Kopi Joss Yogyakarta: A Fiery and Unique Coffee
Kopi joss is simply translated as "charcoal coffee." However, fear not, you're not substituting your coffee beans with ground charcoal - it's not that extreme. Rather, it's a traditional Java-style coffee with a fiery twist.
Yogyakarta is renowned for its fancy and artsy coffee shops, considering Java's prominent status as the birthplace of all coffee beans. Trying this one-of-a-kind coffee seemed like a unique experience worthy of a spot on any coffee lover's bucket list.
The process involves loose coffee grounds mixed with sugar (sometimes with condensed milk), filled with boiling water straight from a tin kettle, and then topped with a flaming hot (red) piece of charcoal. You just put charcoal in the coffee for 1 minute, On the taste front, the burning sugar adds a caramel-like flavor to the coffee.
History of kopi joss：
The credit for inventing kopi joss goes to a man named Pak Man (Mr. Man), who started making this not-yet-famous coffee back in 1960. The story goes that one day, while manning his local coffee stall, Pak Man suffered from an upset stomach. He noticed the burning charcoal he used to boil water and decided to dunk a piece of it into his coffee cup. Surprisingly, it worked, and his stomach felt better.
Pak Man began offering this charcoal-infused coffee to his customers, and word quickly spread about its unique flavor and potential health benefits. Today, kopi joss has become a novelty in Yogyakarta, cherished by locals and captivating tourists alike.
The unique place of kopi joss：
Speaking of benefits, there have been limited studies on the advantages of kopi joss. Some skeptics on my social media raised concerns about potential health hazards, like the effect of carcinogens from drinking burnt wood. While activated charcoal is renowned for its health wonders, the type used in kopi joss is not activated. Despite these logical doubts, many locals swear by its benefits.
According to them, adding burnt charcoal to coffee neutralizes the acidity, making it easier to drink and beneficial for those with upset stomachs. Additionally, the charcoal can absorb some of the caffeine, resulting in a slightly milder brew.
If you decide to try kopi joss, note that it's not served in fancy, hipster coffee shops. Instead, you'll find it at local street food stalls, where the real essence of this traditional Yogyakartan drink shines through.
Drink kopi joss is a unique and fiery experience that might not suit everyone's taste buds, but it's worth trying for its novelty factor and the cultural significance it holds in Yogyakarta. Whether you're a coffee enthusiast or simply seeking an interesting adventure beyond the city's cultural landmarks, visiting a kopi joss stall should undoubtedly be on your itinerary. Even if you don't enjoy drinking it, witnessing the captivating dance of its preparation is an experience in itself. So, don't hesitate to dive into the world of kopi joss and explore the fascinating flavors and traditions that this charcoal coffee brings to Yogyakarta's coffee scene.