Beverages in Indonesia

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Indonesian cuisine is referred as one of the most vibrant and colourful cuisines in the world with the intense flavour that attractions so many tourists coming to this country. The cuisine here is diverse and different in each island. Beverages in Indonesia also have many types that are mainly divided into 2 categories: alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic beverages.

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Non-alcoholic beverages

The most common and popular Indonesian drinks and beverages are teh (tea) and kopi (coffee). Indonesian households commonly serve teh manis (sweet tea) or kopi tubruk (coffee mixed with sugar and hot water and poured straight in the glass without separating out the coffee residue) to guests. Since the colonial era of Netherlands East Indies, plantations, especially in Java, were major producers of coffee, tea and sugar. Since then hot and sweet coffee and tea beverages have been enjoyed by Indonesians. Jasmine tea is the most popular tea variety drunk in Indonesia, however recent health awareness promotions have made green tea a popular choice. Usually coffee and tea are served hot, but cold iced sweet tea is also frequently drunk. Kopi Luwak is Indonesian exotic and expensive coffee beverage made from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by the Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) and other related civets. Teh botol, bottled sweet jasmine tea, is now quite popular and locally competes favourably with international bottled soda beverages such as Coca-Cola and Fanta. Kopi susu (coffee with sweetened condensed milk) is an Indonesian version of Café au lait. Es kelapa muda or young coconut ice is fresh drink which is made from chilled young coconut water, coconut flesh and syrup. It is among favourite beverage in Indonesia.

Es teler via se-asia

Fruit juices (jus) are very popular. Varieties include orange (jus jeruk), guava (jus jambu), mango (jus mangga), soursop (jus sirsak) and avocado (jus alpokat), the last of these being commonly served with condensed milk and chocolate syrup as a dessert-like treat. Durian can be made into ice cream called es durian.

Many popular drinks are based on ice (es) and can also be classified as desserts. Typical examples include young coconut (es kelapa muda), grass jelly (es cincau), cendol (es cendol or es dawet), avocado, jackfruit and coconut with shreded ice and condensed milk (es teler), mixed ice (es campur), kidney beans (es kacang merah), musk melon (es blewah), and seaweed (es rumput laut).

Hot sweet beverages can also be found, such as bajigur and bandrek which are particularly popular in West Java. Both are coconut milk or coconut sugar (gula jawa) based hot drinks, mixed with other spices. Sekoteng, a ginger based hot drink which includes peanuts, diced bread, and pacar cina, can be found in Jakarta and West Java. Wedang jahe (hot ginger drink) and wedang ronde (a hot drink with sweet potato balls) are particularly popular in Yogyakarta, Central Java, and East Java.

Alcoholic beverages

Bintang Beer via Wikipedia

As a Muslim-majority country, Indonesian Muslims share Islamic dietary laws that prohibit alcoholic beverages. However, since ancient times, local alcoholic beverages were developed in the archipelago. According to a Chinese source, people of ancient Java drank wine made from palm sap called tuak (palm wine). Today tuak continues to be popular in the Batak region, North Sumatra. A traditional Batak bar serving tuak is called lapo tuak. In Solo, Central Java, ciu (a local adaptation of Chinese wine) is known. Bottled brem bali (Balinese rice wine) is popular in Bali. In Nusa Tenggara and Maluku Islands the people also drink palm wine, locally known as sopi. In the Minahasa region of North Sulawesi, the people drink a highly alcoholic drink called Cap Tikus. Indonesians developed local brands of beer, such as Bintang Beer and Anker Beer.

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