At a time when people are less inclined to travel far distances and shifting regulations are dictating mobility, the coffee and food industry takes a pivot not only to a digital presence, but towards local establishments, opening up opportunities for local explorations and discoveries of neighbourhood ‘hidden gems’, such as Kopi Kohlie.
Situated in an unassuming neighbourhood in Meruya, the coffee shop originally started off as a coffee roastery under the helm of Ir. Johny Rahadi. With an impressive career spanning 36 years, he’s had hands-on experience in coffee harvesting, roasting, to building custom-made roasters, with an expanding local as well as international clientele under the name Uncle John.
After the lifetime journey, it’s only natural progression for the family business to create their own neighbourhood coffee shop: Kopi Kohlie—the name, ‘Koh’ refers to an older brother of Chinese descent, and ‘Lie’, after their family name—prides itself on serving quality, locally sourced coffee from the likes of Gayo, Flores, Toraja, among other regions.
Built as an extension of the family home, Kopi Kohlie draws visitors to enter through a black arched gate, where the interior—wooden tones, lush with home-grown plants, textured stone paths, and a small fish pond in the corner—alludes to an irresistible home-like warmth. Intimate and humble, the space preserved most of its natural decor and greeneries, where the natural light and soft breeze invite regulars to settle in the terrace for a relishing slow morning.
So if you’re in the area (or luckily reside in the neighbourhood), Kopi Kohlie has the tricks (read: crafted cuppas) up their sleeve to set up the ideal coffee time as if you’re home. Go for their signature filter coffee or cheeky kopi susu gula aren ‘Aku Sayang Kamu’ (I love you), or go a little extra with ‘Pake Banget’ (very much), with a herb-infused espresso shot.
While their doors have been open since 2018, it was the pandemic that brought new faces and a local surge of regulars, many of them making the discovery by chance. But it’s all for the better with the timing of fate, because Kopi Kohlie ultimately winds up achieving what it set out to be: “a space where neighbours can get to know one another and connect,” as co-founder and Johny’s son, Jeffrey, puts it.