Noah’s Barn – Specialty Coffee with the Local Twist

Whenever traveling, I am looking to experience what there is, in its own, different context, not in the one familiar to me – like coffee. There are many coffee varieties, from different soils, various altitudes, growing under the sun, under the shade, next to carrots, next to chili peppers, in between cabbages, and all before it gets roasted and brewed, as the locals see it fit in their particular traditions.

One of my most memorable hours drinking coffee in Bandung were spent at the Noah’s Barn. It was one of those several moments when the visual atmosphere was easily interchangeable with any coffee shop in European or North American cosmopolitan cities but the palate told me otherwise. The food that could be ordered, the sweets next to the coffee cup – the world of flavors is a different one.

The baristi here understand the respect and attention that coffee demands from them, and that the guest awaits the very same respect and attention behind every single brew they pour. Their passion, dedication and focus are visible. And Indonesian hospitality is indeed special.

Now, in terms of my traveling and aiming at seeing things in their own context, instead of the one familiar to me, I did witness something as we walked in and had to give it a try before leaving. So, after a meal, two pour overs and a chocolate desert, I ordered their coffee-avocado shake. For many years I have been sprinkling avocado halves with salt and coffee powder and pouring some drops of Austrian pumpkin seed oil over it – so I know the avocado-coffee taste quite well. But this was a new twist as shake with vanilla ice-cream afloat. I must add, though, in Asia it is more common to add sugar to avocado than salt.

This is certainly one of several coffee spots in Bandung, where the global coffee aficionado may experience what is expected from quality coffee but enhanced by the local twists and some notes of the Indonesian cuisine.

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At a Coffee Stand (Mod Cup)

Mod Cup at the market / Jersey City, NJ / Leica D-Lux 4
Mod Cup at the market / Jersey City, NJ / Leica D-Lux 4
Mod Cup at the market / Jersey City, NJ / Leica D-Lux 4
Mod Cup at the market / Jersey City, NJ / Leica D-Lux 4
Mod Cup at the market / Jersey City, NJ / Leica D-Lux 4
Mod Cup at the market / Jersey City, NJ / Leica D-Lux 4
Mod Cup at the market / Jersey City, NJ / Leica D-Lux 4
Mod Cup at the market / Jersey City, NJ / Leica D-Lux 4
Mod Cup at the market / Jersey City, NJ / Leica D-Lux 4
Mod Cup at the market / Jersey City, NJ / Leica D-Lux 4

Fujihiko Hayashi – Barista at Café de L’Ambre

After observing several baristi in the great city of Tokyo, I wish to honor some of the young passionate and dedicated individuals, as well as some older and experienced masters that daily serve coffee in one of the most important Coffee cities of the world.

Fujihiko Hayashi is the nephew of Ichiro Sekiguchi, founder and owner of Café de L’Ambre. After just five days in Tokyo, I can count the third day I have sat in front of Fujihiko, having watched him breathe and bow over the steaming water, carefully watching that the water stream is constant over each coffee powder he has filled into the homemade cloth filters.

I have several dozens of pictures showing his concentration, his movements, his breathing. But today I spotted him just sitting there – just 5 seconds.

Fujihiko Hayashi, Barista / Cafe de L'Ambre, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan / Leica D-Lux 4
Fujihiko Hayashi, Barista / Cafe de L’Ambre, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan / Leica D-Lux 4

Masae Nagata – Barista at Coffee Reino

Thirty-nine years ago she began making coffee in this space, the Coffee Reino – Reino meaning “sample” in Japanese. Four decades she has been welcoming Japanese and tourists from different parts of the world into her living room in such a way that many call this their living room as well. Since her husband retired two years ago, they stand and sit and converse the whole day long, listen to music, prepare coffee and share quiet and busy moments – all around coffee.

Masae Nagata, drying cloth filter before usage / Coffee Reino, Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan / Leica D-Lux 4
Masae Nagata, drying cloth filter before usage / Coffee Reino, Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan / Leica D-Lux 4
Masae Nagata, owner of Coffee Reinio, Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan / Leica D-Lux 4
Masae Nagata, owner of Coffee Reinio, Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan / Leica D-Lux 4
Masae Nagata / Coffee Reino, Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan / Leica D-Lux 4
Masae Nagata / Coffee Reino, Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan / Leica D-Lux 4