ST. ALi, Melbourne coffee specialty pioneer in Jakarta

208
ST. ALi has two rooms that you can choose, in indoor and also outdoor of coffee shop. (photo: IO/Aldo)

IO, Jakarta – Coffee is not only about happiness but also shows cultural assimilation, as revealed in a new place called ST ALi Jakarta. Entering the coffee shop, I immediately feel typical shades of Melbourne culture. This place carries an open concept, a fun spot with a row of outdoor canopies and well-arranged indoor furnishings play a big part in inviting visitors to sit and sip while enjoying the perfect ambiance.

Situated at Setiabudi One, Ground Level in Building 2, it is almost never deserted by coffee lovers. Every table and chair is occupied. ST ALi opened its first outlet in Indonesia on Tuesday (02/02), a growing Australian brand which chose Jakarta as their first global venue. This Melbourne-based coffee shop has been established since 2005 and has become one of the coffee shops that carry a “specialty coffee” concept.

Melbourne is renowned for serving up what is arguably the best coffee in Australia and one of the cities that makes coffee as the prominent culture of its people. In cooperation with Tourism Victoria and Common Ground Roastery, ST ALi established its Jakarta store with coffee just as good as their original café in South Melbourne.

“If you are visiting and travelling to Melbourne, you will always smell the aroma of espresso and see unique and characteristic cafes,” said Salvatore Malatesta, owner of ST ALi Cafe Family, to Independent Observer. The busy port in Melbourne processes 30 ton of coffee beans per day, enough to produce three million cups of coffee for Melbourne citizens alone.

“In recent years, coffee’s growth in Melbourne has increased dramatically where you can see vibrant international visitors along the city streets who come for coffee blend tours,” said Celia Ho, South Asia & South East Asia Regional Manager from Tourism Victoria. According to the owner, ST. ALi coffee uses special beans from Colombia and Brazil. This outlet has not acquired Indonesian beans as the quality is not yet consistent.

At ST. ALi store, there are two areas available to enjoy coffee: the first one is an espresso bar, i.e. a room facing outside with a La Marzocco espresso machine as the main appliance, while the other one is a brew bar for indoor guests. As a manual brew lover, of course, I chose a filter coffee while enjoying the sunny afternoon. My personal view is that, the afternoon is not the perfect time to come – while in the morning or anytime near lunch would be better. Why? Because around that time, lots of brunch delicacies will be served to accompany your coffee time.

Single origin Ethiopia Yirgacheffee that I ordered was brewed using a Kalita Wave. It’s such a fun experience spectating the coffee-brewing process as demonstrated by the Baristas, as the Fellow Stagg Pour Over Kettle moved so carefully and stunned me as a witness. The single origin of the coffee filter I ordered was presented in a beautiful porcelain cup, and later the coffee substance of floral notes, berries, and chocolate fusion produces the exact aromatic and fruity flavors at first sip.

Not only the manual brewing process;  various menus like cappuccino and café latte are also available at this coffee shop. In my humble opinion, ST ALi has a very professional crew, because even if the coffee shop is crowded, the service is fast enough, combined with vibrant, smiling staff who are ready to serve whenever called upon. Overall, I am quite satisfied with the presence of ST. ALi in Kuningan vicinity, Jakarta. A coffee shop with strong Melbourne culture surely adds another option of general aesthetic café that sets this place apart from any coffee shop in the capital. Thus, ST ALi earns the highest recommendation from Independent Observer as worth trying for every coffee enthusiast around the Greater Jakarta Area. This place is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and during that time, you will experience a different feeling of coffee exploration at a fairly affordable price.

(Muhammad Akbar)