Nusa Penida’s crude cup
I stared at the thick glob of sludge at the bottom of my coffee cup. This was the Balinese way of serving their coffee, an unfiltered blob. But not bad, not bad at all. Over numerous cups of Balinese coffee, I did a lot of pondering. There are so many places to see on this tiny island, some with high expectations and famous reputations, others quiet and undisturbed, but all of them interesting. I enjoyed that cup on the island of Nusa Penida.
Ubud’s crowd-pleaser platter
The coffee tasting platter had delivered the hot dark brew with twists of vanilla, chocolate and ginger. This was coffee country now, the tiered farmlands of Ubud. I couldn’t wait to see some rice terraces! But my expectations were thrown to left field somewhat here. What I thought was going to be a farming community with a small town centre was actually a car-choked hotel-developed town, lashed with a couple of bar streets and shopping avenues.
Sanur barista skill
This cup came from the hands of a skilled barista that would have been the envy of any coffee snob Sydneysider. Yep, in the picture you see, the barista even signed his name and that of our waitress. Stirring in a sugar, I felt bad to destroy such coffee art. No matter; such service was typical of Sanur. This ‘Kuta for the oldies’ was my favourite place to relax, eat, and sleep.
The last cup was served in a beautiful glass mug. This Seminyak shop was unique, like some kind of exotic antiques dealer, with gorgeous hand crafted woodwork and pottery for sale. It didn’t sell the tacky fridge magnets, gawdy bumper stickers and Bintang singlets that were omnipresent along this most popular corner of the island. Through all the tat and touts, we were happy to have found a little corner of authentic Balinese craft.
Do you have a most memorable cup of coffee from your travels? Maybe it’s Vietnamese drip coffee, or an Australian cafe latte? Let me know in the comments below!