Jakarta restaurant brings back Aceh's kopi kertup

Coconut latte and a spoonful of kopi kertup at Benedict restaurant in Grand Indonesia, Central Jakarta.
Coconut latte and a spoonful of kopi kertup at Benedict restaurant in Grand Indonesia, Central Jakarta.PHOTO: JAKARTA POST / JESSICHA VALENTINA

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST / ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Despite Aceh's popularity as a haven for coffee enthusiasts, not many people know about kopi kertup, a tradition of chewing roasted coffee beans and palm sugar.

Journalist-slash-coffee enthusiast Dody Wiraseto told The Jakarta Post that the tradition came about because people in the past did not own coffee machines.

“Kertup is a Gayo word that means chewing. Kopi kertup means consuming coffee without grinding and brewing,” he explained.

Kopi kertup was regularly consumed a long time ago, specifically in Takengon in Central Aceh.

“The residents of Takengon brought roasted coffee beans and palm sugar while climbing the mountain and chewed them to give them more energy,” said Union Group head barista Day Hendratno. “However, kopi kertup is slowly disappearing nowadays.”

Fortunately, coffee aficionados who are interested in tasting the beverage can come to the all-day breakfast restaurant Benedict at Grand Indonesia shopping mall in Central Jakarta.

The establishment recently introduced kopi kertup as a part of its coconut latte menu. Consisting of roasted coffee beans, palm sugar and water, guests can now experience the tradition prior to sipping the coconut latte.  

Besides the coconut latte served with kopi kertup, Benedict is also serving new variations of coffee, including coconut cold drip, black pepper coffee and waterfall iced coffee.