A couple of months ago I wrote in our trend forecast that coffee will still dominate the F&B business in the island. That prediction was not based on guessing, but thorough observation. Not only that new coffee shops open nearly every month, but gourmet restaurants, vegan places and even bars now are investing on high- end machines and premium quality blends. And while Seminyak will remain be the mecca for F&B growth in a few years to come, Kuta actually holds some wonderful coffee places, too — some you may even haven’t heard of before.
Crumb & Coaster
The youngest on the list, C&C snuggly (or bravely) opens in Kuta’s most bustling alleyway, Poppies. Hard to find a parking space, and on their busiest hours probably also a seat, shows how popular they are. And we can see why almost immediately. The design is just exquisitely updated for the hipster crowd. From the unplastered walls, chipped beams, stained mirrors and dangling lightbulbs — this place screams apocalyptic aesthetics all over. But in a good way, because they look really lovely. The skylight ceiling makes the grim decor brightens up, and their earthy colour selections transforms the room more comfortably. Yet C&C doesn’t aim comfortable with their menu. Open only for breakfast and brunch, their menu ranges from traditional breakfast, various toasts, to heavier selections like burgers and sandwiches — they even have vegan bowls as well. Their coffee? Let’s just say that in this alley, nothing comes close.
Whale & Co.
One of the senior shops in the area, Whale has the advantage of everything that on the surface would actually appear as disadvantages. Located at the perfectly semi-secluded spot on the Kuta riverbank that most just seldom passes, they are actually proud of being a hidden gem. That facade is unmissable; an homage to European storefronts with bright contrasting tone and large window panels on wooden frames that faces the road — enticing anybody to turn their heads. Catering true coffee aficionados that enjoy good lattes, Whale utilizes their anti-social status very well. Apart from having the quiet environment and a decent view, the place is designed to be homey. Cute retro seatings, various whale-themed decors, comfy corner filled with stacks of magazines and books, a traditional rug and some plants complements the overall atmosphere. Great coffee overall, made by people who really understands them as well – and if you’re lucky some good pastries are also available.
Probably the grandmaster of the coffee crowd in this area not just based on shop size, but what they do. Other than operating a much loved coffee shop, Sensa is one of Bali’s most prominent coffee maker that supplies many renown coffee shops all around the island. That’s why their coffees are so good, because they take it very seriously — and other shops acknowledged that fact that they use it in their menus. After a renovation last year, Sensa made sure that identity shown clearly. Their mega roaster is now shown full frontal behind a glass wall, making it virtually impossible to miss every time a guest steps in. The decor have also changed, now highlighting their Indonesian heritage more through vintage colonial designs all over the furniture, wall pieces and patterned tiles.
A little secret, I actually just visited this place for the first time a few days before I wrote this piece, so my experience is as blank as you. No wonder though. Domba is a little underrated and under the radar, many would easily miss this spot because it’s attached on the corner of their very own coffee processing factory. I’m sure by now you know where the factory is — but yes, they actually have a coffee shop there. Just a simple 2×4 with not more than 10 seatings, it’s actually quite the cozy place to start your day. And being a coffee producer, they also have a large corner dedicated on their myriad selections their of products. From many kinds of coffee blends, different cans of flavoured tea, chocolate drinks to homemade coffee making equipment are available too. A little bonus that you should not miss, they also sell cute miniature coffee related keychains like pots and portafilters.