Hi Boba lovers, in this article, I’ll show you a few boba & coffee shop in Jakarta, Indonesia that has a very unique concept (from the unique flavor combination to the quirky naming) that you might like it and give it a try once you go to Jakarta. So here we go!
You know something’s quite not right when the name of a café begins with “Dirty”… Well, not for today’s standard, as modern beverages become more creative for naming their brands and products, also aesthetic for the visual, from the sauce on the inner side of the cup, to the topping on top or in the bottom, some called it “blast”, some called it “dirty”. The same goes for Dirty Milk, a boba shop chain in Jakarta, they have something special that makes their beverages become “dirty”.
First of many which really draws my attention is their usage of lotus biscoff for boba milk, probably some of you know how Lotus Biscoff tastes like, sweet, has a great fragrance and more crispy than other biscuit brands. Here in Dirty Milk they use lotus brand and called it Biscoff fresh milk with boba.
Now as you can see in the photo, there’s a thick layer of biscoff sauce on the side, so thick that you can barely see the boba, and that’s the concept they created, a thick brushed like sauce on the wall of the cup, and you can’t see clearly the inside. On top they put a single piece of biscoff biscuit, to give a little crunch in every sip. For the taste, it’s quite sweet for the normal sugar option, you can adjust the sweetness by request for less sugar.
Sweet, creamy, crunchy, with a hint of lotus’s biscoff, those may sum up my review for the biscoff fresh milk here in Dirty Milk. Of course, other than the biscoff, they have many other “dirty menus”, such as Belgian Chocolate Fresh Milk, Kyoto Matcha, and Chocomaltine. See their IG @dirtymilk.id if you curious about their other menus.
Gulugulu is one of the major Boba & Cheesetea shop in Indonesia, which have hundreds of store nationwide. As far as I can tell, they have 3 types of store, The ordinary one “gulugulu”, then “gulugulu+” and then the premium one they called it “gulugulu*(star)”. This time I’m specifically will discuss the premium one, which offers the premium boba drink, with something interesting in the ingredients.
The drink is called “MeiTea” they mentioned it as Hong Kong Michelin Star Inspired menu. MeiTea consists of 3 main ingredients, the Melted Royal Milk Tea Ice Cream, Double Roasted Caramelized Pandan Brown Sugar, and their signature boba called “Gulu Red Boba”.
If you think the ingredient sounds like the drink gonna be super sweet, it’s surprisingly perfectly sweet, not too sweet from that double roasted caramelized sauce they use, and the boba is so chewy and there’s a fruity hint when you chew it.
Now, the first you get the drink, you’ll feel the boba is very warm, which is good. Second, there’s no major marbling art on the side of the cup, only a little bit on the bottom. Third, they put some kind of oat on top. Fourth, that melted milk tea ice cream, you may hard to notice the tea flavor inside it, because of other ingredients that have a strong creamy flavor. Fifth, for the cup, personally, I’m loving it, feels premium with the thickness, they include the carton band around it, and on top, they put the lid that you find in hot coffee, with the sipping hole, and straw hole.
Talking about unique facts about this gulugulu boba drink, I loved how there are 2 fragrances in every sip of this MeiTea, once is when you drink the liquid you’ll feel the pandan and oat vanilla aroma at the same time, and after that, when you chew the boba you’ll feel there’s fruity exhale. Oh, plus if you’re wondering what gulugulu means, it basically just how people in China pronounce the sound when people are drinking.
Here’s a rather unique one, what is the flavor of yellow that’s not the color from any fruit… have a guess? Well, it’s turmeric, ever heard of that? Turmeric is a plant that is used as a herbal ingredient. From herbal drink too much traditional food. If you think that anything related to herbal may taste bitter, and hard to swallow, and maybe sold by a traditional shop.
Well it’s not, not for today’s standard, in a world of modern beverage, many brands are trying their best to find and combine unique ingredients to create a new type of drink, and this time, it is served with milk, small portion of sugar, and lastly, you may guess it already, Boba! And it is served by a modern coffee shop in South Jakarta called Yama Coffee.
When you first look at it, there are 3 different colors, white-ish on top, yellow in the middle, and darker yellow in the bottom because there’s boba in the bottom. This time I tried the iced one, for the taste, first I noticed the creaminess of milk combined with special turmeric spice formula, just a little sweet and will suit people who doesn’t like very sweet beverages. Then, there’s a unique warm sensation after every sip, which differs this drink with every other boba drink that’s available right now.
For the boba, it’s just ok, there’s nothing special about the boba, black chewy pearl, which has a little sweet taste to it. One unique part of this beverage, first, is the warm sensation after every sip, second, the bright yellow color, third, the unique turmeric aroma in every exhale. After all, if you want to try the other side of boba drinks, this turmeric boba is one of the most unique ones, it has a balanced taste, and probably a health benefit from the turmeric.
This one might be the most aesthetic looking of all, also the sweetest of all as well… From a brand that offers cheese tea at first, then fruit smoothies, and then boba milk! And of course, not just a typical boba as a topping for milk and brown sugar, this brand take the boba game to a new level! BanBan is the name of the brand. Not a long ago, this brand began a collaboration with one of the biggest chocolate drink in Indonesia called “Ovaltine”, now you may think that sounds like “Ovomaltine” but in a shorter form factor, in some way, it is!… But let’s back to the topic, shall we?
The drink is called “Double Crunchy Ovaltine”, when you first hear the name of the menu, you may think “this drink has some crunch into it? And it’s doubled… How crunchy could it be?” the answer will be, very crunchy, like in every sip there’s a bit of crunch, they put a generous amount of what I think as chocolate crunch on top, but there’s a requirement if you want max crunch in every sip, you obviously have to shake the drink with the straw, and it may clear the aesthetic part of this drink, it felt like a trade-off, so make sure to take a photo first before shaking it.
Now let’s breakdown the drink, Double Crunchy Ovaltine consists of at least 4 main ingredients from top to the bottom: Choco Crunch, Chizu (Thick Cream Cheese), Ovaltine Smoothies, and boba. They blend the drink right after you order, so it tastes somewhat fresh.. also the texture is not icy at all, you can really taste the chocolate even though by only sipping the smoothies part. Now after you mixed all the toppings together, the real fun begins, you may taste 4 ingredients at the same time just from one sip.
The cheese cream is thick, and quite salty actually, so that plays quite a big role to create an amazing experience of 4 in 1 taste, the overall taste is still in the sweeter side, but because of the cream cheese, after the mixed, it tastes better, the sweetness somehow drops and you’ll taste the perfect amount of saltiness. The boba is just fine, it’s chewy, a little bit sweet, and taste like an ordinary black boba, still though, it always better with boba than without ey? In fact, if you think about it, if the boba has its own distinct flavor, it’ll be way to sweet, and so, a more neutral boba works best for this drink after all.
Lastly, somehow I noticed ascent and the flavor of brown sugar when I almost finished the drink, about 1/5 left in the cup, which tastes nothing like before, the sweetness from Ovaltine is almost gone, the saltiness from chizu is almost gone, what’s left is a distinct brown sugar condense liquid in the bottom of the cup, with a bit of crunch, and surprisingly, after consuming more than half of the drink, there’s no strong exhale like in every other drink I taste before until I reach the bottom of the cup, there’s a quite strong brown sugar exhale. After all, this drink is unique, from the taste to the visual, Double Crunchy Ovaltine is certainly is one of the most unique drink in Indonesia.
Have you ever heard a jam called “Srikaya”? If not, let me tell you about it, it’s a jam made out of coconut, pandan, egg, a hint of vanilla and sugar. It has a bright orange/yellow / brown-ish color depends on the maker, then it has a very unique texture and sweet flavor. Srikaya is well known in Indonesia as a spread jam for bread. But in this café, they use it to replace brown sugar.
At SEIA Kopi, they have a few signature menus, but my personal favorite is the Srikaya Boba Coffee. If you look at the drink, it has a typical milk coffee until ¼ bottom of the cup, where the fun part is located, there’s the Srikaya jam, and boba. It so unique, that when I first look at it, I thought they use some kind of pineapple sauce to replace brown sugar, but not in this café.
After mixing the jam and the coffee together, this drink taste like no other coffee I’ve ever tasted before. The ground coconut gave a slightly rough texture, but interestingly, that’s what made me enjoyed the coffee. There’s also a unique thick consistency, thanks to the Srikaya Jam, and lastly, the boba is very chewy, quite warm when you first sip it, and there’s a scent of Srikaya, it almost like the boba is infused by the Srikaya.
Overall, I really enjoyed this drink because of the perfect amount of sweetness, the consistency, and a sweet Srikaya scent, oh, of course, this drink will not be perfect without the boba. For your information, this specific drink is a secret menu for now, so if you want to order it, you have to ask for “Seia Kaya Boba Coffee”. Besides the Srikaya Boba Coffee, personally I like their Red Velvet, again, not too sweet, creamy and have a very distinct cocoa flavor.
Lastly, If you’re wondering what’s the meaning of SEIA Kopi, it’s not from an anime show called Saint Seiya, but in English, SEIA translates to “agreed” or perhaps one may translate that to “Have The Same Feeling With You”, and “kopi” means Coffee.
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