Kopi Nalar: It’s Been A While.

Does anyone agree with me that no matter where we are right now in life, there’s this tiny curiosity that keeps on popping out (whether from within, or from our surroundings) and asks us about “What’s Next?” It seems like people are so expectant with the progress you make that by the time you stop or seem to show no progress in life, you’ll be considered a misfit.

Is it true that life is only about moving forward and transitioning from one “what’s next” to another? Is it true that people tend to applaud those people who jump into one opportunity to another simply because they look courageous, while at the same time they are actually careless and unprepared?

The over–glorified concept of having something “new”, being a “new” person, or anything that has the word “NEW” can actually be something dangerous for us if we are not wise enough to discern. Once we are attracted to whatever “new” that comes our way, we tend to move with the highest speed without maximum protection and preparation simply because we are a sucker for excitement.

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Speaking of new, meet one of the newest coffee in town.

What about hitting the brakes? What about moving just a little bit slower? What about saying no for a better “new” that we ultimately want instead of what we temporarily want?

Sorry for the long intro. I guess it’s just been a while since I poured out my (sometimes) too complex thoughts into one of my posts. Just like the fact that it’s been a while for both of us to spend one weekend only to go explore and try out new places in this city.

Just last weekend, we stumbled upon this new coffee shop in South Jakarta, along with some of friends. The name is Kopi Nalar (reasoning), and it was having a soft opening. The place was a 25 percent alfresco area, 25 percent smoking room with glass rooftops and large window panes, and 50 percent of a indoor seating with white walls and modern interior.

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Kopi Nalar, Jalan Prof Joko Sutono SH No. 7, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta

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One of their plus points: Plugs. Everywhere.

When we got there, the smoking room was empty (none of us smokes though haha), so we invaded it like its a lounge reserved exclusively just for us. The room was filled with two cozy couches and plenty of bean bags!

After ordering our choices of drinks and desserts, we settled in comfortably and spent about 3-4 hours there talking. It felt like crashing into one of your friends’ house during holidays where you got nothing to do for the whole day, accompanied by bowls of chips and boxes of pizza. It was priceless! As someone who has Quality Time for his love language, this kind of hangout day with friends is a total heart-filling moment.

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Almond and Honey

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DR got a bit too comfy.

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Pardon my too obvious tan line. Got it from my Belitung trip, which I will share soon!

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Some of my favorite Sunday crew.

What’s interesting about their coffee menu is that they have this so-called “healthy choice” of coffee. The “A Cup of Sense” menu is a mixture of coffee latte with healthy ingredients like granola, walnuts, almond, and honey. Surely I went for the new one and picked the almond and honey to complete my coffee o’clock.

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

So, Life Is Tough. Srsly? Think Again.

This is not one of our regular “coffee-shop-review” post, just in case the title is bugging you. Here’s a post that is inspired by the current train of thoughts I’ve been having these past few weeks.

As I sat down, waiting for my friends to come, in SRSLY Coffee, I can’t help but having a little discussion with my own thoughts about the particular statement I used in the title. “Life is tough,” we secretly uttered this sentence, almost automatically, when life doesn’t happen the way we expect it to be. There are times when I’m still guilty of subconsciously letting this thought popped up on the surface. Even when facing mere temporary problems as simple as being stuck in the traffic.

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Jl. Cipete Raya No. 7C, Cilandak

In a world that (not only offers, but also) praises instant and immediate results, it’s very easy for us to forget and undermine the value of process. We forget to learn the art of cultivating patience. The society is no longer able to see the importance of waiting. We see waiting as a loss, a damage or a waste of our “oh-so-valuable” time.

When we want something, we want it right away, we want it our way. If things don’t happen according to our timeline and expectation, we easily conclude that life happens. Reality bites. And then, we post it on our social media, expecting attention and empathy from others to help us feel good about ourselves again.

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I have a thing for white decoration.

If only we can stop for a while before we let our emotions take control of everything and lead us into a conclusion that life is tough, probably we’ll be able to see that life is not really that tough. Especially when you still have a fine working smartphone to read this post.

That was when I looked up and chuckled. Because, it seemed like the big signage before me was laughing at the conversation that happened in my mind. SRSLY? One fine coffee shop to sit and unwind. One person with one busy thought. One question, seriously?

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SRSLY?

People use speed as a benchmark of achievement. No wonder we love those singing contest reality show. No wonder some people love to have instant followers and likes. And so we are trapped in an endless competition of being the fastest.

The fastest to be in a relationship, even after one suffered a painful break up. The fastest to have a date, thanks to Tinder. The fastest to purchase the newest gadget. The fastest to watch the newest movie. The fastest to quit a job and hop on to a new job in the name of pursuing passion. The fastest to get married, even when we still carry unresolved issues from the past.

People love to be on the fast lane as it comes with an adrenaline rush. But we often forget, that moving in a high speed can cause us a serious damage. That is why the art of pausing, or even stopping and taking a break need to be mastered.

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Have you ever tried putting yourself in other people’s shoes?

When you are moving too fast, you have the potential to end up in a huge crash, right? What if those unanswered prayers, or unmet wants and needs are actually a form of divine protection that have been actually saving you, preventing you from a major crash? Try see it from a different angle. Have you tried to see “not getting what you want” as a blessing in disguise?

A blessing that prevent you from stepping into a mess.
A blessing that prevent you from marrying the wrong person.
A blessing that prevent you from taking the wrong career path.

A blessing that prevent you from another heart break.

One sad news that literally tore my heart apart and made me cry arrived during the drafting of this post. The pretty little warrior, Daphne (the baby girl that we visited during our last visit to Singapore), passed away (on Wednesday morning). His dad replied my text still being all-inspiring, believing that Daphne is now in a better condition, playing happily in heaven. Even when I visited them at the funeral, they both welcomed me still with the warm smiles I saw when we came visited them in the hospital.

Through Daphne’s life, and the uncommon great faith of her parents, I’m being reminded again about all this. From them, I learn the true meaning of giving my best in dealing with problems that come into my life. From them, I learn the true meaning of being strong. From them, I learn to have a bigger faith, the kind of faith that refuse to give up.

When you think that your life is tough, stop, pause, and ask this to yourself: “Is it really? Have I tried my best? How long have I been praying and fighting for miracles to come? Have I failed to see other options? Have I tried putting myself in other people’s shoes?”

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Busy. Busy. Busy. Hail to the fast lane society!

Before we get too fast in concluding that life is tough, why don’t we stop and start to look at the blessing that we have? Why don’t we start being grateful instead?

Let’s make this as part of our lifestyle. Lifestyle is not only about spending what you have on what would make you look cool. It can be a way of living that would add value and give good influence to those around you. That’s what lifestyle is. At least, that’s how we see it.

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Lifestyle is more than just purchasing a cup of coffee.

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

The Heart-Eyes Emoji for Beau HQ Cikajang

Can I tell you a secret? Although I was born as a native Indonesian, I’ve been secretly wishing to have breads as our staple food. Most of my friends love to brag about the authenticity of their Indonesian blood simply because they love to eat rice above all else. A meal is not a meal without a plate of rice included, so they said.

As for me, if you know me well, you’ll know that I rarely finish my rice portion in almost every meal I have. But when it comes to bread, I won’t let even a single crumb falls. This is why I got so excited, and nervous at the same time, every time I enter a bread store because I often want to buy every thing.

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Do you know that feeling when you enter your favourite store where you planned to only buy one item, but then you got nervous during your way in, because you know you might spend more than you planned? That’s me, in almost every bread store: from Francis to Pan Ya, from Komugi to Beau.

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The moment I knew that Beau has finally open their own outlet, which is also gonna be their headquarter and biggest outlet so far, I couldn’t wait to pay a visit. And, we had the opportunity to give it a try during our interview with Uchita Pohan.

Are you familiar with the heart-eyes emoji? That was probably how I look when I saw the Beau HQ. Located in Cikajang, Senopati, Beau stands out elegantly with super convenient and eye-pleasing alfresco area. The building is painted in white and decorated with plenty of green plants, Scandinavian tables and big window panes. The ultimate place that offers every single spot for Instagram-worthy photos.

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If you’ve been reading our blog for quite a while now, you definitely could guess what drinks that we ordered. As always, an iced black coffee for DR, and a cup of flat white for me. I also ordered the Smorrebrod – Danish open-faced sandwich, served on dark rye bread or brioche (40k each, 100k for 3). I picked the Beef Pastrami, Pork Salami and Gravad Laks.

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Smorrebrod.

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Pork Salami (red onion, tomatoes, garden greens).

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Beef Pastrami (remoulade, cornichons, caramelized onion, poached egg, crispy shallots).

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Gravad Laks (smoked salmon, dill, yoghurt, beet, radish and microgreens).

Time passed by just like that when you get too comfortable enjoying a particular place. Or perhaps, the presence of a particular someone. Three hours and a half went by without us noticing. I, myself, got a bit too comfortable having the patisserie as my temporary working station. Their playlist and the gloomy sky came as an additional reasons of why I’d stay for another hour. Sadly, next appointment awaited us.

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I’m giving Beau a 9/10! It’s definitely the must visit place on weekend for you to unwind.

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Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

 

Thanks to Social Media, Empty Seat Is Now A Rarity!

How many of you use more than one social media platform? How many of you spend most of your marginal time to check on your phone? Do you often find yourself scrolling through your social media timeline? If your answers are yes, yes and yes, I would like to say congrats.

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For what? For contributing directly or indirectly to the current phenomenon that I mentioned in the title above. Every few months, or even weeks, plenty of new coffee shops start brewing their coffee in almost every corner of this city. Finding a new coffee shop seems a lot easier than finding a potential spouse.

Thanks to social media, making something viral is easy now. Only through a simple share button, information can now be shared to thousands of people. The vast growing coffee shop business, particularly in Jakarta, has been getting the benefits of free marketing campaign through social media.

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We have encountered this situation several times. From the opening of Djule, Fillmore and St. Ali. The hype was crazy. The same thing happened to this new hip place, Lucky Cat. Even though this place is open 24 hours every day, finding an empty seat on a Sunday afternoon is still quite a challenge.

Last Sunday, when we arrived at this homey, white-bricked building located at Plaza Festival’s parking lot, there were already some people queuing in the front door waiting for their name to be called. As DR tried to find a parking spot, I hopped off the car first to put my name on the waiting list.

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The place was comfortably enticing. The ceiling was high and made out of a see-through glass, letting just enough natural daylight into the room. A grand yet modest wooden-stairs with huge living tree at the center of the room is the new-mainstream spot for an #OOTD photo. The first floor was filled with large-sized wooden-tables, while the second floor was filled with smaller round marbled-tables. Both floors are covered with rugs giving you that Kinfolk-ish cabin.

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As much as we would like to stay longer and sit for hours there, we just couldn’t stand an overcrowded place. It didn’t take long until we both agreed to just have our coffee for a take away. DR as always ordered an iced long black, while I, as always preferred a hot flat white.

After getting the photos that we need, we decided to explore the area nearby. And it turned out to be a good decision as we found some spots for a photo opps that we’ll write next week!

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Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

A Cafe with the Best Playlist in Jakarta!

What is the most important thing for you to enjoy a cafe? For me it would be:

  1. Music
  2. Ambiance
  3. Coffee

You can give me a Rp 2,000.- coffee sachet and I would enjoy it. However, it would be such a big turn off if you would put me in a room filled with music that I’m not into. With that said, the title of this blog post could be a little biased.

It wouldn’t sound biased to you, old souls, because they were playing Nina Simone and Ray Charles! Let me introduce you to Sleepyhead Coffee!

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The interior of this place looks a lot like a living room. To me, it feels very much homey. The exterior looks very comfortable, but I wouldn’t sit outside considering that it is very close to the main street of Gunawarman. Since I was there to work, a quiet environment was important.

Another thing that I look for in a cafe is definitely the wifi. The wifi connection was good enough to stream some Youtube videos which is a huge plus point to Sleepyhead Coffee. There were also plenty of interesting books to read! One of that caught my attention was Quiet by Susan Cain. Have you read it?

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Now let me ramble about the playlist. Once I walked in the room, I noticed a set of vinyls next to a modern turntable set. I don’t know much about vinyls, but I know a few things about music from time to time. There were 2 boxes of these vinyls collections and the owner was kind enough to let me listen to them. My first pick was Oasis, but I chose to go with something older like Ray Charles’ The Genius Hits the Road.

Some of the other vinyls were The Beatles, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis and some others I can’t recall. However, Oke, the owner of this cafe had more on his mp3 players and we decided to listen to a little bit of Nina Simone.

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Babycino

Last but not least, I was hooked by their very own Babycino. It was steamed milk with foam added by marshmallows on top. I am still not sure whether they made it only for babies, but I truly enjoyed it.

Sleepyhead Coffee, you deserve a 9/10. I will definitely come back for more of your playlist, babycino and fast wifi connection!

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Thank you Eva & Oke!

Keep exploring,

DR. (@demasryan)

 

Finding Comfort in Books and Coffee

I am not a bookworm. Even though HG is one, I’d rather spend time watching TV series than reading books. Heck, I even used to think that reading books is a form of torture. Back in high school, they made us read a book every morning for 15 minutes before the class starts. What do you call that other than mental torture?

Well, that was before I started applying the discipline of reading books. A few months ago, a friend told me that most successful people in life like Oprah and Jobs spend some time to read anything before and after sleep. With that kind of information, and a huge drive in me to be successful (ambitious me), I started the habit of munching books everyday.

It’s not that I never read anything before. I try to read once in a while, but lately, my reading habit had grown quite intense. I am reading 7 books a week, 1 book for each day. It’s amazing to see how much influenced I am and how different my perspective changes about reading once I set up a pattern of reading.

Here are some of the books that I am reading:

  • Andy Stanley’s Love, Sex and Dating
  • Ravi Zacharias’ The Cries of the Heart
  • Larry King’s How to Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere
  • Tina Seelig’s What I wish I knew When I was 20
  • Joel Osteen’s Your Best Life Now
  • Patricia T’ O Connor’s Woe Is I
  • Steve Harvey’s Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man

As you can see from its titles, these books are about relationship and communication, which I am very much interested in. My next goal is to read more books that are out of my area of expertise. Why read books that doesn’t enrich you?

By the way, I don’t just read books before and after sleep, I would even read during lunch time. Perhaps, it is because of Blackseed Coffee, which is quite a nice place to read.

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Located in Ruko Taman Hijau, Jl. Gedung Hijau, Pondok Indah, Jakarta, Blackseed Coffee has always been a familiar place since I was in school. But I never knew of its existence until a few months ago. Since then, I have been visiting this place over and over again for its fast wifi connection and books. They have tons of interesting books placed all over the cafe, I wish I could take them home!

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There is nothing much special from the menu. But everything is served with a reasonable price. I would usually sit from morning till evening with only accompanied by a cup of coffee and a glass of lychee ice tea. It would cost me much or less Rp 50k.

Other than its wifi and book collections, I am in love of its decoration. Like written before, I have nothing but huge love towards vintage decorations. It makes a cafe less intimidating for an old soul like me. No offense towards modern and artsy cafes, but sometimes they look terrifying.

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With all of that combine, Blackseed Coffee is a place I visit 3 to 4 times a week. If you ever find yourself here, you might actually bumped unto me. Which is a good thing, we could probably talk about books since I am (now) such a geek.

Oh, I’m giving Blackseed Coffee a 9 out 10. Yes, I love it that much and I wish it will stay that way.

Keep exploring,

DR. (@demasryan)

A Quiet Corner in the Heart of Jakarta

Solitary is expensive and complete seclusion is priceless nowadays. The city life is so overloaded with information, causing our brain to work longer than 9 to 5. However tiring it is, I have found myself endlessly scrolling through my social media, craving for more information from people’s tweets or status updates. I find my action on the contrary to what I really need: a quiet moment.

As much as I try to fight information overload, I think it happens to all of us, especially in our early 20s. Once we grow up, we somehow manage to prioritize better according to experience. But endless scrolling through social media could be a damage everyone will have to go through sometime in the early stage of reaching adulthood.

Putting internet aside, networking, on a negative note, could be a source of information overload when done excessively. As much extroverted a person could be, everyone needs sometime to be alone, which I think is a rare indulgence.

This is probably why I take so much pleasure in small and empty coffee shops. As I wrote before, to relax on a coffee shops on weekends is now a privilege one could achieve after the struggle of finding a parking space and a place to sit. It was such a pleasing moment to find Escalator Coffeehouse, vacant and empty.

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Rasuna Office Park, Taman Rasuna Epicentrum, Kuningan, Jakarta. Open hours: 7-21.

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The only other customer besides us on a Sunday afternoon.

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While HG enjoyed his cup of flat white, I enjoyed my all time favorite, a cup of long black coffee. Sometimes it is more of a necessity to have one since I am basically a zombie before that.

I am not a big fan of their paper cup, but the coffee was fine and the ambiance were soothing. The giant window gave a translucent atmosphere that lighted the whole room naturally.

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I remember that day precisely. HG and I had tons of creative work and thoughts we need to process. It wasn’t long until we started opening our laptops and brainstorm. So much for a relaxing and peaceful weekend, but trust me, Escalator Coffeehouse gave such a soothing ambiance that helped ease off the overload.

Keep exploring,

DR. (@demasryan)