All posts by Rian Farisa

Rian Farisa stars himself in a flick about how a culinary correspondent living a life full of adventures as if he will live forever. At the end of the day, he lives to retell the chronicles of his swashbuckling daring gastronomic adventures like a bard singing his tales of beautiful faraway lands. Since gastronomy consists of complex aspects and that is where his passion lies, he decided to unravel how businessmen, hawkers and luxurious restaurants alike, serve their dishes for the patrons. Whether they only serve for the advantages in taste or only the surroundings or whether they really throw anything for the sake of customer's satisfaction, he shall be solely the only one who can tell and in the name of this noble profession, justice shall be done!

The New Summer Treats from Starbucks Indonesia

On each and every season, Starbucks never fails to introduce new additions to their menu. Here comes summer now and there’s plenty of room to celebrate with something fresh, tropical, and also fulfilling. Well, here’s the lineup for this summer!

AVAILABLE ONLY FROM JULY 7, 2015 to SEPTEMBER 7, 2015

1. SPICY BEEF CLASSIC BREAD

This is my kind of treat next time in Starbucks! After some time trying almost everything from their pastry department, the glazed doughnut and this one quickly became my favorite. The soft bun is not only springy and fulfilling. On the inside, generous filling of shredded beef with rendang flavor really kicks in into your every senses. It is bold, spicy, and also energizing. Follow Starbucks recommendation to pair it with the cafe latte.

2. GRILLED CHICKEN WRAPS

Served cold, the grilled chicken wraps packs a lot of flavor and spiciness. With grilled chicken, lettuce, sweet and sour mayonnaise, and bell peppers; prepare to imagine yourself having a summer picnic on a sunny meadow! This one needs to be paired with our new comrade in the Frappuccino section. Coming up next!

3. ORANGE HONEYCOMB CRUNCH FRAPPUCCINO

This is it! The ultimate drink of the season. Multi textured, zingy orange-y, and very refreshing; the orange honeycomb crunch Frappuccino is designed to wash away the fatigue and fending off the heat. With the additional creamy topping and crunchy honeycomb, this Frappuccino is a league of its own!

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Additional promotion:

1. Get a complimentary Tiramisu Java Chip Frappuccino from July 7-20, 2015 for every purchase of Orange Honeycomb Crunch Frappuccino with Starbucks card.

2. Enjoy complimentary upsize to celebrate the 70th Independence Day, only for Starbucks cardholders this August 2015.

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Available only at Starbucks Indonesia

Cover Feature: Lessons in Life From a Coffee Grower (The Foodie Magazine, Mar 2015)

To honor the utmost effort given by the coffee farmers, The Foodie Magazine underwent an excursion to observe the great contributions they have given for us.

The envoy of the farmers was Yoseph Kusuniyanto, and this is his story.

Yoseph Kusuniyanto (5)

Ah, coffee and lifestyle nowadays. For several years now, we see people in suit dropping by at a famous chain coffee shop for their regular cappuccino takeaway, and in another place there are these hipster teenagers taking their compulsory Instagram shot on their piccolo with hands in frame and some croissant or cakes at a quirkily named, third-wave coffee bar.

Meanwhile at the same time, a fancy espresso machine is extracting some Central American single origin ground coffee and in one corner; a tattooed, slickly haired barista is demonstrating his skills with a 3D latte art. He’s surrounded by curious customers, ladies in particular.

It was fun right? Well, what we don’t know exactly is that it’s not all about the excitement of modern lifestyle at that end only. For once in a while, let’s see the flow backwards.

The roasters like Aroma, for example (since we also feature the owner in this issue), plays an important role in sustaining the lives of the farmers as well as the other end. Some modern roasters even gave more thoughts on how to cultivate specific standards that suits well with their and the consumers needs. They share their knowledge and needs directly with the farmers so at the same time they’re working to improve the overall quality of the coffee itself and the welfare of the farmers as well.

If it weren’t for these people, our side of the story may not as colorful as we think.

Yoseph Kusuniyanto (4)

Whatever came from this part, be it with other plants or coffee, it has a level of complexity that people often taken for granted. Meanwhile, there are heroes who spend long hours on the chilly, lonely part of the mountain to produce the best coffee who are often forgotten.

That’s why in this issue, we did some extra miles to see what they do and how their contribution can be remembered in history.

A coffee story to begin with

The slopes of highland Lembang after the rain was not only enchanting but the mist gave away the mystical aura you rarely see anymore living in the big cities nowadays. Although this hilly part of Bandung has now been developed into farms, rural housings, and tourist attractions such as ranches, theme parks, waterfalls to as far as Gunung Tangkubanperahu; it’s still charming and whimsical nonetheless.

Aside from being known as an area that produce vegetables, berries, milk and livestock; this highland has its share with our coffee world as well.

Yoseph Kusuniyanto (2)

Yoseph Kusuniyanto became our host that day who invited us to his humble abode for a cup of coffee and a story to begin with.

Years ago, it was never his intention to live a life as a coffee farmer but Pak Yoseph had been learning for a long time about farming, be it from books or from helping his friends out.

“Several years living in Jakarta working as an manager for a camera company was strenuous and stressful for me. I fell gravely ill and made a decision to withdraw to Bandung. It was a good call, since it took several years for me to recover fully and to finally taste my dream job”, said Pak Yoseph opening up his life story.

Now he’s in his late 40s. His hair has gone white, slim, and he has sleepy eyes. However, he appears like a figure that everybody could rely upon. He’s calm and collected as years of hardships have proved his mettle, but also educated with his experience as a farmer and a student of life.

Sometimes, he emanates this childish enthusiasm when talking about coffee and showed us his curiosity with each new thing that he just learned from us. We were lucky to bring a respected expert Adi Taroepratjeka with us. It’s as if they’re living their own world when talking about it.

“In the beginning, it was never easy. I used to become a pitbull breeder, sorting out my friends’ farms, and I even grew my own lily and rose”, he said. The latter at one point brought him immense success when several times he supplied the Presidential Palace needs for fresh flowers for events, but he stopped the flower business after reaching one point.

Until one time, a group of coffee farmers started to ask him to help and share his expertise as a green thumb. His coffee story finally began.

A farmer’s hardships

Our 4WD Cherokee finally reached the checkpoints at the edge of a pine forest. The stony road proved to be a no challenge for our adept off-road adventurer a.k.a The Foodie Magazine’s proud photographer, Dennie Ramon.

But there’s one other obstacle to tackle.

Pak Yoseph said specifically that we must respect whatever the guard has to say about letting us in or not. If he says we can go in with the car, then it’s a job well done.

Luckily, Pak Yoseph managed to convince the guy and spared us the fuss to walk the dirt path.

“Coffee farmers are accepted in this part of the forest because both Perum Perhutani (state owned forestry company) as the landowner welcomes improvements by enthusiastic outsiders like us. Kopassus, who is leasing some part of this land, also appreciates our work with the land and for taking care of the environments”, he said. “Even so, at times we would hear explosions and the soldiers training not far from our plot!”

We parked our car at one side of the road to explore the forest and continue to walk all across the coffee plantations owned by Pak Yoseph and his fellow farmers.

“Under these thick pine trees, the sunlight can’t get through well to support what the plants need. That’s why it may take longer to produce the coffee cherries”, he explained as we tread through the rough terrain. “The weeds are problematic as well. We had to share our fortune and pay the workers to clear things up for us once in a while. Luckily, I have formulated the effective way to put up with the cost, working hours, and the right timing to do that.”

In addition, Pak Yoseph did the extra mile to line up the plants so his plot looks tidier than other farmers. “At most, one worker could only plant around more than a dozen plants per day. Working in the mountain is not easy since the air is thinner here”, he continued.

Yoseph Kusuniyanto (3)

Pak Yoseph is currently growing Caturra beans from Brazil, an Arabica cultivar that has a high yield capability with wonderful flavor profile – naturally sweet with citric characters. We had several cups of it back at his home before and after we visited his farm. Did it the old fashioned tubruk way with sugar. Nice, but it was too dark roasted.

“From time to time, I offer thousands of seeds and fertilizer to people around here but they just don’t want it. What happened next was the seedlings went missing. I don’t know who did it but since then, I decided to cultivate the seeds at home first before planting them here”, said Pak Yoseph frowning.

On his backyard, he grows the seeds based on the criteria some Jakarta-based roasters asked. He’s now juggling between taking care of his plantations, catering the roaster needs, and his family as well. “Not only that the yielding capability of coffee is for long term, it also provides 90% of my family needs. The rest 10% I got from helping people with their farms. I am grateful for it”, he said.

On the horizon, the rainclouds were all that we could see. It started pouring down steadily as we head back to Pak Yoseph’s house. His wife had prepared us warm rice, good salted fish, and some home grown vegetables with delicious sambal. It was a lunch like we never had before and much more satisfying that I could ever ask.

Yoseph Kusuniyanto (1)

Life gives what Pak Yoseph and his family need by living a rural life as a hardworking farmer. Everything may seem simpler up here in the mountain, but it’s not without the challenge itself.

For Pak Yoseph, it’s a never ending cycle to learn more and contribute better for the society with quality coffee. Although sometimes he’s too shy to admit that, the farmers wouldn’t fare better without his counsel and hard work.

Now, the rest is up to us who can be the ones that support his work and appreciate each cup of coffee that passes us by in our lives. They all came from the tears and blood of the unsung heroes deep in the mountains.

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Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE March 2015 edition

Download it for free here via SCOOP!

Photography by Dennie Ramon

Foodie Quotes #41

“So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being.”
– Franz Kafka

Fun Food Facts #24

Fun Food Facts #24:
BRIEF FACTS ABOUT CHICORY

Chicory

  • Chicory contains inulin, which helps diabetics regulate their blood sugar levels
  • Chicory is closely related to lettuce and dandelion but is a member of the sunflower family
  • It may be cleansing to the liver and gallbladder
  • Chicory is beneficial for digestion, the circulatory system and the blood
  • Chicory leaves are a good source of calcium, vitamin A and potassium

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Facts provided by: www.mercola.com

Turkish coffee, a 500-year-old tradition (via Star2)

Tucked in a narrow alley in the middle of Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, is a tiny cafe that proudly proclaims to serve coffee “so thick even a water buffalo cannot sink in it”. That term can be simplified in one Turkish word Mandabatmaz, which incidentally, is the name of the cafe.

The cafe’s name may be given in jest, but its message is no joke. Turkish coffee (Turk Kahvesi) is incredibly thick and dense, and it has a consistency similar to hot chocolate.

It is not unusual to hear the locals describe the beverage as “black as hell, as strong as death, and as sweet as love” and you’d be surprised to know that for a tea drinking country, Turkey, and its people, is fiercely passionate about coffee.

“To us, tea is just a beverage … but coffee? It’s a culture,” says attache at the Turkey Embassy Tourism and Information Office in Kuala Lumpur, Kaan Yilmaz.

And if you’re in Turkey, don’t say no to an invitation to have coffee as it is considered rude to turn down the offer. That’s how serious they are about their coffee culture.

Turkish coffee is recognised by Unesco as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and this year, Turkey proudly celebrates the 500th year coffee made its way to Istanbul – all the way from the tip of the Arabian Peninsula.

The most important part of Turkish coffee is its preparation. — EAEEAE, Wikimedia Commons

In 1555, Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent learned of the beverage from the Ottoman governor of Yemen, and unofficially made it the official drink of the government. It became an integral part in ceremonies in the Ottoman court as well as among commoners.

“This was the birth of Turkish coffee. Coffee became the shining star of the court’s social life, and the sultan appointed his own kahvecibasi to prepare the imperial cup of Turkish coffee,” adds Yilmaz.

It is reported that the kahvecibasi (coffee maker) had over 40 assistants to prepare and serve coffee for the sultan and his court. The equipment used to make the coffee was on display at the A Drop of Pleasure: 500 years of Turkish Coffee exhibition organised by the Turkish Coffee Culture and Research Association at the Topkapi Palace.

The exhibition, which ended earlier this month, included pieces such as cups and grinders from the palace’s collection and from private collectors.

“In the olden days, coffee was the centre of political and social interactions. Women socialised over coffee and sweets at home while men socialised in coffee houses to discuss politics and to play backgammon.

“Coffee houses also played host to ‘shadow theatres’ where puppets were used to convey satirical, political and social criticism. Turkish coffee houses became social institutions to meet and talk,” explains Yilmaz.

There is a saying in Turkish which goes “One neither desires coffee nor a coffeehouse. One desires to talk with others, coffee is but an excuse”, so naturally, coffee shops sprouted within the city to meet demands. And half a century later, folks still congregate at coffee houses for their caffeine and gossip fix.

“There are many traditional and modern-style coffee shops all around the country which serve Turkish coffee and other coffees. In big cities like Istanbul and Ankara, you can find coffee shops in every corner. Even international coffee franchises like Starbucks and Gloria Jeans serve Turkish coffee in their outlets here – although they do not make it the traditional way,” says Yilmaz.

Coffee is, however, still an inherent part of tradition in Turkey. Even today, marriage customs include the old-fashioned custom of brides-to-be making and serving coffee to their prospective husbands. The groom-to-be judges a woman’s merits based on the coffee she makes.

“There’s one traditional practice for this ceremony. The female candidate puts salt, instead of sugar, into the coffee for her future fiancé and expects him to drink it without complaining. If he doesn’t complain, then she assumes that he loves her as he drank the salty coffee without a fuss,” explains Yilmaz about the age-old tradition.

Turkish coffee (Turk Kahvesi) is incredibly thick, dense and turns 500 years old this year.

“This is just in jest, and is not taken as seriously as it was before. We still do it just for fun.”

There is another coffee-related custom that the Turks still follow today – fal or fortune telling.

Yilmaz explains that once the coffee is finished and the cup has cooled down, it’s turned upside down onto its saucer. The drinker rotates the cup clockwise three times, and lets it cool down a little longer. When the cup is slowly lifted, the fortune teller will read the coffee drinker’s future from the patterns the grains leave on the inside of the cup and saucer.

“Although most people do it for fun, some take it very seriously, especially those seeking good fortune or a potential mate.”

Although children are not encouraged to drink coffee, it naturally becomes their preferred beverage when they hit their teens.

Breakfast only ends when coffee is had, although coffee is also consumed at any time of the day. No meal in Turkey is complete without a serving of the thick and frothy beverage, and Yilmaz adds that Turks enjoy each other’s company too much to say no to an invitation for coffee.

“Coffee will always be part of the Turks’ life,” says Yilmaz. “It has been for the last 500 years, and it will be for another 500 years and more.”

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Written by: Sharmila Nair

Taken from http://www.star2.com/food/food-news/2015/06/20/turkish-coffee-a-500-year-old-tradition/