Jakarta's eco-coffee shop: Coffee with a kitsch kick

Jakarta's eco-coffee shop: Coffee with a kitsch kick

Jakarta's Kedai Coffee offers a weird but wonderful experience
Jakarta's Kedai Coffee house provides homely comforts
Everything in Kedai has a hand-made feel
Rice colanders are used as lampshades
Settle down at Kedia Coffee
Chill out with friends and a coffee in Jakarta
People come to Kedai to read or study
Ingenious use of cutlery as decoration
Young coffee drinkers at Jakarta's Kedai Coffee.

Kedai Coffee, an eco coffee house with a twist, is the latest must-see in Jakarta’s contemporary barista scene. Think Alice in Wonderland meets Indonesian country kitchen. A little bit whimsical, a little bit farm house, it is undoubtedly one of the coziest places to while away a steamy Jakarta afternoon. 

Half coffee shop, half showroom, 80 per cent of the décor is made from recycled goods. The table and chairs come from leftover wood for public school desks. Upside down rice colanders serve as lampshades. Indonesian movie posters from the 1970s decorate the mint-green walls.

“Jakarta is like this big playground for me,” says owner Kartika Jahja, or Tika, who started reusing discarded objects as she learned about the environmental issues in Jakarta. “You see things that are abandoned everywhere, and I wonder why would you waste something like this when you can make it into something even cooler?”

Kedai sits in an area overrun with swank cafés. To compete in the tight market Tika knew she needed to create something different. And Kedai Coffee has certainly struck the right note, as its success in the two years since opening proves.

Tika now holds monthly workshops for crafters in the studio above the café and invites people to browse her hand-made treasures and place custom orders.

The café design encourages people to feel at home. Floor cushions provide relaxed comfort for the coffee quaffers and soft light creates a warm conversational environment. Most of Kedai Coffees’ customers are young and tech savvy, their faces often illuminated by the glow of their Mac computers. And the staff is as sweet as the chocolate molten cake.

While the café partly reflects Tika’s memories of Seattle, where she received her art degree, the traditional flavors on the menu express her Indonesian side. “If I had it my way, Kedai would be so much gaudier and kitsch,” she says.

 So far Kedai Coffee has got the balance between homely comforts and arty garishness just right.

getting there

Kedai Coffee and Bikin Barang craft studio
Kemang, Jl. Benda Raya No. 89, Jakarta, Indonesia


Sara has lived in Thailand and Cambodia and currently lives in Jakarta, Indonesia. She likes to keep moving and uses these pages to write about the exciting things she learns along the way.

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