” There are only two types of coffees available – with or without milk – and they are served with ice in a transparent glass. You won’t find any fancy latte art and posh cappuccino here, people.“
The number of coffee shops in Jakarta is just too much nowadays. They might be different in name and appearance, but they share the same concept, which can suck the life out of coffee lovers at times. Each one of them would claim to be a coffee specialist and would sing the praises of their high-quality beans and extraordinary latte art. But when you step foot in either of these joints, there’s not much difference to separate one another. A homely interior design, free Wi-Fi, and desserts on the menu are pretty much compulsory features of such places. Some have taken the extra effort to provide minor additional bells and whistles, such as live streaming football matches, but otherwise there’s no real variety and genuineness between them.
This humdrum tediousness doesn’t apply to Kopi Es Tak Kie, though, which was established in 1927 and is the oldest coffee shop in town. Ayauw, the founder’s grandson, would meticulously prepare the drinks himself and he has sourced out the beans from Lampung and Sidikalang. There are only two types of coffees available – with or without milk – and they are served with ice in a transparent glass. You won’t find any fancy latte art and posh cappuccino here, people. Its coffee has become a favourite of many notable names for decades, including President Joko Widodo himself, who, based on the pictures that are hanging on the shop’s walls, has visited the shop on two separate occasions.
Furthermore, the vintage decor gets better with age, with the simple furnishings and Chinese characters at the coffee counter transporting you to a place and time that is unlike the modern metropolis that is Jakarta. There are no desserts on offer here, but guests have the freedom to choose from a wide array of delights that are sold outside by the food vendors in Gang Gloria, ranging from Nasi Campur (mixed rice) and Soto Betawi (Betawi-style beef soup in coconut milk) to Pi Oh (turtle soup).
Jl. Pintu Besar Selatan III,
Gang Gloria No. 4-6, Glodok, West Jakarta
T: 021 692 8296
Open daily from 6.30am-2pm
Rp.12,000/US$0.90 per glass