When looking for Work Coffee, drive through the hilly twist and turns of the Lebak Bulus landscape to find a semi-industrial building in black with a gravelled parking spot upfront. Just like its predecessor in Antasari, this one too forgoes big, eye-catching signages to mark its location—yet the place still impresses even from afar, strikingly modern amidst small establishments that dominate the street.
With its semi-outdoor layout, stepping into the new Work Coffee feels like entering someone’s well-designed courtyard. Seating spots are plenty: workers usually opt for the tables within the enclosed space to the left, while those in a more relaxed mood lounge in the open-aired area to the right. And when the weather allows, sitting in the second-floor rooftop becomes an attractive prospect, spoiling patrons with a peaceful view from the city’s southern edge.
Work Coffee roasts its plethora of local coffee beans on-site with the support of its sister coffee-roasting company Libertad Union. From those beans, the barista team creates numerous caffeinated options that range from the customary to the unique. Dominated by refreshing fruit-infused mocktails, their signatures include the rosy cold brew-based Cassandra and the peachy espresso-based Sixth Sense. But for those looking for an upgrade to a true-and-tested classic, there is Javanese Latte, an espresso, creamer and fresh milk mix, nicely sweetened with brown sugar.
Coming over famished won’t be a problem here; there are plenty of delightful main dishes to choose from like the Nasi Bakar Kampong. But if one is lucky, they might get to sample one of Roti Macan’s sought after hand-baked goods, delivered twice weekly straight from the artisan bakery’s base in Bandung.
Sustainability remains fundamental at Work Coffee’s new Jakarta home, and it is expressed in multiple ways. Packagings use zero plastic and utilise recycled materials, while trash is sorted to be recycled, and coffee remains are collected to be turned into compost. There is also an artwork in progress named ‘Plastic Prayer’ displayed on the inner wall of the shop, calling out the issue through the irony of zoomed-in photographs centred on positive words—like sehat (healthy) and bergizi (nutritious)—emblazoned on plastic wrappers.
In the future, Work Coffee seeks to stretch its focus by addressing environmental issues unique to the capital city. But for now, the team will continue to perfect their waste management system to eventually reach their zero-waste goal, promoting the environmental-friendly lifestyle by example with each cup of joe.