As published in Bali & Beyond Magazine July 2016. Download the article here
During a hot day in Bali, a cozy cafe with full selection of good coffee or tea to sip and delish desserts to munch becomes a necessity for Bali locals and holiday goers alike…
A cup of good coffee or tea, some mouth-watering desserts and fast Wi-Fi – I know what you want from a good café, be it to rest your legs after a shopping spree or to continue your work outside the office. These four are among the best cafés in Bali. Let’s check them out!
THE PETITE CORNER
If you find yourself trapped in the chaotic traffic of Petitenget and need a quick hideaway, this cute little café is where you should go. Specializing in healthy selections of food and beverages, Home Mate is a petit café situated on the dense Jalan Petitenget, which also serves as a shop selling home trinkets and food products that are mostly locally sourced.
Walking into this café with its simple interior, I’m sure you will feel at home in an instant. The warm wooden furniture, the pastel color palettes and the large glass windows – all emanate a welcoming vibe that lures you in and makes you want to stay forever. And as you take a seat and examine the menu, you will see that their selection of drinks and food is compact yet fully satisfying. A healthy breakfast menu is available all day including granola and muesli bowls, while choices of coffee and tea are plentiful alongside their sweet treats and cake of the day.
As a tea lover I love their tea selection, which ranges from fragrant rice tea, to rose verbena and a variety of teas by Bellocq from New York. A simple tea ritual at Home Mate can be an experience on its own. My favorite is Houjica tea, a Japanese green tea roasted in a porcelain pot over burning charcoal. Its bitter taste is even more perfect when paired with Chocolate Jolly, the fudgy chocolate pop that melts in your mouth.
But if you are keen for a more refreshing option, their Ice Yuzu Jelly is really worth a try. Served in a large laboratory test tube, this drink is made of refreshing Yuzu citrus with chewy konyaku jelly inside. This drink is surely a perfect companion as you escape from a hot Bali day at Home Mate.
Home Mate Home & Food Store
Jalan Petitenget No. 1A, Seminyak
A new gem on Petitenget strip, Pison Coffee is a Sydney-style coffee shop that is slowly rising to fame with its great selection of food and beverages. With its rustic industrial design, exposed brick wall, leather chairs and vintage fl ooring, this café will transport you to a quiet place away from the noisy Seminyak scene.
And when it comes to coffee, their selection is simply superb. The owner cum barista has lots of experience working in the coffee scene in Australia, which is beautifully translated into their immense coffee selection – Pison Coffee offers basic Espresso, Ristretto and Long Black as well as fancy creations like Homemade Nutella Frappuccino and Hazelnut Frappe.
Each drink is beautifully served on a wooden board. And to accompany this black gold, selections of sweet desserts and cakes are also available. The cakes are freshly homemade by the mother of the owner, using the healthiest ingredients such as coconut oil and sugar so you can enjoy them without feeling guilty. However, for those who are up for something savory, the Red Velvet Ori Beef Burger is the star of the place. This burger is not a dessert but who can resist its adorable pink buns made of beet?
Pison Coffee consists of two floors. The downstairs seating area has a few tables, a large bookshelf and a musician corner where live music performances are held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. from Tuesday to Thursday mornings.
Jalan Petitenget No. 19, Seminyak
Amidst all the organic and healthy shops in Ubud, Seniman Coffee Studio has long been considered a landmark when it comes to good coffee in this town. Located just steps away from the Ubud Market, Seniman Coffee Studio offers a tranquil haven for relaxation where you can watch Ubud’s slow life from its balcony.
As a design led café, every aspect of Seniman Coffee Studio is infused with arts. The open space is filled with communal tables where all sorts of “artists” congregate, while the porch is decorated with iconic plastic rocking chairs – each of the furniture pieces gives a signature touch to the café. And as its popularity grew, Seniman Coffee Studio became more than just a café. They also have a building across the street where they run their own roasting branch, Tetap Happy Coffee Roaster.
With a well thought out design and its own roasting branch, it’s obvious how serious they are when it comes to coffee – this also shows in their selection of coffee beverages. Seniman Coffee Studio serves specialty single-origin coffee from five different regions in Indonesia. Each can be prepared as per customer’s request, using siphon, pour-over drip,hand-pull or Italian espresso brewing methods. Each coffee is served on a wooden paddle along with a glass of water and Balinese jaje’ (light bites). They also have selections of fresh juices for those who are not really keen on caffeinated drinks.
My all-time favorite is Seniman’s affogato, with strong full-bodied coffee that blends perfectly with the fresh vanilla and espresso ice cream, which feels like having your coffee and dessert at the same time. With coffee tasting this strong, no wonder Seniman Coffee Studio is one of the favorite places for digital nomads to continue their work while “hiding out” in Ubud.
Seniman Coffee Studio
Jalan Sriwedari No. 5, Ubud
When it comes to coffee, Sanur is less likely to be considered as a destination to go. But tucked inside a quiet alley on Jalan Duyung lies a sanctuary for the coffee connoisseurs in the area. Its name is Dusk Blue, a stylish and contemporary café specializing in high-quality coffee and a wide range of gourmet healthy foods for breakfast, lunch and dessert.
The ambiance of this beach house café is calm and comforting with the domination of white pantones and baby blue color. The furniture is minimalistic yet stylishly arranged without being overly pretentious.
This café has two seating options. The inside is air-conditioned while the outdoor area is set in an open verandah with green vines hanging on the white pergolas. The two are separated by a glass door that gives the illusion of open space that is non-confining and relaxing.
Open from 8 a.m. to 7.30 p.m., Dusk Blue can customize their drinks and food to fit your diet. For vegans who avoid dairy products the coffee can be made with soya milk, while the meals come in variations of gluten-free, nut-free and vegetarian or vegan options. Healthy desserts are also available, like Apple Crumble and Coffee Panna Cotta.
My personal favorite is its healthy Power Juice (made of beetroot, carrot, green apple, baby spinach and watermelon). This drink is best paired with Chia pudding served with sunfl ower, flax, hazelnut and oats and some free-range local egg dishes.
However, the highlight of the café that I truly appreciate is the fact that they are serving beverages without plastic straws and use the paper ones instead. Major bonus points for taking care of the environment while giving an extra boost for your health!