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)

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)

 

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)

Sunday Coffee at Kuppie

When did coffee became a must on Sundays? Take last Sunday for example, every coffee shop that I visited was choke full of people! I was supposed to have a meeting over a few cups of coffee, but I ended switching to 2 places because I couldn’t find a seat or even parking space. Probably, these days, people are bored of shopping malls and decided to go hipster. Where do hipsters go then?

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They go to Kuppie!

Okay, that sounded very advertorial, but I mean it. In the middle of finding the right place to meet and talk, @captainruby suggested a place called Kuppie, located in STC Senayan GF/56. It opens everyday from 10 to 21 but closes early every weekend. Not a problem, because all I needed was a place to sit down for a quick meeting.

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As I entered STC, I lowered my expectations towards Kuppie. I mean, it’s a cafe in a mall. What can you expect? However, I was so content with what I saw at Kuppie. It was very hipster with a little mix of vintage and Lego!

I am a very old fashioned guy. I listen to Stevie Wonder, love old wooden furniture and flowery designed sofas. Vintage stuffs are just so not intimidating unlike the present day edgy culture. That is why some vintage coffee shops caught my attention more than the others. Even though it was just a dust of vintage, Kuppie is definitely one of them.

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Size might not be its biggest asset. Kuppie is a small and warm coffee shop that gives the right vibe to unwind. After a few cups of appetizing coffee, I felt the urge to hang loose for a while. Unfortunately, work calls, even on a Sunday! I guess that’s one of the perks of being 20. You have all the energy and spirit you need to even work on holidays! This is not definitely something I endorse too much though.

Kuppie, I am giving you 8/10. You are warm and kind, just like those white grandmothers in Hollywood movies that bake cakes for you and make you feel at home.

Keep exploring,

DR (@demasryan)

Doughnut Madness!

One of the perks of being 20 is to have friends all over the world. I can’t be the only one agreeing to this!

Since I became a hardcore traveler, I would try as much as possible to make and maintain friendship with people from another country. One of the reasons behind this, is to gain insights. To me, locals’ insights are more insightful than Melanie Trump’s latest speech. Oops.

What I’m trying to say is, I wouldn’t know about the doughnut madness in Melbourne if it wasn’t for friendly locals who were all up in my face about it!

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I still don’t understand the reason behind the madness, but Melbourne locals are nuts about doughnuts! Some of the doughnut places they talk about are Doughnut Time, Shortstop and Doughboys Doughnut. Although I didn’t go to all 3 places, just because I’m not a doughnut maniac, I managed to get myself into Doughboys Doughnut!

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535 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia.

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Morning doughnut companions.

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This was my order! Look at how the sugar melts. ❤

The menu kept on changing over time to present something fresh to the customers. That was why my friend kept on coming back here once in a while to try something new and fresh!

The locals are that passionate about doughnut. A friend would even told me to stop taking photos of the doughnuts and to start eating them before they’re cold! So upon the first bite, I was hooked. I was never a sweet tooth, but if Doughboys Doughnuts ever became a religion, I would be very devoted.

They do not sell any desserts other than doughnuts, but coffee and other drinks are available. There are only 3-4 tables in the shop, but the queue wasn’t long. The place is designed to be a takeaway booth instead of a cafe.

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More doughnuts!

I am so sorry that I have to post this at such an hour filled with snack cravings, but if your eyes is opened just like mine, you would have the same urge to testify! So this is my testimony, Doughboys Doughnuts is one of the best doughnut makers in Melbourne.

For that, I am giving Doughboys Doughnuts an 8/10!

Keep exploring!

DR. (@demasryan)

 

Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop

I love endless conversations. I think that’s one of the ways to make me fall in love with a girl.

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Since I was a kid, I have always hated small talks and enjoyed quality conversations. I remember talking to my first love, or crush, for hours on the phone risking myself to face my mom’s anger over the sky rocket monthly phone bills. Today, as I own much more freedom in my adolescence, I enjoy quality talk over cups of coffee.

I remember that one specific morning when I met a girl to get to know her more at a coffee shop. We didn’t really know each other much, but there was so much to talk about. It is one of those moments where us two just clicked.

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After hours of affectionate and intellectual conversations about life, dreams, and much more, we decided to call it a day. At the end of the conversation, I found her filling the corners of my mind for days. Her genuine interest in people had brought me to express parts of me I would rarely display.

Long story short, I missed the train. My insecurities got the worst of me and I decided to let her go. Darn right, I regret it a bit too much.

These days, I rarely found deep dating conversations anymore. As much as I want to know her favorite scent, summer outfit or music, I would love to hear more about her religious views or retirement aspirations. Is it just me? Or is it true that people these days don’t have much to talk about?

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Coffee shops today, are seen as a working space rather than a connecting medium. What once was used to mediate deep conversations are now turned by the freelancers of the millennial generation into a working space. I don’t blame them, in fact, I am one of them.

However, Coffeedential was different. As I walked into this coffee shop, I was reminded of that precious conversation with a girl I missed years ago.

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Jl. Scientia Square Selatan, Ruko Dalton, DLNU 51-52, Gading Serpong.

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It wasn’t just the weather. It was the music and the relaxing ambiance that put me on a time machine headed to that particular date. Maybe, I could even blame it on the aromatic black coffee I ordered.

Looking for a place to have hours of good conversations? Coffeedential is the place. This weekend, put away your laptop and work. Sit down and enjoy conversations with your loved ones.

Keep exploring,

DR. (@demasryan)

What Makes A Coffee Shop, An Ideal Coffee Shop?

As someone who often has to work mobile, coffee shop has played quite a major role in my work efficiency and effectiveness. I believe some of you can easily relate to that.

In fact, some of you might be reading this in the midst of preparing for your next meeting, in a coffee shop. Some of you might have just ordered a cup of coffee that you aren’t really gonna drink because you’re only here for the wifi.

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Whatever your case is, I believe you would agree with me when I say that an ideal coffee shop these days is no longer just about serving good coffee, but it also needs to come  with other requirements such as: spacey or homey ambience, nice playlist, electric sockets in almost every seat (so you don’t have to worry if your smartphone or laptop is about to run out of battery), and a fast wi-fi connection. If a coffee shop can offer you all this, I believe you would come back willingly. I would.

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Now, here’s another thing that I would love to find in a coffee shop.

Inspiration.

Inspiration that comes from eavesdropping on other tables’ conversation. As a writer, this kinda fills me up. I have never done this intentionally. It always started as an “overheard” situation, but then if the topic is interesting, it would change into an “eavesdrop” situation. Even if you’re not a writer, you might wanna try this too. This would make you think that you are not the only person in the world with that problem. Or, this would make you feel so grateful towards your life.

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I still remember a couple weeks ago, as I was sitting in a coffee shop, I overheard three different interesting convos.

The first one came from two guys and one girl who were talking about their friends. Their sentence went something like this, “Do you notice that every time she does a charity action or any good deeds, she never did it out of a sincere heart? It’s always out of narcissism.”

The second one came from a gay man whom apparently just had a one night stand and decided to brag about it to his friends. “Yeah, so I met this guy at the club. He came home with me, but I was so sleepy, I fell asleep in the middle of him kissing me.”

The last one came from a man who was having brunch with his daughter. He was on the phone with his best friend, I suppose, and his sentence went like this, “I’m having a breakfast with my daughter. Look, just come here. I know you haven’t slept at all, and you need someone to talk to. So just come and join us.”

Three different stories.

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Last week, DR & I decided to go a little bit far to the edge of Jakarta, to explore some new coffee shops in Serpong area. Our first stop was, Scandinavian Coffee Shop, Ruko Graha Boulevard D/15 Gading Serpong, Tangerang.

DR found it a little bit boring. While I found it perfect. Ha, for the first time the great minds don’t think alike.

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I love the fact that they sell LaReia (my all-time-favorite mille crepes owned by another dynamic duo, based in Surabaya, Andrea & Karin). I love the fact that they offered fast wi-fi connection (well, DR agreed with me on this one.) I love the fact that they have electric sockets in almost every table (there were plenty of people sitting with their laptops open, working on a weekend.) And, as a plus point, their second floor was a real Instagram material.

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We got our hands quite full exploring every corner while trying to take a good OOTD photos and some flat lays slash cups in frame photos. After a while, we sat down, DR got busy with his laptop. While I got busy selecting the best photos that we took earlier.

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As I was sliding from frame to frame, I was kind of hoping that I would hear any interesting chatter from the other tables. Something that would inspire me to write. But, there was none, even until the last frame.

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I guess everyone were just busy working, chasing deadlines, uploading files, or making presentations. I couldn’t blame them. Scandinavian coffee shop has simply given them what they needed.

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Write to you later,

 

HG. (@gersonhenry)