Bali has come a long way in a quick time when it comes to its coffee culture. Gone are the days when all that was on offer was a quick splash of instant or the cloudy Bali coffee that leaves a mud pool at the bottom of your cup.
Why it’s taken so long is a bit of a mystery given the coffee plantations in neighbouring Java.
But it’s here and it’s a bustling scene which is a blessing for me – I need decent shot of coffee to get me going. There are a growing number of options scattered around convenient places which will take the sheer luck out of ordering anything “exotic” like a latte or flat white at your hotel.
Here are a few that I’d happily recommend, based on experience. But if you’re fussy like me, make sure you speak up when you order – demand it’s made hot and go for the double-shot.
Gang51, Jl Kayu Aya (Jalan Oberoi), #3 Oberoi, Seminyak
Tucked away down an alley off Jalan Oberoi, the hive of Seminyak shopping, sits Revolver. It’s small, almost claustrophobic, but they squeeze out a good coffee and have a choice little menu to complement that.
Jalan Padma Utara 5, Legian
On a busy bend on the road that snakes in behind Legian Beach, this has the feel of a quick-fix spot for those in need of a hit. Good flavour and there’s some clever marketing that enables you to help a local charity while you sip.
Jalan Kayu Aya No 10A, Seminyak
This was formerly the Corner Store and an old favourite for coffee and a quick bite on the run – before it burnt down. The rebuild took time but was extensive. It’s a great position at the top of the Seminyak strip. Grab a coffee before doing “the walk”. Great juices here and a large menu. Stylish decor, too.
Jalan Petitenget No.40X Seminyak
Tucked away out of the madness of Seminyak central, this is a good spot to take a breather. There’s an extensive menu but they welcome those who are simply looking for a relaxing coffee.
Jalan Oberoi 50, (Jalan Kayu Aya), Seminyak
Surprisingly good coffee, considering this a little corner, decked out with retro furniture, in a surf shop right on the main drag. Good cookies, too. Sip inside or outside and watch the world go by.
22 Jalan Kayu Aya (Oberoi Rd), Seminyak
Another nestled at the bottom end of the Seminyak bustle. Located between notorious clubs Ku De Tat and Potato Head, it’s become very popular. The atmosphere matches the bright and breezy decor and there’s plenty of tasty little options on the menu to complement your coffee choice. Visit the Sea Circus website.
Jalan Batu Mejan No.8, Canggu
Canggu is booming at an alarming rate and there are food spots popping up all over the place to feed the masses. Of course it’s a surfing hot-spot too and with a surf-mad husband I tend to get dragged out there a bit. Don’t worry, good coffee is available for surf widows. Deus ex Machina is a big, airy complex set about a kilometre back from the beach. It’s a very cool mix of surfing and motorcycle culture, all made on the premises. And they do a seriously good coffee, backed up with a good snacky menu. See the Deus ex Machina website which includes a location map.
Jalan Batu Bolong Beach, Canggu.
Another spot made famous by surfing, set just behind the main car park at the bottom of the road. It’s breezy and lively, a great hangout. They know their coffee and later in the evening the beer garden lights up. It’s a great Sunday hangout with live music regularly dished up.
Jalan Pantai, Bingin
If you’re out on the Bukit Peninsular and you’re batteries are running flat, then get off the beaten track and duck down the side road towards the Bingin cliffs. Ask anyone handy and they’ll point the way to this little oasis that knows how to brew a good coffee to go with their wonderful organic food. It’s very child-friendly. Oh, and the Thursday night live music scene rocks.