Those already acquainted with global coffee brand Kurasu know their reverence for quality beans and home brewing equipment. Carrying the torch to Indonesia, Kurasu settles above conceptual store TEMPL in Senopati, echoing the same minimalist design and care for the brewing craft that has followed the brand from its original store in Kyoto to outlets in Bangkok and Singapore.
In contrast to TEMPL’s sleek, warped aluminium entrance, once one passes the store and climbs up the spiral stone staircase, the atmosphere at Kurasu’s compact space significantly shifts to emit a warmer, more relaxed air. Enveloped in hushed grey stone walls and wooden accents, the design makes a conscious effort to create the sense of a larger and airy space to accommodate Kurasu’s dual function as a coffee shop and retail area.
Here, even the smallest detail ties back to Kurasu’s origins as an online Japanese homeware store. The sliding glass doors open to a mini retail area on the left, which houses a curation of Japanese home-brewing equipment that includes artisanal pour-over kits and ceramic wares to coffee capsules and powdered tea sourced across small Japanese farms.
While over at the slow bar, the baristas move with a quiet confidence that emphasises the brewing craft, especially their signature hand-pouring method. This is also where relaxed interactions between staff and customers feel most apparent, evident in the way they swap brewing techniques and recommended recipes, down to the exact temperature and measurements.
Flown once a week from their roastery in Nishijin, Kyoto, beans at Kurasu gravitate towards nuanced flavour profiles. Take the Natsu Ake, a seasonal blend of Ethiopia and Tanzania with hints of jasmine, lemongrass and berries. Opt for an iced brew to accentuate the citrusy notes, while the extra steeping time of a cold brew will bring the syrupy sweetness of the berries to the surface. As for a quick pick-me-up between meetings, the popular Matcha Espresso pairs well with the Earl Grey Scone or Matcha Cookie.
Though it’s easy to point out the arrival of new coffee houses in Jakarta, few take the extra measure to deliver an experience that extends beyond the physical store. Similar to a friend one knows to call when trying out new recipes or tools in the kitchen, Kurasu encourages an exchange that prompts customers to ease into, or in most cases, heighten their brewing routines at home. For Kurasu, that has always been the end goal.