Upon first hearing the name of Jakarta’s newest coffee outlet, one may be forgiven for thinking that the shop was outlawed before it even had the chance to open.
The capital’s newest outlet, Blacklisted, recently opened its doors in Puri Indah Mall, West Jakarta. It strives to provide coffee connoisseurs with a “new coffee-drinking experience” through its focus on high quality and freshness.
The cafe’s unique name is a reference to a little-known era in the history of coffee. In 1675 King Charles II of England banned all coffee shops after deeming them a political threat. It was thought that these cafes were meeting points for groups of people who were discontented with the government and planning revolt. Caffeine was also considered to be a mind-influencing drug. However, the ban didn’t stop coffee from becoming a part of everyday life.
In order to be a cut above the average coffee outlet, Blacklisted has enrolled the help of two experts: World Barista Championship judge Saxon Wright and experienced pastry chef K.E. Ong.
Wright, a passionate coffee expert, has perfected a blend and method that will be used in every cup of Blacklisted coffee. Having had the opportunity to try coffee from all corners of the globe has also given Wright the expertise needed to choose only the best coffee beans for the special blend. The beans are roasted on site and blended at the time of order.
“There’s a lot that goes into making a good coffee,” Wright said. “There’s a hundred different things and every little step counts and adds up to make the end product: something special and something really unique.”
Chef Ong, who trained in Leontre, France, and has 20 years of experience, will complement the coffee with his selection of fresh cakes and pastries.
Blacklisted’s owner, Dendy Sjahada, explained his vision for the cafe at its opening on Friday.
“About a year ago, Saxon, Mr. Ong and myself came together and thought, ‘What can we do better for the coffee scene in Indonesia?’ ” Dendy said.
“There are places where you can get good coffee, and there are also places where you can get decent cakes and pastries. But what we want to do is bring together the best coffee and the best cakes and pastries.”
But food and coffee isn’t the only reason for visiting Blacklisted. The cafe itself is a relaxing place to escape the heat and bustle of the city. Its warm wooden decor and hanging lighting creates a quaint yet welcoming ambience.
Coffee lovers could be in for another treat as, depending on Blacklisted’s success, more cafes may be set to open around the city. Until then, Jakarta’s newest coffee outlet is not one to be missed.