From Kapal Api Coffee to Exspresso

If you are Indonesian or have lived in Indonesia before, you may know a very famous brand of coffee named Kapal Api (Google translated it as Steam Boat). I love this brand of coffee so much.

Kapal Api Coffee is best to accompany Indonesian tranditional snack such as Tempe Mendoan (deep fried fermented soy bean) with sweet soy sauce and chili !

Being a heavy coffee drinker, I cannot live without coffee and I can easily consume 5+ cups every day. For most of my adult life, the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is have a cup of Kapal Api coffee – don’t ask me to do anything else before this ritual. Then I will drink several more cups during morning, noon and night. Many people say drinking coffee at night will make you unable to sleep. Well, for me it works the opposite, I can and I love to drink coffee, two hours before I go to sleep. Usually, I can even sleep better.

Kapal Api Coffee with Pisang Goreng (Deep Fried Banana)

It is very easy to make a very nice cup of Kapal Api, just havea couple teaspoons of coffee powder in a cup, pour boiled water, add sugar as you like, stir it few times, let the coffee soaked for a minute or so, and it is ready to be sipped – yes it is best when it is still very hot but be careful not to get your tongue burnt! The coffee powder will settle at the bottom immediately, so you can drink most of the brewed coffee in the cup until there’s only the powder at the bottom.  You do not need filter, coffee press or coffee machine to enjoy nice and aromatic Kapal Api coffee, it is very easy to make.


Desert with a cup of expresso

When I moved to Paris end of 2013, my coffee habit changed a little bit.  During the rest of the day, mostly I drink expresso after lunch, and quite often also after dinner.  For French people, a cup expresso after meals seems to be mandatory, and I know why, because it’s a good feeling to do so. Sometimes I also take extra cup of expresso during the afternoon, or a Cafe Au Lait  (coffee with milk) during the coffee break in the office. Then during the night I would return back to my Kapal Api again and usually drink a cup at home.


We also have a Nespresso coffee machine at home.  We can easily make expresso or a double expresso, and we can also make coffee latte as the machine is equipped with a milk frother.  The coffee capsules are easily available in a Carrefour supermarket with various flavors and strength. We do not need to go to Starbucks to drink nice expresso or latte, we can just make it ourselves at home…  We love the coffee machine, and it is also great to serve our guests and some Indonesian friends that visit or stay in our house.

This is our beloved coffee machine, with expresso and lungo (for long / double) capsules. But we still always keep our Kapal Api coffee available at all time… we get the best of both worlds


Drinking Kapal Api coffee in my kitchen in Paris

Where can we buy KAPAL API COFEE outside Indonesia

If you live in Indonesia then you can find Kapal Api coffee easily in almost every supermarket or grocery store wherever you live. But if you live outside Indonesia, then depends on where you are, finding Kapal Api coffee may or may not be easy.

  • From my own experience, we can buy Kapal Api coffee packs in some Asian stores in Australia, Netherlands and in most grocery stores in Malaysia. I believe in the countries with a lot of Asian / Indonesian communities, you will most likely be able to find grocery stores selling this coffee brand.
  • The Indonesian embassies or consulates usually have shops that sells various products / brands from Indonesia including Kapal Api coffee (and also Indomie, instant noodles…).
  • You can order Kapal Api coffee from online shop such as Toko Tjin in the Netherlands. They can provide delivery services to Europe or even outside Europe (minimum weights required for online order).
  • If you are really desperate, you know what… you can go to Amazon !

We currently live in Paris, and we usually go back to Indonesia once a year for summer vacation. On our return back to Paris, we usually bring more than 20 packs of Kapal Api Spesial 165 gr, these will last for 6 – 8 months.  If we run out of Kapal Api, we normally go to the Indonesian embassy in Paris (we experience it once we run out of stock), or else we need to drive 4 – 5 hours to Asian shops in Holland to buy this.

(Paris, 9 September 2017)

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