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