Kopi tubruk literally means “collision coffee”. The concoction can be found in many parts of Indonesia, particularly in Java and Bali. Sources say kopi tubruk stems from a similar recipe brought over by traders from the Middle East, where it is known as “mud coffee.” Kopi tubruk is the simplest recipe for preparing coffee. To make a cup, one needs to add two teaspoons of ground coffee and sugar according to one’s taste.
Next, pour in boiling water, and let it “cook” the coffee for a while until most of the grounds have settled to the bottom according to Evi Mariani.
Some say kopi tubruk needs finely ground coffee, while others prefer coarsely ground. Most Indonesians, however, buy the common coffee brands from any given warung (locale store).
Devotees say the key to proper kopi tubruk is in the water. Hot water from water dispensers is often not hot enough to cook the coffee grounds. Uncooked grounds will remain floating on the surface.
Variants of kopi tubruk include kopi susu (milk coffee), in which one adds sweetened condensed milk. A less common variant involves mixing the coffee with avocado juice.
Many Indonesians enjoy the drink with sweet snacks, including pisang goreng (fried banana).
People advise against swallowing the remaining grounds at the bottom. Although there have been no reports of health related issues, many find the intensely bitter taste unpleasant.
Another tip, don’t reuse the grounds to make a second cup.
Traditionally in villages, the drink is considered a male privilege. Nevertheless, over time, more and more women have come to enjoy it too.
It is recommended to sip kopi tubruk, and munch an accompanying snack, while enjoying the comfort of your front porch in the company of friends and family as the afternoon rain comes down.