A Couple of Cafes to Remember in Kemang
Need a lift of the caffeinated variety? Savor a cup of joe at these unique, and often overlooked, South Jakarta coffeehouse originals.
Its all too easy to overlook Vin+ coffee shop if one goes to Kemang, despite its prime location. Some don’t even give it a glance as they head to the popular wine lounge further inside the building. But those who do look will be drawn in by the cafe’s counter, featuring a large brass coffee roaster that signals the seriousness with which this place takes its beans.
A part of the Vin+ wine lounge, the coffee house has metamorphosed twice since it opened five years ago.
The house blend is still called Les Classiques, a holdout from the venue’s previous name. “The blend is made by Quintino’s, a [company] specializing in custom blending coffees,” operational manager Agaverus Hutagalung said. “They blend local beans like Mandheling or Toraja with foreign strains like Colombian to balance and lighten the [flavor], as well as reduce its acidity.”
The coffee lives up to its billing. While the blend is smooth as it is strong, it does not linger due to high acidity. The coffee goes well with a pastry or dessert.
Vin+ has yet to make plans to expand the coffeehouse. “We are still consolidating and we’ll have to take a different angle to promote our coffee [elsewhere],” Agaverus said. “Only our regulars here are aware of it.” While he didn’t rule out expanding Vin+ coffee house in the near future, whether it will spread along with the wine lounge remains to be seen.
Vin+ CoffeehouseJl. Kemang Raya No. 45BTel: 021 7179 2577www.vinplus.bizOpen everyday from 6:30a.m. to 1 a.m.
Rush hour on South Jakarta’s Jalan Fatmawati is never an attractive sight. So it was a pleasant surprise to stumble upon Blumchen Coffee on the busy strip. The place looks like an antique store with its old-fashioned coffee grinders and vintage scooter. But Blumchen also has a homey feel with worn couches and used books.
The manager, Anto Sumarjo, shed some light on Blumchen’s origins. “[Blumchen] was founded by a Korean-born lawyer and businessman, Lee So-hwang, in 2008,” he said. “The term ‘blumchen’ is German for blooming flower. So it is used to emphasize the coffee’s aroma.”
Anto added that Blumchen also came from Lee’s love of Indonesian coffee, a taste he acquired after living in the country for more than 20 years. “We roast a variety of Indonesian coffees, like Sumatra Lintong, Mandheling, Toraja Gayo and Kalosi,” Anto said. He added that Lee gave him a free hand in making Blumchen’s original coffee drinks due to his experience as a barista.
We sampled some of his creations, starting with the Blumchen spicy coffee. The Mandheling and Toraja coffees, as well as a healthy dose of cinnamon, make for an interesting melange of strong flavors. But the brew is still easy on the stomach. The second drink, the French Kiss Latte, is more mellow. Made from milk and Sumatra Lintong coffee, the drink has a complex and balanced taste without being too acidic.
Blumchen CoffeeJl. RS Fatmawati No. 1Tel: 021 9946 1357Open Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. — 11:00 p.m.Saturday to Sunday 9:00 a.m. — midnight