Forget about multinational coffee corporate giant, and visit the more charming and bespoke coffee shops in Seminyak to get a dose of kicking caffeine with a hint of sweet experience.
This tiny gem on the quickly evolving street of Kayu Cendana is not here for the unnecessary gimmicky nonsense. There’s something urban and industrial about the concrete interior – no knickknack, no trinkets, but they Bali-nize the place a bit with a palm-print touch. As the brainchild of entrepreneur Adam McAsey (from the Sisterfields, BO$$ MAN and Bikini fame) and international award winning barista Shae Macnamara, Expat. isn’t joking around when it comes to the beans. The team works closely with local Balinese coffee farmers and producers to get the top-tier local product, in addition to their varied collection from around the world.
The menu is compact (just like the place that can only seat six to eight people inside), but if you really are a coffee connoisseur, it’s all that you need. Try Nomad, its house blend that comprises three of Indonesia’s finest: Sumatra’s Aceh Gayo and two varieties of Bali’s Kintamani beans. Choose from V60 or cold brew methods, and you’re good to go. Although the vibe (and the size) of Expat. says sip and scram, don’t leave just yet if you haven’t tasted its homemade banana bread with espresso butter, Nutella donuts and Wonderboys – brownie cookies with buttercream.
Jalan Kayu Cendana, Blok C003, Seminyak, T: +62 361 738 454, expatroasters.com
WHALE AND CO
This precious petite is located slightly outside the thick neck of Seminyak woods. Right down the corner from Sunset Road, Whale And Co is a nice surprise that welcomes you with artisan coffee and classic, feel-good donuts right in the middle of an unassuming neighbourhood. Whale And Co takes pride in sourcing and serving Indonesian speciality coffee, with various serving methods. The Vietnam Drip comes in a big cup, the gayo is cold-brewed with nitro and the shakeratto is just heaven sent for the tropical island. The big mammal also serves hearty breakfast menu to go with the cup of joe, like the barbeque chicken sandwich or Thai beef salad.
While the word “artisan” has showed up not too long ago, fret not, Whale And Co is far from anything pretentious. Au contraire, the joint has a darling, homey ambience that makes guests feel like they’re in a friend’s house. The staff are always friendly and welcoming. Stacks of magazines can be found in a few corners and cute posters are adorning the walls. There’s even a cheeky stack of paper cups gathered from various coffee shops – including two that are on this very list. Competitors? What competitors?
Jalan Nakula, Gang Kresna unit 3, Seminyak, T: +62 878 6156 0977, Instagram @whaleandcobali
Home Mate is more than just a coffee shop, it actually started as a shop selling curated goods, including Jewel Rocks bracelets, Sejauh Mata Memandang fabrics and picture-perfect home ware. It wasn’t long before Home Mate opened its cafe doors, selling good brew of coffee, fragrant tea selection and dreamy cakes and sweets. Although located on one of the busiest corners of Seminyak (just before the intersection to Batu Belig), Home Mate locks the exhausting hassle out. Inside the joint, there’s only a tranquil ease to be found.
Start with the coffee selection, but don’t stop there as Home Mate’s other elixirs are worth to try too. Long-time favourites include the ice honey apple cider tea and ice yuzu jelly. In between, do order the decadent rum raisin banana crepes, and one thing that’s definitely not to be missed at Home Mate is the Kakigori selection, the Japanese shaved ice bowl with refreshing flavours like strawberry milk, blue moon lychee mint and Thai black magic tea.
Jalan Petitenget 1A, Seminyak, T: +62 361 473 1615, Instagram @homematestore
THE MOOSE ESPRESSO BAR
Forget your pastel-coloured cake and coffee shop for a while as we delve deeper into The Moose Espresso Bar. At a glance, The Moose looks more like a custom vintage motorbike workshop rather than a coffee shop. It has that rugged vibe with the unplastered walls, dark leather couches, black metal frames and its pièce de résistance, the skeletal moose mural. The whole ambience is down-to-earth, with a little hint of rock ‘n roll.
The espresso bar has been a favourite among those looking to get their daily caffeine kicks, and most likely it’s going to be a go-to shop for those who need to get their thirst quenched or their hunger sated all day. From the all-day breakfast and smoothie bowl selection, to salads and sweet, sweet desserts, they have it. The Moose offers quite a wide selection of coffee – cold or hot, regular or soya or coconut milk, long black or red velvet latte, your call – but it also transitions well from breakfast to “It’s 5pm somewhere” with its potent cocktail list. Stop by early in the morning, or slightly late into the evening, The Moose is the kind of place that makes you stay longer than you thought.
Jalan Batu Belig No. 8A, Seminyak, Instagram @themooseespressobar
Among its counterparts on the list, Revolver has been around the longer, and most of the time, it’s on everyone’s tongue when talking about great coffee joints in Seminyak. These days, Revolver is no longer a hole-in-the-wall like on its early days – as it has been expanded to accommodate more caffeine enthusiasts (which tells you a lot about the quality), but it still has the elusive charm of being located in a small inconspicuous alley, with hidden nooks and corners. Not only has it expanded, Revolver also opened Baby Revolver on the nearby Jalan Petitenget for a quick grab-and-go option.
Sticking close to the namesake, Revolver has the ambience of a saloon in some cowboy town – with shotguns decorating the walls, and menu that’s filled with intriguing names like Pistol Whip (that’s tiramisu hotcakes), Smoking Barrell (the fluffiest scrambled egg you’ll find in Bali) and Killer Chiller (that’s the fancy frozen/blended/whip espresso selection).
Revolver is one of the pioneers of third-wave coffee movement in Bali. It handpicks and sources the best quality beans from the top-notch producers all over the world, before roasting and blending the beans here on the island. The favourite here is the flat white, with stronger caffeine punch while still being smooth at the same time. But to beat Bali’s scorching heat, you might want to opt for the cold drip coffee, which has a subtle hint of sweetness even without the sugar and a whole lot of coffee. The fact that the cold drip is poured from a skull-shaped bottle is not life-changing, but it’s still fun – just how Revolver aims to be.
Jalan Kayu Aya, Gang 51, Seminyak, T: +62 851 0088 4968, revolverespresso.com
Sitting in Seminyak’s newest resort–Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach–Pottery Café presents a unique atmosphere for a hotel’s coffee shop. Tendering a more intimate and well thought out interiors, this cafe not only offers artisanal and locally-sourced coffee brews but also tea, chocolate and a collection of scrumptious pastries.
Sample its signature Seminyak Blend, which incorporates 100% Arabica beans all sourced from local farmers on this island of Gods. Apart from the wide range of roasts and beans available in the menu, Pottery Cafe also presents an array of brewing techniques, from the regular espresso machine and syphon, to the V60, aeropress and its signature cold drip. However, should you feel a little bit more adventurous, I would recommend to have a try on their Advocaat Coffee which is a glass of iced coffee blended with fresh avocado, soy milk, whipped cream and chocolate paste—it may sound not as appealing but it tasted, oh so good!
On top of all that, the Pottery Cafe serves as an artisan space where many great pottery works by Bali-based brand, Kevala, are on display—which patrons can also purchase–as well as holding free periodical workshops for anyone who wants to learn the art.
Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach, Jalan Camplung Tanduk No. 10, Seminyak, T: +62 361 209 9999, seminyak.hotelindgo.com
Text and photos by: Runi Indrani