Indonesia is the world’s most coveted destination for traditional cuisine and its café scene is no exception. Kopi Es Tak Kie is Jakarta’s most historical café and is highly regarded by us even if is a more modest rural place. That is precisely why we have selected it- it is authentic and basically the birthplace of Jakarata’s iced coffee.
A historical gem in Jakarta
Kopi Es Tak Kie was founded in 1927 and means wise, simple and innocent people. The word “Tak” means wise and “Kie” means easy to remember. Throughout the generations ownership of the café has stayed within the family. It started with a migrant from China named Lion Kwie Tjong. He passed on the café to his son Liong Tjoen and later his son Ayauw would take over. Three generations later and multiple location changes, the café has settled in Glodok.
Strong coffee throughout history
There are only two options- sugarless black coffee or iced coffee, but it’s more than enough. The hot coffee is a delicious sweet yet bold flavour which is why most drink it without sugar. The Iced coffee is the most well-known, as it’s a strong sweet version of the black coffee. They brew it early morning at 4am. The trick is letting the coffee cool down before adding the ice cubes so the flavour itself doesn’t change.
The name has not changed since it was established and holds a straightforward message for all generations running the shop to learn from- work hard, be smart and be humble. Food-wise the café offers 3 pork-based meals with rice but what steals the show is the coffee aroma. Their coffee is very simple but very strong.
Today, tourists are no longer flocking to the typical places that are designed with concept or are upscale. The authenticity of an older place and the culture of a historical cafe is much more captivating. Everything from the retro sign to the old tables are part of that atmosphere. For this reason, we went off-cuff and selected this new kind of historical significance.