quite cold. So this time, I want to create something warm and homey to give off the feeling that it’s ‘lived in’,” described Try.
Naturally, weekdays see office workers in the area making up most of Kyō’s traffic for a quick coffee fix of Kyō’s cold brew (or rock sugar-dipped Marbled Cold Brew for those who like their caffeine sweet), or one of their essentials from espresso to seasonal latte. Kyō’s selection of homemade pies also makes for an idyllic pair, like the crumbly Pecan Tart with a sweet-nutty crunch, once a seasonal-pastry-turned-mainstay menu item.
In well-trafficked areas like ASHTA where coffee establishments are not few and far between, Kyō becomes another notable option for those looking for a proper cup of coffee and light bites to refuel. While people understandably would have their favourite go-to coffee by now, Kyō doesn’t seem to be fazed by the fact. Looking at their round of regulars and customers who have made consecutive visits since they opened last November, it’s telling of Kyō’s confidence in their own charm.