The Daily Roar

Kopi Bumbung Gula Jawa

People gathering in a spot while drinking coffee from a bamboo stem glass made me stop for a while and decide to order some. After chit-chatting a little bit I knew that the seller’s name was Mr. Wahyu. He told me the story of his coffee business while pouring the hot water into the bamboo glass with his secret ingredients.

He named it Kopi Bumbung – Gula Jawa. These mean Coffee served in a bamboo stem glass with Javanese brown sugar made from coconut, sugar cane or aren (a kind of palm trees). Let’s learn word by word if you don’t undertand Indonesian. Kopi means Coffee. Bumbung is the Javanese word for bamboo stems. Gula means sugar and Jawa means Javanese. So, these words really represents what Mr. Wahyu offers to his customers.


After finishing mixing the ingredients he serve the coffee to me. I held the bumbung and was extremely surprised; I thought it would be so hot like when I held a mug or a cup, but it was so cold. The bamboo layer held the heat transfering to my hand. However, the coffee inside was still so hot like boiling water. I blew it a lot for I could not wait to enjoy this new experience having a coffee morning in Boulevard Ijen in my town Malang under the shade of palm trees.

The coffee was so delicious with durian taste that I chose to order. Mr. Wahyu accompanied me while I enjoyed my coffee. He told me that previously he sold coffee in plastic glasses until he got stroke for several months. His left hand and cheek were paralyzed, so he just got a bed rest. Even when he could not move, his brilliant thought was still running. While he got herbal treatment with green coffee, he thought to continue his business. In his sick condition suddenly he got a golden idea to sell his coffee in “bumbung”. He told his friend to make this kind of glass, but his friend didn’t understand it for Mr. Wahyu was not able to communicate like usual. After being healed with that herbal green coffee he realized his idea.

Besides the glass is so unique, the taste of the coffee is so different with other coffee with the same price. It is only Rp. 3.000,00 (approx. 0.25 US dolars) but the taste is like the coffee in expensive restos or cafes. He uses two kinds of coffee; ordinary black coffee and green herbal coffee that saved his life. There are variations of the black coffee; he mixes it with other taste like strawberry, mocca, honey, etc. He always keep the quality by sorting the coffee he buys in the traditional market. He never uses hot water in thermos bottle because it can make the stomach bloating. He only uses boiling water from the kettle. He also has ice coffee menu that the technique to avoid the bloating stomach is by pouring the hot water first for the coffee and add some ice cubes.

The uniquness of Kopi Bumbung Gula Jawa does not end in its extraordinary glass, taste, and its story behind. I even just kept licking and chewing the coffee ground; while when I drank other coffee the coffee ground would taste bitter and I would throw it away.

/// Written by Gigih Dwiananto, Indonesia

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