One of the greatest pleasures in life has to be taking a few moments out of the day to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee.
If you’re anything like us, you probably have more than one or two cups of the strong stuff a day (four is our graceland). And, if you’re anything like us, you probably love a speciality coffee. We’re spoilt for choice these days with different types of coffee, so it’s quite rare now to find something truly unique and special.
Located at 56 Dale End, Ngopi is Birmingham’s (and possibly the UK’s) first Indonesian speciality coffee shop, serving delicious coffee and light bites, of Indonesian origin.
The name Ngopi (pronounced Ng-ow-p-ee) is the Indonesian slang for “let’s have a coffee”, used by people of all ages to mean chilling, relaxing and having a good cup of coffee. This is obviously the perfect name for a coffee shop and it’s a term we love so much, it might just become part of our everyday vocabulary. Let’s Ngopi!
Ngopi’s Indonesian founders studied at universities right here in Birmingham, discovering the city during their stay, and after graduating decided they wanted to open up a speciality coffee shop. After numerous trips home to Indonesia, they realised that coffee shops there were highly popular, with speciality coffee shops on practically every corner in Jakarta, and yet here in the UK there’s virtually nowhere you can get Indonesian coffee. Wanting to show the people of Birmingham how incredible Indonesian coffee is, they decided to open their own coffee shop only selling speciality, Indonesian coffee.
Indonesia is the fourth largest producer of coffee beans in the world, and yet other producers have been favoured over those Indonesian beans here in the UK. Having visited Ngopi and tasted the amazing coffee they have on offer there, we’re really not sure why Indonesian coffee has been so overlooked for so long. The drinks we tried were full of flavour, and dare we say it, some of the very best coffee in the city.
Everything available at Ngopi is completely authentic and true to their Indonesian heritage. From the beans that are all sourced from Indonesian coffee suppliers, to the food (we’ll talk more about that later, don’t worry), and even the coffee roasting machine they own is manufactured in Indonesia. They roast their coffee beans in house for their signature coffee, Kopi Susu, which can be served either hot (Panas) or iced (Es). This signature coffee is made with those in-house roasted beans and condensed milk, so it is sweeter than a standard coffee, but oh my, it is delicious. We highly recommend you give this a try. Locals in Indonesia go mad for this delightful cup of joy, and we can definitely see why.
If you’re feeling peckish, this is the perfect place for a quick bite to eat or a light lunch. They serve authentic Indonesian dishes from their kitchen which is open 10am until closing each day. A short menu of 10 items means you’re not overwhelmed by choice, and is a good excuse to go back and try everything before picking your favourite dish. Two of their most popular and authentic dishes are the Bakwan Bakso Malang (meatball soup) and Pempek (Indonesian fish cakes).
However, if you try one dish only, it has to be the utterly irresistible fried Indomie (pictured above). Indomie are Indonesian-famous instant noodles (but these aren’t just ANY instant noodles) elevated to a delightful dish with corned beef, cheese, spring onions and topped with a poached egg. Simple, but extremely tasty, and the ultimate comfort food for a chilly, rainy day. This is the ideal dish for a light lunch (or a savoury snack) and once you’ve had a taste, you’ll find it hard to resist ordering another plateful.
If coffee isn’t your thing, they also serve a range of teas (both Indonesian and English) so you can still visit with your coffee-loving pals. They also serve some (more traditionally British) tasty cakes and bakes, if you want to grab a quick snack with your coffee and don’t fancy any of the dishes on the menu. But trust us when we say, those dishes are amazing.
If you love speciality coffee or just fancy trying something new, this is the place to go. Friendly staff, serving delicious food and coffee in a welcoming coffee shop.
Now offering Independent Birmingham Members: 20% off retail bags of coffee purchased online (use code: IBNGOPI20)