Banda Aceh – Every city has its own unique culture and so does Banda Aceh. The city that is dubbed as the ‘porch of Mecca’ has a culture where people like to spend their afternoon having coffee time with friends or family at traditional coffee shops.
Back in 1980s, the coffee culture was owned by older and adult men who crowded the small coffee shops. The men usually enjoyed black coffee with fried bananas as the side dish while waiting for Maghrib prayer. Milk coffee, which is known as sanger among locals, were also a favorite.
In early 2010, the culture has shifted. Younger people started to have their coffee culture too. Modern coffee shops started to thrive offering espresso bar concept. Such coffee shops are easily found in Ulee Kareng, Banda Aceh.
“Although younger people are now dominating the coffee shops, black thick coffee and sanger are still favorite,” said Kasyful Humam, the owner of Tanabata coffee shops on Jalan Teuku Iskandar, Ulee Kareng.
At Tanabata, arabican sanger which is made from gayo coffee is also guests’ favorite. The coffee powder is extracted on the espresso machine and then being added with creamer. It gives distinct taste and aroma.
“The acid typical to arabica meets sweetness from the creamer and it’s fresh,” Muhammad Nanda Aulia, a guest at Tanabata said.
A glass of arabican sanger is tagged with Rp10,000 which is cheaper than average coffee sold in Jakarta. Tanabata offers open bar concept where guests can see the making process of the coffee they have ordered.
There are also other coffee shops in Ulee Kareng that are crowded with young people. Joining Aceh’s youngsters in their coffee culture is an experience worth trying.