13 Jan 12 Popular Local Indonesian Drinks To Try On Your Next Trip Over
Being a tropical country, Indonesia undoubtedly offers plenty of unique local drinks to try during your visit. More than just refreshments, these beverages represent the multicultural nature of the country that makes it’s cuisine interesting and diverse.
This guide will go through some of the must-try drinks & beverages when you’re travelling to Indonesia that will quench your thirst for both taste & culture.
In This Must Try Indonesian Drinks Guide:
Must Try Indonesian Coffee Drinks
1. Kopi Tubruk
For the most part, Kopi Tubruk (which roughly translates to ground coffee) is just like your run-of-the-mill black coffee. The only difference comes in the method of serving, which was brought over from the Middle East during colonial times by migrating merchants.
Here, newly-roasted coffee beans are ground to medium softness and then brewed right inside your cup with near-boiling water. The enticing aroma alone can give you the energy kick you seek from the cup of joe.
2. Kopi Joss (Indonesian Charcoal Coffee)
Leaning towards the more extreme side of coffee, Kopi Joss is a Yogyakarta specialty where hot coal is put inside a cup of black coffee. The sound that it makes when that happens is how the drink got its name.
Kopi Joss’ supposed health benefits are debatable, but drinking it provides a glimpse into the local culture as it is mostly served at food carts near Stasiun Tugu or Tugu Station. Don’t forget to ask the origin of the drink whilst you’re there!
3. Es Kopi Susu
Unlike the first two, this Indonesian coffee drink is a more recent phenomenon. Affordable and easy to down, Es Kopi Susu iced milk coffee has become a staple in the average Jakarta’s caffeine drink of choice.
Es Kopi Susu, which uses palm sugar as sweetener, was first popularised by coffee chain Tuku. But today, you can find variations of it at almost every coffee shop in the city—and even at several convenience stores.
Must Try Indonesian Teas
4. Teh Talua
Teh Talua or egg tea from West Sumatra boasts an interesting combination. Black tea brew comes together with chicken or duck egg yolk, sugar and condensed milk. It’s mixed until thick and foamy with a traditional bamboo tool. S
erved alongside a slice of lime for added freshness. Teh Talua used to be a drink for the aristocracy, but it has since become a common staple among eateries in its area of origin.
5. Teh Jatiluwih
Hailing from the Tabanan area in Bali, Teh Jatiluwih uses filtered organic red rice from Mount Batukaru instead of tea leaves.
Upon brewing, the concoction would reveal its signature red tint and slightly sweet flavour. The tea is said to come packed with several health benefits such as helping reduce high cholesterol and constipation.
6. Teh Poci
The people of Tegal, Central Java are proud of their tea drinking tradition. Their signature tea is known as Teh Poci, where the tea leaves—usually jasmine—are brewed inside of an earthen pot.
Once brewed, the thick, aromatic tea is then poured into a cup alongside a small chunk of sugar candy. The proper way to drink it is to let the sugar melt naturally, a symbolic gesture that invokes a lesson in patience.
Fruit-based Indonesian Drinks
7. Jus Alpukat (Avocado Juice)
When it comes to fruit-based drinks, most Indonesians would think of Jus Alpukat or avocado juice. It’s a simple, nostalgic drink that has been popular for ages.
The juice is lightly sweetened with sugar and then topped with chocolate-flavoured condensed milk, making it a treat for all, even kids who are picky eaters.
8. Setup (Fruit Cocktail)
Setup is a type of fruit cocktail that surges in popularity every Ramadan. During the holy month, households, mosques and restaurants would often serve the drink when the time to break fast comes along.
Small chops of apple, pear, papaya, honeydew and other fruits are combined together in this drink, complemented with a sweet cinnamon concoction as its base.
9. Es Kelapa Muda (Coconut Water)
Es Kelapa Muda or iced coconut water is the perfect antidote to the blazing heat of the tropical country!
At its core, the drink is a simple combination of coconut meat, water and a touch of syrup; but newer iterations have also come to fruition, adding ingredients like palm sugar and orange juice into the equation.
Alcoholic Indonesian Beverages
10. Anggur Merah or Amer (Red Wine)
If red wine is made to impress, its cousin Anggur Merah—better known by its acronym ‘amer’—serves an opposite purpose: It’s the go-to cheap, local alternative for those looking to get intoxicated in Indonesia. But it’s not without its own merit; the drink is sweet and syrupy, best served cold and mixed together with a refreshing can of beer or lightly-flavoured soda.
11. Arak Bali
When in Bali, you can’t miss the chance to sample the island’s Arak. Made with distilled and fermented produce that differ with each artisan village’s natural resources and style, the drink has recently been recognised as a part of cultural heritage by UNESCO.
Locals like to enjoy Arak Bali by mixing in spices like cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. And today, cocktail options have also mushroomed in the island’s drinking scene.
12. Sopi or Cap Tikus
Sopi, also known as Cap Tikus, is a traditional drink from Maluku that is highly popular in the eastern parts of Indonesia.
The drink is closely tied to the local culture as a symbol of togetherness, often served as refreshments for guests during home visits and also at traditional ceremonies.
Frequently Asked Questions About Indonesian Drinks
What is the most popular drink in Indonesia?
Tea is probably the most popular drink in Indonesia. Every place serves it, and many do it for free with your meal!
Does Indonesia have a national drink?
There’s no one particular drink that can be dubbed as such, but there are certainly plenty of options that are typical to the nation. Other than the ones above, there are also herbal concoctions called jamu and a plethora of iced, sweet refreshments.
Do Indonesians drink alcohol?
Of course! Drinking used to be part of many local cultures, done during ceremonies and gatherings. As time passes and the public perspective shifts, the tradition has mostly been subdued, but it still exists. Plus, the nightlife scene here is also alive and well.
Is drinking alcohol illegal in Indonesia?
No it’s not! Access to alcohol has been getting easier instead, with food delivery services providing them at a touch of a button. Local tipples too are currently on the rise, and craft beers in particular are quickly gaining popularity among the people in Jakarta and Bali.
What is the legal drinking age in Bali?
The legal drinking age in Bali, just like anywhere else in Indonesia, is 21.