Kopi Tubruk: An Indonesian Style Coffee You Can Brew At Home

The Indonesian cuisine is replete with loads of hot and cold beverages. One of them is Kori turbuk, a hot drink that is immensely popular among Indonesians. Kopi tubruk is an Indonesian-style hot coffee beverage brewed straight using coffee powder without straining. The coffee beans are first coarsely ground into a thin powder and then boiled with solid sugar, resulting in a thick drink similar to Turkish coffee. What makes this Indonesian drink a tad bit similar to Turkish coffee is the only way it is brewed with the help of finely ground coffee beans without filtering it beforehand. Bali and Java are the two places in Indonesia where this drink can be seen and found quickly all across the town. 

Digging into the history of Kopi Tubruk:

In Bali, Kopi tubruk is known by a different name: ‘Kopi Selem’, which means black coffee. The beverage has been brought to Indonesia by merchants from the Middle East. However, the year of its origin remains ambiguous, and there is no information regarding when and in which part of Indonesia was this drink first discovered. Intriguingly, the drink hasn’t lost its fame and admiration among the locals. It can be found in most warungs that serve coffee. For the unversed, Warungs in Indonesia are eateries or cafes traditionally made from Bamboo, wooden or thatched material. 

The first word of the drink’s name, ‘Kopi’, is derived from the Indonesian word for coffee. While, on the other hand, ‘Tubruk' is a Javanese word meaning collision. Hence, the drink's name represents both the beverage's name and its style of preparation.

How is it traditionally brewed?

As discussed, Kopi tubruk is a drink that uses finely ground coffee beans. There are times when instant coffee is used, albeit one that contains no sugar or milk. These grounded beans are then mixed with boiled water. Since the coffee is brewed without any filter, the coffee grounds usually coagulate at the bottom of the glass. Most recipes do not make use of sugar, but it can also be added depending on taste. Some modern variants also add condensed milk. 

Have fun brewing. Always remember to serve it in a clear glass to amplify the beauty of this exquisite drink.