Discovering the Third Wave Coffee Movement in Indonesia
Commonly considered as a way to kick start your day, drinking coffee was simply the choice of people who had to drag themselves to work early in the morning. Then, it developed into a lifestyle with the growth of many cafés and chain stores specializing in coffee, gathering many devoted fans along the way. These fans then educated themselves in all the stages of producing coffee, thus elevating it into a culinary art. This is known as the third wave coffee movement; one that took coffee into the same level of complexity enjoyed by wine.
The movement arose about a decade ago and is still budding in the United States, Australia, Scandinavia, and several countries in Asia. It emphasizes how to serve coffee at its best and improving the quality of the whole process from planting and roasting, until brewing – using both modern and manual brewing methods (Siphon, Hario, Chemex, etc). This way, coffee beans are no longer categorized by regions but by the ‘traceability’ concept that scans through the story behind – the plantations, when the beans were harvested, when the beans were roasted, and other pre-serving processes. All this is meant to ensure the quality and sustainability of the beans, which in turns changes the focus of coffee production on to breeding single origins as opposed to blends.
In Indonesia, it is often said that the pioneers of this movement was Jakarta’s Anomali Coffee a few years back and followed by several other roasters with the mission to promote Indonesian coffee. Now, new players emerge as they introduce the third wave culture by serving beans from established third wave roasters abroad. From here, they experiment constantly to get the best of the beans and to educate customers about their newly-found appreciation even if they are not yet implementing the initial processes such as planting or roasting fully.
Players like these are currently still few in number, but one of the examples is Noah’s Barn in Bandung which was co-founded by two coffee aficionados, Hank and Guido. Aside from being the first to open an educational coffee shop in Bandung, Hank nursed the dream he had since 2007 back in Singapore to open a similar concept café there – and if he had done so then he would have been the pioneer in that city. Instead, fate took him to meet Guido, an Indonesian barista in Australia during his college years, and together they built their coffee dreams in Bandung.
Currently, Hank and Guido use Anomali’s Black Pearl for their daily coffee and offer micro batches from famous roasters in the US, Japan and Australia, such as Intelligentsia, Streamer, Proud Mary and 7 Seeds. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sip the complex goodness of a highly sought after Panamanian Don Pachi’s Geisha coffee.
Meanwhile in Jakarta, a café named 1/15 Coffee on Jln. Gandaria owned by Lia has a similar story. She once desired to build a serious café although she wasn’t even fond of coffee at first but her journey of discovery to The US and Australia opened her eyes about a prospect never seen before in Jakarta. Now, 1/15 Coffee has quickly become a magnet for coffee devotees and experts. Led by Doddy, a star barista from Yogyakarta, 1/15 Coffee serves an array of coffee beans from third-wave roasters all around the globe and, just recently, Lia brought home delicious African beans roasted by Tim Wendelboe of Norway.
So far this movement has inspired other cafés such as Pandava Coffee at Epicentrum Mall, Jakarta, which a few months ago started to serve beans mostly from roasters such as Oriole and Toby’s Estate.
Featured in Jakpost Travel (November 18, 2012)
Pictures courtesy of Rian Farisa (The Gastronomy Aficionado)