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Special Tips from Indonesia: How to Make Tubruk Coffee

Making Tubruk Coffee in Glass

Tubruk Coffee is one of the immensely well-known hot black coffee beverages found and served in almost parts of Indonesia, especially in Java and Bali. Also, it is one of the simplest coffee brewing variations that preserves a traditional technique. Still, regardless of its simplicity, there are things to look for in how to make tubruk coffee at its very best. 

The name “tubruk” here is a Javanese word for ‘collision.’ The name suitably implies the style or technique of its preparation. A manual coffee making at its most basic, tubruk coffee only requires ground coffee and hot water in a mug or a glass, without filtering. 

You’ll need to wait for a moment to let the grounds or “the mud” ultimately sink to the bottom. That’s probably why it gets another moniker – mud coffee. Some others say it is quite similar to Turkish- and Greek-style coffee, as well as Polish’s Kawa Plujka.    

Historically, it is said that the merchants of Middle East countries brought this kind of coffee to Indonesia. Unfortunately, the year of the origin is still unclear, no records tell when and in which areas of Indonesia where this beverage was first discovered. 

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Things to Look For In Making Tubruk Coffee

Making tubruk coffee

Everyone can make tubruk coffee, but what about the taste consistency? There are some variables like the freshness or size of your coffee ground, the temperature of hot water you use, and many more. 

The following are some things to consider when you want to try to brew this beverage at home. 

Pay Attention to the Ratio of Coffee and Water

According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), the best golden ratio (or, the Golden Cup Standard) for making a cup of coffee is 1:18. It means that for every 1gr of coffee, you need 18gr of water. 

As for how to make tubruk coffee, you can use this golden ratio as a reference. Although making coffee is all about personal preference, still this ratio will give the best and the most balanced combo of coffee and water during the brewing process. 

Determine the Type of Coffee Bean Grinder

How coarse or fine your coffee ground will affect the taste of tubruk coffee. It will closely relate to the molecular size of the ground coffee grains. The coarser ones will create more room for water, producing a unique acidic flavor character during extraction. While the finer ones have no room for water thus slowing down the extraction and tending to generate a somewhat bitter character. 

Another noticeable difference is that coarser grains usually will stay on the cup surface, whereas the finer ones will quietly sink to the bottom when you pour hot water. 

Optimize Hot Water into Coffee

In general, the optimum temperature of hot water for coffee brewing is about 92 – 96 degrees Celsius. If you want to be precise, you can use a thermometer for the best result during the process. 

Step To Make Tubruk Coffee

Prepared in utter simplicity, the following are steps of a brewing guide to making tubruk coffee. 

1. Grind the coffee (if you have a manual or brewing grinder)

If you have your manual grinder, you can grind the coffee beans according to your preference of the grind size as mentioned above – coarser or finer. 

Also Read: 8 Types of Coffee Beans in Indonesia, Unique & You Must Try!

2. Get the coffee ground

You can buy it at many supermarkets, coffee bean retailers, or even small kiosks. 

3. Put the ground coffee into the bottom of a mug or a cup

You can use the above golden ratio between the coffee and water. Sugar is optional here. 

4. Pour hot water over the ground coffee

For example, if you use 14gr of ground coffee, you can add about 250ml of hot or freshly boiled water (based on the optimum temperature) on top of it. 

5. Stir the mixture

Stir the coffee and water so they can blend well.

6. Wait for the beverage to cool down

Leave it for a while (3 – 5 minutes) to let the coffee ground sink and settle at the bottom.

7. Finish

Enjoy your tubruk coffee! 

How to Serve Tubruk Coffee

Most Indonesian or traditional small coffee shops enjoy tubruk coffee by using a beer mug that functioned as a tea mug. Pay attention not to put over water so your coffee would be flavorless. Once again, you can add sugar to your tubruk coffee. Some modern variations even have condensed milk in them!

This brewing method allows you to slow down a bit. You need to wait before your tubruk coffee reaches the point where it is enjoyable to sip. Since you brew this kind of coffee without any filter, the coffee grounds usually will coagulate at the bottom of your cup or glass. 

Also Read: Differences Between Specialty and Commercial Coffee, See It!

That’s how to make tubruk coffee and some best tricks to enjoy it. It is also easy and simple to brew. All you need is the right ratio between coffee grounds and water, as well as the right hot water temperature. Don’t forget to pay attention to the “mud” at the bottom. Or else, you will not drink but eat the coffee!

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