Kopi Joss – The Charcoal Coffee of Yogyakarta


Yes, you heard it right. Charcoal coffee. Hot, strong, sweet and smooth, this brew is part of the dynamism and life that Jogja is home to.

I’m always on the hunt to find awesome cafes because the velvety richness of coffee is one of my greatest happiness. So after almost 2 years of being here, I decided to try this unusual brew that Jogja calls Kopi Joss.

Angkringan "Lek Man"

I headed over to the “Lek Man” Angkringan just outside of the Tugu train station last night. I actually went there 2 days before but I don’t know what was wrong, I ordered a simple coffee with milk, but still so, so good. Being one and if not the best in Jogja, it was packed with people nipping on fried snacks, sate and tipping back glasses of hot drinks.  Relishing in the atmosphere. Accompanied by the sound of trains passing by in the background, I’m once again reminded of how charming this city is.

Milk-coffee and fried snacks

So, the coffee is prepared very simple. Loose coffe grinds, sugar is added into hot water in a glass. Then, the star ingredient, flaming hot charcoal right from the wood stove is added to the brew. It sizzles, cools down in the glass and that sound is interpreted as “joss”, giving its household name. Finally, you find yourself face to face with the one and only.

Kopi Joss

Now, one may ponder over the strangeness of this brew. But in fact, the charcoal actually neutralizes the acidity of coffee, enhances the aroma and it flows down pleasantly as I closed my eyes in enjoyment. So, those who easily gets an upset tummy over coffee may just find themselves best friends with this charcoal-infused brew. No smokey aftertaste, just smooth coffee goodness. Kopi Joss then finds itself far from novelty, it’s character.

It was just fantastic to finally experience this unique drink that Jogja and its people have lovingly presented to me. You can easily find yourself in conversation with people here and learn new things. With warm and lively chatters around me along the lamp-lit street, it feels like home. Jogja, you are continuing to give me little pieces of forever in all the treasures that you bring. To that, I will always be thankful.

Angkringan Lek Man
Jl. Wongso Dirjan, north of Tugu station
Price of Kopi Joss: Rp. 3000 or US$0.20
Open: 4 pm onwards.