07 October 2017

International Coffee Day 2017 at Borobudur Hotel Jakarta

The beginning of October is now celebrated as the International Coffee Day. So, what is the International Coffee Day? According to International Coffee Day Organization, the International Coffee Day is a global celebration of coffee’s journey from the farm to your local shop - an opportunity to honor the men and women who grow and harvest the coffee we love. In 2015, the International Coffee Organization launched the first official celebration of the International Coffee Day. From Friday, 29 September, and culminating on Sunday, 1 October 2017, everyone around the globe came together to celebrate the third annual International Coffee Day.

On that day, I had the chance to celebrate the International Coffee Day 2017 at Borobudur Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia. As one of the hosts of the International Coffee Day in Jakarta, the Borobudur Hotel Jakarta presented two local coffee producers in Indonesia, Opal Coffee and Tambling Coffee.


The International Coffee Day 2017 event started with a lecture about coffee. The speaker of the lecture was Rahmadhany Syahfitrah, a Barista and a local coffee expert from the Opal Coffee.
(NOTE: A Barista is a person or a coffee shop employee who is professionally trained and has a high level of skill in preparing and serving Espresso shots, Espresso-based coffee drinks and regular coffee drinks).

From the coffee lecture, here are some points that I was interested in:

  • There are two types of coffee: Arabica Coffee and Robusta Coffee. Arabica Coffee grows in the uplands, whereas Robusta Coffee grows in the lowlands.
  • In the history of coffee in Indonesia, it turns out that coffee is not a native plants from Indonesia. Coffee was brought by the Dutch from India to Java Island in Indonesia, then spread to various other regions in Indonesia. 
  • The first type of coffee plant cultivated in Indonesia was Arabica Coffee. However, because of its vulnerability to disease, including the plague that had hit coffee plantations in Indonesia at that time, the Dutch decided to replace the type of Arabica Coffee with Robusta Coffee (Coffea Canephora). Robusta Coffee has stronger resistance to face the disease. The decision to plant the Robusta Coffee was right that it could survive to grow in the land of Indonesia, and the coffee business in Indonesia then became very successful until today. Therefore, Indonesia became one of the countries that produce the largest amount of the Robusta Coffee.
  • The shape of the coffee that is still in the tree is like cherry, with the color of yellow, orange and red. Since what we drink are the seeds, then the outer shell of the cherries must be peeled off. (NOTE: Yes, what we drink are seeds, not beans. But it seems that the most popular name for it is beans). After the cherries are peeled off, we can see that the color of the raw coffee beans is green. After the beans are cleaned, we can go to the next step of the coffee process which is the roasting. The roasting process can vary from light roast, medium roast to dark roast.

In the coffee lecture, the speaker also showed videos about Luwak Coffee and Elephant Coffee. Both coffee beans have to pass the animals’ digestion. The Luwak Coffee beans are digested by Palm Civets or Civet Cats. Yes, Luwak is the Indonesian word for Civet. The Elephant Coffee beans are digested by the Elephants in Thailand. 


While having a break, the participants were asked to do Coffee Cupping or tasting the Opal Coffee and the Tambling Coffee. Both of the coffee brands opened their booths so people can taste their coffee. 

For me, the Tambling Coffee tasted very light. It is good for everyday drink.

And I think the taste of the Opal Coffee is strong enough. It is very good to be used as a base for any other coffee drinks.


After the coffee lecture was finished, we learned about how to make Espresso and Latte Art. Yeay!

At this session, the Barista who helped us dealing with the coffee machine is Indi Zultim from Barista Indonesia.

Here are the steps to do it!  

Introduction to brewing technique - Making Espresso as a foundation for all kinds of coffee drinks: Espresso is an extracted coffee drink brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans. Espresso can be consumed alone, or we can use it as the foundation for any other coffee drinks, such as Cappuccino, Mochaccino, etc. Espresso can be developed into a variety of other beverages based on the creativity of the Barista. The Barista can explore the making of Espresso by "manipulating" pressure up to water temperature.
The best Espresso creates a very good Crema. Crema is the thin layer of foam at the top of a cup of Espresso. The best color of Crema is yellow to gold.  

Cleaning and warming up: Make sure that the coffee machine and the equipments are all clean before we warm them up.

Dosing coffee: Put the coffee powder into portafilter. Portafilter is the metal part that looks like a big and deep spoon where you place the coffee powder when preparing to extract espresso.

Measuring the Coffee powder: The measurement of how much coffee powder should be placed is up to the Barista and what kind of coffee drinks that the Barista wants to create. Don't forget to tap the portafilter to make sure that the coffee surface is flat, so the tamping process later on can be done easily.

Tamping: The process to compress the coffee powder inside the portafilter.

Inserting the portafilter into the grouphead.

And now, it is time to extract the Espresso

After the Espresso was ready, it's time to make the Latte Art! And this is how to do it!

Steaming the milk to create the froth

Pouring the steamed milk directly into the Espresso to create the Latte Art. Beautiful!  

Another way to create the Latte Art is by using an iron stick or any stick you can find around: To do this, the steamed milk has to be poured first into the Espresso, then we can draw the Latte Art using the stick.


It turned out that they also held a Latte Art Competition. I was excited enough to join the competition. Yes!!!

First of of all, the Barista taught the participants of the Latte Art Competition about how to do the Latte Art. Secondly, the participants were given the chance to practice it first. Thirdly, the participants started to make their own Late Art creations.

When I made the Latte Art, I found out that it was a hard thing to do. It was very difficult to control the coffee and the steamed milk that the two of them have been mixed into a whatever-formless drink. Hahaha! But I didn't want to give up! So I used the iron stick to create the Latte Art as what the Barista had taught me. And...... Surprisingly, I won the Latte Art Competition as a Runner Up Winner! Wohooo!!! Thank you very much!

The experience I got from this Latte Art Competition made me think that being a Barista is hard and difficult. So, I give my full respect to all the Baristas around the world. I now appreciate the work of Barista more!

As the Runner Up Winner of the Latte Art Competition, I could bring home a pack of Robento Coffee from the Opal Coffee, a pack of Tambling Coffee, some stuffs from the Borobudur Hotel Jakarta and many more! You are such a lucky lady, my dear Astrid!

I would like to thank Borobudur Hotel Jakarta, Opal Coffee, Tambling Coffee and all the Baristas! I had such a great time at your International Coffee Day event! Hope to see you again soon!

With Rizki Permata Sari - Marketing Communication
Manager at Borobudur Hotel Jakarta

With Barista Rahmadhany Syahfitrah from Opal Coffee
and Barista Indi Zultim from Barista Indonesia

Jalan Lapangan Banteng Selatan,
Jakarta 10710,
Tel: (62-21) 380 5555, 383 5000
Fax : (62-21) 380 9595
Email: welcome@hotelborobudur.com

Blok I 9 No. 46-46,
Komplek Ruko Green Garden
Jl. Panjang Kedoya Utara
Kebun Jeruk
Jakarta 11520
Phone: (021) 581-1212
Web: www.sariopal.com  

06 October 2017

5 Langkah Yoga Sederhana Saat Berkendara yang Kuajarkan untuk Queenrides

Ini adalah artikel tentang sesi Latihan Yoga yang aku ajarkan untuk para Queenriders, julukan yang ditujukan bagi para pengendara mobil dan motor yang tergabung didalam Komunitas Queenrides. Komunitas ini dibentuk untuk mengajarkan kepada para perempuan tentang cara berkendara yang benar dan aman di jalan raya. 

Foto-fotonya sendiri diambil pada saat Komunitas Queenrides mengadakan acara di Medan, Sumatera Utara untuk merayakan Peringatan 60 Tahunnya Astra International. Acaranya seru banget loh! 

Artikel aslinya berada di website resminya Komunitas Queenrides. Tautan asli dari artikel ini dapat dilihat di: http://www.queenrides.com/lifestyle/jiwa-raga-mulai-lelah-dan-hilang-fokus-saat-berkendara-ikuti-5-langkah-yoga-sederhana-ini-agar-tetap-tenang-yuk#sthash.xn3zqwG8.dpbs .

Agar lebih mudah untuk membacanya, maka saya cantumkan artikelnya di bawah ini ya. Selamat membaca! 


Jiwa Raga Mulai Lelah Dan Hilang Fokus Saat Berkendara? Ikuti 5 Langkah Yoga Sederhana Ini Agar Tetap Tenang, Yuk!

Kamis, 05/10/2017 21:11 

Lelah berkendara? Super emosi karena jalanan macet melulu? Semuanya bikin telat berkegiatan?
Yuk, tenangkan diri dengan yoga singkat, sederhana, namun menenangkan saat berkendara. Pada first offline community movement Queenrides di Medan dengan kegiatan bertema "Perempuan, Ayo Berkendara Aman" ini, Yoga Instructor Queenrides Astrid Amalia mengajarkan 5 langkah yoga yang dapat membantu kamu untuk berkendara dengan aman dan nyaman. Kegiatan Queenrides ini merupakan bagian dari "Inspirasi 60 tahun Astra International Tbk di Medan" yang fokus untuk menginformasikan pentingnya berkendara dengan aman.
Manfaat dari latihan yoga singkat dan sederhana ini dapat membantu pengendara untuk selalu segar, sehat, dan tidak mudah merasa lelah. Selain itu, yoga yang dilakukan mampu menjaga emosi ketika berkendara. Gerakannya mudah, dapat dilakukan sebelum, saat, juga sesudah berkendara yang membuat hati tenang, bahagia, dan pada akhirnya, fokus pun meningkat.

Langkah 1

Tarik dan buang nafas secara perlahan. Tenangkan diri dan fokuskan untuk relaksasi.

Langkah 2

Rangkaian gerakan yoga yang berfungsi untuk melemaskan segala otot dan sendi yang kaku, mulai dari kepala sampai ke ujung kaki.

Langkah 3

Rangkaian gerakan yoga yang berfungsi untuk membangunkan badan dari rasa kantuk dan agar para pengendara dapat tetap fokus berkendara.

Langkah 4

Rangkaian gerakan yoga yang berfungsi untuk menguatkan tangan dan kaki yang selalu dipakai ketika berkendara di jalan. 

Langkah 5

Rangkaian gerakan yoga penutup berfungsi untuk menenangkan pikiran agar emosi dapat tetap terjaga.

Gimana, Queenriders? Gerakan yoga yang sederhana dan mudah, bukan? Seluruh rangkaian gerakan yoga ini dapat membantu kamu untuk tetap fokus saat berkendera. Sehingga, kita dapat turut mendukung misi berkendaraan yang aman dan nyaman di jalan raya. Stay safe on the road always ya, Queenriders!

(Talita Zahrah)

04 October 2017

Food Exchange at Novotel Jakarta - Mangga Dua Square

Food Exchange is the latest culinary destination by the management of Novotel Jakarta - Mangga Dua Square, the hotel under AccorHotels network.

I was lucky to be invited to the Grand Opening of Food Exchange at the 5th Floor of Novotel Jakarta - Mangga Dua Square. At the event, it was fun to see all the staffs in the hotel dress up in costumes that represent the varieties of the food in the restaurant. Nice job, girls and guys! 

Located just besides the Gourmet Bar at the hotel, the Food Exchange has the concept of modern and trendy, but still easy and relax.

(Note: My story about the Gourmet Bat at Novotel Jakarta - Mangga Dua Square can be found at: astridamalia.blogspot.com/2017/03/merayakan-imlek-di-gourmetbar-novotel.html ).  

The interior is a contemporary style with an open kitchen. With an open kitchen design, the guests can interact directly with the chefs at the restaurant while looking directly at the various foods that arouse their taste. The restaurant has a spacious interior that the guests can decide to bring friends along or just be with herself or himself for a matter of privacy.

The Food Exchange at Novotel Jakarta - Mangga Dua Square serves both local and international favorites. Entering the Food Exchange, the guests will be invited to enter a traditional but modern market. In the middle of the room, there are a variety of foods ranging from Europe to Asia and, of course, Indonesia.

The Food Exchange serves its best food, like Mangga Dua Oxtail Soup, Roasted Peking Duck, Arabic food, Pizza and Pasta. The guests will also find some other favorites, like Gurame Fish Green Chili, Penang Curry Rice Noodle, and Grilled Australian Tenderloin.

Arabian food menu is the most popular in the lunch buffet package or a la carte. There are also Asian menus like Ribs Fried Rice which is also the icon of this restaurant.

In this spacious space, the guests should not be afraid of the lack of food. There are around 16 chefs who will make sure to cook fresh food. These fresh food will be served quickly, but they are still fine in terms of taste and appearance. Thanks to the great collaboration from all these chefs who shower the guests with a lot of delicious food! 

When I visited the Food Exchange, I knew that I could not taste all of the food here. Honestly, I need more than a day to taste all of the food in the restaurant! So, just to satisfy my curiosity and my hunger, I just choose the food that I like. Not all, just the ones that can fill my not so big belly. My choices of food are below.

Sushi and Sashimi from the Japanese Corner 

Dim Sum

Peking Duck

Pasta from Italian Corner 

Ice Cream 

Do you see that each serving plate has different designs? One of them follows the old city mural design on the walls of the lobby at Novotel Jakarta - Mangga Dua Square. Very interesting!

The Food Exchange at Novotel Jakarta - Mangga Dua Square is the first Food Exchange restaurant in Indonesia. There will be other Food Exchange in other Novotel Hotel chain in Indonesia. Can't wait for it!

5th Floor 
Novotel Jakarta Mangga Dua Square
Jl. Gunung Sahari Raya No. 1,
North Jakarta 14420
Tel: (021) 62312800

01 June 2017

My Interview with Aswin Sumampauw - Aviary Bintaro

During my visit to Aviary Bintaro Hotel and Serviced Apartment - the brand new 4-stars hotel in South Jakarta, I have a special moment to interview Aswin Sumampau - the owner of Aviary Bintaro. If you meet him at the hotel, I bet you will never know that he is the owner of the premises. He is a young, relax and low profile guy. He walks around the hotel to check everything wearing t-shirt, jeans and sandals. Trust me, he looks like “just a guy”. LOL!
But if you have a conversation with him, you will start to change your view about him, because he is confident in what he does. Good personality!

You can read my staycation experience at Aviary Bintaro Hotel and Serviced Apartment at: My Staycation at Aviary Bintaro .

Room at Aviary Bintaro

Bathtub at Aviary Bintaro

As we sit down together, we talk about his hotel and serviced apartment. Aswin Sumampauw says that Aviary Bintaro Hotel and Serviced Apartment is the only hotel in Indonesia that uses birds as its main theme. This theme makes Aviary as one of the ecofriendly lifestyle hotels and serviced apartments in the world too. With this concept, Aviary Bintaro will have about 18 meters high giant bird cage in the middle of the hotel that will connect the lobby and the restaurant. The cage will be filled with the birds that lives in Indonesia. The guests can start to enjoy the birds at the giant cage starting from August 2017. Sounds amazing, right? 
It is easy for Aswin to have the birds in Aviary Bintaro, because his family is a part of the owners of Taman Safari Indonesia. Taman Safari Indonesia is the conservation and recreational parks, conservation institute and also one of Indonesia’s most popular natural theme parks located in Bogor, Pasuruan and Bali. No wonder! 

Living Room at the Serviced Apartment in Aviary Bintaro

Dining area at the Serviced Apartment in Aviary Bintaro

Kitchen area at the Serviced Apartment in Aviary Bintaro

The other concepts of Aviary Bintaro Hotel and Serviced Apartment is to combine environment and art into one. Aswin Sumampauw says that the guests can also find the touch of arts around the hotel area and inside the rooms, and breath freshly with the trees inside and around the hotel.

Ballroom in Aviary Bintaro

Open Air Function area in Aviary Bintaro

As Aswin Sumampauw wants to fulfill all the needs in property fields, he builds Aviary Bintaro as hotel and serviced apartment that has 125 units that consist of 96 deluxe hotel rooms, 29 apartment suites and 9 meeting rooms. The guests can choose from one bedroom apartment to three bedroom apartment. Woho!

Playground in Aviary Bintaro

Gym area at Aviary Bintaro

Swimming Pool area in Aviary Bintaro

As one of the two hotels in Bintaro area, Aswin wants to provide Aviary Bintaro for both of local and foreigner guests who are looking for a nice place to stay for their holiday, business trips, ceremonies, meetings and gatherings.

Serviced Apartment in Aviary Bintaro

Serviced Apartment in Aviary Bintaro

One of the best thing in Aviary Bintaro Hotel and Serviced Apartment, as Aswin Sumampauw tells me, is the simplicity of its services. The guests of the hotel and serviced apartment can see the simplicity by experiencing one number they can call that will give any services the guests want. Just one number, nothing else! 
The other simplicity fact is the food and beverage menu at the restaurant and bar, Starling Eatery. It is only a sheet of paper that can be read without having to turn any pages. Yes, it sounds very simple!
Based on my own observation, the simplicity can be seen clearly at the wall of Aviary Bintaro. Just a grey wall, without any paint on it except the mural ones. Very simple but artistic!   

Trees at the Free area in Aviary Bintaro

In a depth interview that I record in a video, I discuss with Aswin Sumampauw about the concept of Aviary Bintaro Hotel and Serviced Apartment, the differences between the hotel and the other hotels in Bintaro and Jakarta, the birds that will live in the hotel, the other things that the guests can see at the hotel, the bar that will open for 24 hours, the numbers and the type of the rooms in the hotel, how he can manage to have the birds inside his hotel, his hope when he builds his hotel, the facilities in the hotel, why he builds the hotel in Bintaro, and the plan of green building for the hotel. 

You can find my interview with Aswin Sumampauw - the owner of Aviary Bintaro Hotel and Apartment here (PS: Please stay focus on our conversation, not on his Oscar t-shirt. Hahaha!):

Aviary Bintaro Hotel and Serviced Apartment 
CBD Bintaro Sektor 7
Blok B7 / No. D3-3A
Jl. HR Rasuna Said
South Jakarta

* Disclaimer: All the pictures here are made by myself. If you like them and want to share them at your social media, please go ahead. I am flattered. But please make me more flattered by asking my permission first. I will appreciate your good ethics. Thank you very much. *