The memory of coffee
Depok is the second city in the journey of my life. It is located in the south of Jakarta, exactly in the middle between Jakarta and Bogor. My first city, certainly, is my hometown. That is Padang, the capital of West Sumatra province. I had school in Padang, until I graduated from high school. The mid of 1988, is the first time I stepped my foot in Depok. Fortunately, I’ve had the opportunity to continue my higher education at the University of Indonesia, one of the oldest and best universities in Indonesia.
Depok, at the beginning of my arrival time, had much different from today’s conditions. Now, Depok is included as a city jammed. In fact, the main roads such as Margonda street, still jammed until midnight though. By contrast, when compared with the condition 27 years ago, the road Margonda could even be used as a playing field the ball and badminton, after Isha. Do not expect, after that hour, public transport only passing every 30 minutes, and often have to be willing to wait up to an hour.
Well, I will take you to other parts of Depok, namely Kukusan. Kukusan is a village, situated towards the inland city of Depok. In this village, I had rented a room, from start to finish college. I had prefer to rent a room here because of its location closed to the Faculty of Engineering – Department of Electrical Engineering, the campus where I was studying at that time. It was only a few feet away from a steel fence, belonging to the UI campus. I had only took about 15 minutes by foot to reach my class. That overview, how close my room with the campus. To access Kukusan from the behind direction, public transport had only operate up to Isha (after 7 pm). If you do not want to feel isolated, which had had to do then, is to use Ojeg transportation (motorbike taxi), or walk out of the gate UI to cross the border of Kukusan.
Kukusan had known as a village was deserted at that time. After Maghrib, the village had dwelt alone in their homes. If there were still around, there was a possibility that they were students who still indulge sailed together, or come home from campus activities, or in search of food to the cafeteria still open. The location of my room had located in the middle of vacant land. My neighbor there were only about 15 feet from my room. Around my room covered with some tall and old trees, such as durian, rambutan, jackfruit, harp, etc. It was spooky, if the sun was sinking.
You can imagine how much I was so lonely at that time. My loyal friend while studying at night was only the sound of crickets. Crickets was natural music, make us fast asleep. One powerful way to expel sleepiness, was by drinking coffee. Coffee had become my routine ritual every night. Coffee was the goods that must be provided, especially entering the examination period. All types and brands of coffee I had tried, both ground coffee and instant coffee. At that time, coffee mix had not been popular. The player also had not been a lot of coffee. If the advertisement that has been still broadcasted on TV, I certainly tried. As a result, I had not thought to try, what coffee favored by the people of Depok and surrounding areas.
Wait! Are there any famous local coffee? Yes, of course. Each region has their favorite coffee. Coffee, which often aired TV ads, was not necessarily dominated the market in the region. Each area has the coffee fanatic fans. Sometimes, they are quite fanatic with coffee, the original production of their own or the surrounding area.
For Depok, called it coffee “Liong Bulan” (Dragon and Moon), but more often people called Coffee Liong. If you go to warung (a traditional shop), then you will only be served by coffee Liong. No warung or small shop which had dared to provide brand of coffee, except coffee Liong. The risk had quite heavy, which not sold, or no order. Although I had often come to the shop that provides instant noodles, I’ve never ordered a coffee there. I had still loyal to drink coffee, which I had brewed from coffee brand which I have believed for a long time.
One evening, the usual coffee stocked in my room, was gone. I had got confused, but remember there was a warung in front of my room. That’s warung Pak Haj Asmat, the owner of the room which I had being rent. He was a native Betawi, which evicted from Setiabudi Jakarta, and finally bought a plot of land instead in this Kukusan village. Haji Asmat had made children’s homes on the land, around the house / room I had being rent. The warung Pak Haji Asmat concurrently house, located facing to the front of street and into a large mosque, a gift from a foundation in the era of President Suharto.
Then, I tried to stop by the warung Pak Haji Asmat. Incidentally, served by his own. I explained my intention to bought my usual coffee consumption. He shook his head, that coffee was not sold in was warung. However, Pak Haji Asmat offered the only coffee he sold, which Coffee Liong. He said, most people in the village Depok only knew coffee Liong. When they came to the warung to buy coffee, which coffee must be asked Liong. Another coffee would not be sold. Even if there are also people which bought, may take a long time sold all. This Liong coffee packaging is quite small, with a somewhat rectangular shape solidifies. If I am not wrong, weighs 60 g. The wrapper is quite interesting, with a dragon symbol (dragon) and the moon. Arguably, coffee packaging is not inferior to the brand of coffee, which often advertising on TV every at that time. The story, coffee Liong was a household name in Bogor, established since 1945.
Finally, I had tried buying a small pack of coffee Liong, at a price not much different from which already famous coffee across Indonesia. That was the first time I bought it. Then, I had to take home and immediately brewed. The result ….. wow, incredible. The coffee had been so delicious. The aroma also was riveting. It was no less than the coffee which already has a better name. We had to get fancy coffee drink sensation, with a steady sense. Since then, coffee Liong was one of the mainstays of my coffee. Although, actually I had quite sorry, why I did not try the coffee Liong since the beginning I came to Depok.
Therefore, fascinated with coffee Liong, I had not forgotten to recommend it to my friends, of course to the coffee lovers. One of the friends was Mas Denny. He was my college friend, the same batch with me, but different majors. He majored in Mechanical Engineering. We came from the same high school in Padang. Mas Denny was a heavy coffee lover. Mas Denny moved rooms to Kukusan towards the end of the semester-4, which around the middle of 1990. Previously, he almost spent 4 semesters by renting a room around Margonda street. Like the most other students which also coffee lovers, not many know that there was a good coffee, in addition to coffee that has been known so far (till now).
I had quite familiar with Mas Denny. Moreover, he was also good at hair shaving. If I had long hair, I went to his room, just carrying a pair of scissors. Saving my hair with him, saved my time and also saved my budget. Thanks to Mas Denny. Distance of my room with his room, is not far away, Just walk about 5 minutes, it’s up there. Well, although it’s been a while familiar with Mas Denny, we just started a discussion about coffee around a year later. I just said to him, please try just coffee Liong. If you like it or not, at least you’ve tried. I add that I’ve tried and I think coffee Liong quite OK. You knew what happened? Awesome, it turns Mas Denny also like coffee Liong. Finally, coffee Liong to be one of topics that we talked about, when we met each other.
Now, the question is whether I and Mas Denny still drink coffee Liong? If I, the answer is “still”. You see, I still live in Depok. Liong coffee can be bought easily at shops and markets. How about Mas Denny? I do not know. You see, Mas Denny has not lived in Depok. I do not know, whether coffee Liong sold there or not. Maybe, we should ask directly to him. Hopefully, there was response from him. Let us wait!