Tucked away in a small, dark alley of Jakarta’s Glodok area lies a hidden gem that can be easily overlooked by anyone passing through. This is due to its rundown structure concealed by many wooden stalls around it.

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Despite its unappealing look, Kopi Es Tak Kie has a long history and a simple recipe for success and these explain why the coffee shop continues to attract dozens of loyal patrons every day. 

As numerous pictures on the coffee shop’s walls can testify, the shop counts among many of its customers famous individuals and politicians including President Joko Widodo and Jakarta’s Governor Anies Baswedan.    

For almost a century Kopi Es Tak Kie has witnessed how the Indonesian capital evolved. But for the coffee shop itself, one thing has always remained the same since it began business: its old-style coffee blends. 

“I don’t know what keeps people coming. Perhaps the coffee suits them, so they keep coming,” said 71-year-old Latif Yulus, who runs the shop with three of his siblings.

The third-generation owner said the shop makes its beverage out of ground coffee and no other additional flavours, unlike the new inventions of coffee chains.