Coffee is a big deal in Indonesia, but for most of the world, it only exists on the supply side of the ledger as one of the top five producing countries on the planet, though much of that is robusta and thus outside of the traditional specialty coffee purview. And while it is true that Indonesia exports a bulk of their production, they nonetheless consume an estimated 288 million kilograms (635 million pounds) each year.
Bali-based Expat. Roasters is a chain of specialty cafes bringing high quality coffee, both domestic and imported, to the people of Indonesia. And now, they have opened a brand new outpost in Surabaya in East Java. The gorgeous new cafe features an all-day food menu, high end brew bar, and a host of sustainability initiatives. We speak with Expat. Roasters’s Dada Sabra to learn more.
As told to Sprudge by Dada Sabra.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
Expat. Roasters was founded in Bali in 2016 and is a leading specialty coffee roastery and cafe chain dedicated to sourcing and roasting the finest coffee beans from the best growing regions in Indonesia and around the world. With a passion for craftsmanship and a commitment to delivering outstanding coffee experiences, Expat. Roasters has established itself as a prominent player in Indonesia’s thriving coffee industry. The company wholesales across Indonesia and operates stores in Bali and Surabaya.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
Located in the heart of Surabaya, the new Expat. Roasters store promises to be a haven for coffee enthusiasts and aficionados alike. Boasting a contemporary and inviting atmosphere, the architecturally designed space offers an immersive coffee experience, coupled with exceptional customer service and an international cuisine. Surabaya’s coffee connoisseurs can expect a wide selection of blends and premium single-origin coffees, expertly brewed to perfection using various brewing methods, including pour-over, espresso, and cold brew.
In addition to its remarkable coffee offerings, the Surabaya store will feature a carefully curated an all-day dining menu, showcasing a fusion of local and international flavors. From locally baked pastries, sandwiches, burgers and a kimchi fried rice alongside classic brunch favorites.
The Brew Bar was architecturally designed by WHAstudio in collaboration with Sydney-based X plus O Design Studio. We aimed to design a contemporary and immersive atmosphere that would captivate coffee enthusiasts and create a haven for their passion, with a touch of Bali.
What’s your approach to coffee?
“The perfect bean is a combination of both art and science—recognizing a superior product from the point it is hand picked to the myriad of scientific processes that determine its final flavor. It’s a delicate balance of hands, head (and heart).”
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
We have a customized La Marzocco and a manual brew bar sitting as the centerpiece of the venue.
We also launched a new coffee series: THE ROOFTOP SERIES.
Set atop the heights of the Surabayan cityscape, these coffee beans have been processed and flourished on the rooftop of an urban sanctuary, allowing the gentle winds and vibrant energy of the city influence its unique flavors. As the beans sunbathe during drying, the gentle winds and the city essence infuses into them, embracing three distinct processing techniques: Natural, Fully Washed, and Anaerobic Natural.
The resulting coffees exhibit a captivating flavor profile that captures both their origin and the Innovative processing approach. With every sip, you’ll discover a harmonious blend of Surabaya urban vitality and the earthy richness of freshly harvested coffee.
How is your project considering sustainability?
Our commitment to Sustainable Development and Responsible Consumption, drives us to take concrete actions towards preserving the environment. Through our innovative recycling program, we have found a creative way to repurpose used coffee grounds and significantly reduce waste. In 2022, we have repurposed more than a ton of our used coffee grounds to be valuable products which we believe we have in charge of making the world a better place to live!
Reducing Waste and Giving Coffee Grounds a New Life: Every day, countless coffee grounds are discarded, destined for landfills. However, we saw an opportunity to transform this waste into a valuable resource. Recycling coffee grounds not only minimizes waste but also allows us to give them a new lease on life. By adopting sustainable practices, we take pride in our ongoing efforts to minimize our environmental footprint.
Sunglasses and drink coasters: Creating valuable products from coffee waste is a big passion of ours so we have partnered with Cik Eyewear by Recgla to create a range of sunglasses and drink coasters made from our used coffee grounds. The products will be available for sale in our stores and online soon.
Tie-Dye Shirts: Collaborating for Waste Innovation: In our relentless pursuit of waste management innovation, we have partnered with SU-RE.CO, an organization specializing in sustainable fashion. Together, we have developed a unique process to extract pigments from used coffee grounds, which we then utilize for creating tie-dye shirts. By repurposing coffee waste into vibrant dyes, we blend fashion with sustainability.
Jiwa Garden: Utilizing Used Coffee Grounds as Organic Fertilizer: In our quest for sustainable solutions, we have formed an exciting partnership with Jiwa Garden, a renowned organic farming initiative. Through this collaboration, we have discovered a remarkable use for our used coffee grounds and coffee chaff from green beans – as organic fertilizer. This eco-friendly approach promotes plant growth and enriches the soil with vital nutrients, fostering a greener and healthier environment.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
It has been opened since 19 August 2023
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
For all our spaces we work very closely with X plus O Design Studio from Sydney Australia and then collaborate locally where we can. For this cafe in Surabaya we collaborated with Wilson from WHAstudio from Surabaya.