Bandung coffee tales: Warung Kopi Purnama

Warung Kopi Purnama near Bandung’s Alun-alun public square, is a seasoned star among the city’s coffee haunts.

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The café’s srikaya (coconut custard) bread, half-boiled egg and coffee have their own die-hard fans, who have been visiting the place since their much younger days. One customer, for example, said he first came here as a young boy and now visits the cafe with his teenage children.

Indeed, Warung Kopi Purnama has held a special place in the hearts of its loyal customers over the decades.

Josana — the third generation of the owner's family — said that the first stall that later became Warung Kopi Purnama was opened in Medan, North Sumatra, in 1930 by her grandfather.

“At the beginning, our coffee stall was named in Hakka/Khe words that, literally translated, mean 'once you’ve tried it, it will always be your favorite', “she said, referring to a particular Chinese language group.

During the mid-1960s, the Indonesian government banned the use of foreign language words for business names, and so the name was changed to Warung Kopi Purnama, which means the Full Moon Coffee Stall.

According to Ms Josana, the secret to surviving in Bandung’s food and beverage scene for so long, despite the frequent demise of other similar businesses, was that they “make everything ourselves”.

“We even make our own bread and srikaya from scratch […] everything we sell here, we cook ourselves,” she added.

As proud as they are of their family business, they still have room to share with others, namely, the hawkers who have established themselves - some permanently - almost smack at the front entrance of Warung Kopi Purnama

“We have known some of them [hawkers] for a long time and, sometimes, people who buy their food don’t have a place to sit down, so they come inside our shop and buy some drinks from us,” Ibu Josana explained.

Aside from the famed toast and coffee, Warung Kopi Purnama offers chicken *congee *(we prefer the one sold outside by the hawker seller, though), *lontong Cap Go Meh* – rice cakes with savory soup and side dishes, and fried rice.

It has a decent selection of drinks including its delicious Mocha Milk. Food prices start from Rp 22,000 (US$2,2) (*Srikaya* Bread), while drinks start at Rp 8,000 (coffee).

Warung Kopi Purnama, located on Jl. Alkateri No. 22 in Bandung, opens daily from 7a.m. till 6 p.m. Do come here if you are in the mood for something vintage. Even better, fill yourself up here with a hearty warm breakfast before you take a walk to enjoy Bandung’s beautiful heritage buildings nearby, such as in Braga and on Jl. Asia-Afrika. You can also visit the cafe in the afternoon to have a sip of coffee after doing some shopping at the Pasar Baru market.

More on Bandung's culinary adventure: 8 classic dishes not to be missed in Bandung

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