Home of The Champions

If coffee competition is Olympic, there’s a high chance that Common Grounds will come out as victor. It took lots of time, effort, and money to win a competition, and not all coffee shops are willing to walk the extra miles by investing on people like what Common Grounds do. 


Common Grounds has produced many champions, started from Yoshua Tanu, Indonesia Barista Championship (IBC) 2014, 2016, 2017, Iwan Setiawan, Indonesia Latte Art Championship (ILAC) 2014, Yessylia Violin, Indonesia Cup Tasters Championship (ICTC) 2018, Hiro Lesmana, Indonesia Brewers Cup (IBRC) 2018. To sum it up, Common Grounds managed to have 4 IBRC champions, 5 ILAC champions, 1 IBRC champion, and 1 ICTC champion, not including the runner ups and second runner-ups.

We’ve prepared the title of the article, even before we came to Common Grounds Citywalk for the coverage, but on February 24th 2019, Mikael Jasin, Coffee Quality and Marketing Manager of Common Grounds Group won the 2019’s Indonesia Barista Championship. Of course, competition is one thing, but for us customers, what does it mean to be a champion? “It shows our commitment to specialty coffee and products, the name House of Champions is the reflection of the thing,” answered Mikael.

In addition, the beans used in competitions are usually available for Common Grounds customers. In here, they have 3 categories. “Tier 1 is the regular local coffee, it’s not because they weren’t good, it’s just we can directly source the bean from the farmer so we get very competitive price. Tier 2 is the regular imported coffee that you can find in other coffee shops. Tier 3 is our highest grade coffee, mostly used for competition, from winning an auction, or the bean that we distribute exclusively. For example, the Finca Deborah (boutique Panama Geisha bean) that we have used over the past 4 years. We distribute the bean exclusively in South East Asia, we also have good relationship with the farmers there,” said Mikael.

“With  Rp 90.000 per cup of tier 3 coffee, I guess the price is still accessible to most people. We even have our online store that offers the special coffee bean in small packaging (50-100 gram) to cater customers’ demands,” he added.

Many customers associate Common Grounds coffee as bright and fruity, but how does Mikael explain Common Grounds’ coffee characteristic in general? “When we roast the bean, we always try to find balance and well developed taste. Some roasters love to roast very light or dark, we’re trying the middle ground, for certain coffee bean, that’s like our holy grail. We often buy bean from Brazil, Burundi, Uganda, or Rwanda that have different characters, but it seems that our customers prefer the bright and fruity ones. We’re trying to educate customers on different things, but in the end, we need to listen to the customers, don’t we?” said Mikael.


Australian Brunch

Let’s admit it, the brunch and coffee concept that’s become lifestyle lately, didn’t originate from Indonesia. If there’s a place that’s often used as standard for both items, there’s a good chance that it’s Australia, Melbourne to be exact. No wonder, many leading coffee shops in Indonesia were found by Indonesians who went to college in the world’s coffee capital. Typical Australian brunch involves products such as egg, avocado, and smoked salmon.

St. Ali and Sensory Lab also gave heavy Australian influence, both are Australian franchise brand managed by Common Grounds Group. Mikael explained a bit about the difference among these brands. “Common Grounds is very coffee heavy, of course we have brunch menu as complement. St. Ali targets the expatriated, it happens to be located near Australian Embassy. St. Ali has a very Australian food and atmosphere. Sensory Lab is actually St. Ali’s brand of coffee roaster, but here, Sensory Lab has simple concept, straight up coffee and food,” said Mikael.

“Our passion is not limited to specialty coffee, but also for other specialty products. Let say, for smoked salmon, we’re taking it seriously, we use the best ones we can find as appreciation for specialty product,” said Mikael. Even though they’re operating until evening, Common Grounds refuses to offer dinner menus. “We’ll keep doing what we’re good at and let others to make dinner menus. We don’t want to be in an area that’s outside our expertise.”

If you want very “Australian brunch” menus, you may choose Eggs Norwegian (poached eggs, smoked salmon, hollandaise on sourdough), Smashed Avocados (poached eggs, pesto, feta cheese on sourdough), or Maple Glazed Bacon (scrambled eggs, garlic butter baguette). Of course, Gourmet Beef Burger will always be a safe choice, but when you’re curious about what will happen when you mix Mexican food with rendang, then pick the more adventurous Huevos Rancheros con Rendang (baked eggs, tomato reduction, Mexican rice). For dessert, Common Grounds recommends Buttermilk Waffles(berry coulis, salted caramel, honeycomb , pretzel, homemade peanut butter ice cream).

Until today, Common Grounds already had 7 outlets spread across Indonesia: 3 outlets in Jakarta (Citywalk, Neo Soho, Pondok Indah Mall 2), 2 outlets in Surabaya (Galaxy Mall dan Pakuwon Mall), and one outlet, each in Bandung and Palembang.

Common Grounds success in coffee competitions shows their commitment in investing on people and quality coffee. Directly, the champions will channel the energy to the customers through standard of quality, not only for coffee, also for other products. So, if you think winning a competition has nothing to do with the quality of a coffee shop, come to one of 7 Common Grounds’ outlets and see it for yourself.

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Jika kompetisi kopi adalah Olimpiade, bisa jadi Common Grounds Coffee adalah juaranya. Dibutuhkan banyak waktu, usaha, dan juga modal untuk menjuarai kompetisi, dan tidak semua coffee shop mau (dan mampu) melakukan investasi pada orang seperti yang dilakukan Common Grounds.

Common Grounds terbukti menghasilkan beberapa juara kompetisi, mulai dari Yoshua Tanu, juara Indonesia Barista Championship (IBC) 2014, 2016, 2017, Iwan Setiawan, juara Indonesia Latte Art Championship (ILAC) 2014, Yessylia Violin, juara Indonesia Cup Tasters Championship (ICTC) 2018, Hiro Lesmana, juara Indonesia Brewers Cup (IBRC) 2018. Jika ditotal Common Grounds memiliki 4 juara IBC, 5 juara ILAC, 1 juara IBRC, dan 1 juara ICTC, ini belum termasuk juara 2 dan 3.

Kami sudah menyiapkan judul artikel ini bahkan sebelum liputan dilakukan di Common Grounds Citywalk, namun pada 24 Februari 2019, Mikael Jasin, Coffee Quality and Marketing Manager of Common Grounds Group menjuarai Indonesia Barista Championship 2019. Tentu saja, kompetisi adalah satu hal, namun bagi pelanggan, apa arti menjadi juara? “Ini menunjukkan komitmen kami pada kopi specialty dan produk specialty lain, julukan House of Champions adalah refleksi dari hal tersebut,” jawab Mikael.

Selain itu, biji kopi yang digunakan di kompetisi biasanya juga tersedia untuk pelanggan Common Grounds. Di sini, mereka memiliki 3 kategori kopi. “Tier 1 adalah kopi lokal reguler, bukan karena rasanya tidak enak, namun karena kami mendapatkan biji kopi langsung dari petani, kami bisa mendapatkan dengan harga yang lebih murah. Tier 2 adalah kopi impor reguler yang bisa Anda dapatkan di coffee shop lain. Tier 3 adalah seri kopi tertinggi kami yang digunakan untuk kompetisi, didapatkan karena menang lelang, atau biji kopi yang kami miliki hak distribusinya secara eksklusif. Contohnya adalah Finca Deborah (biji kopi Geisha Panama butik) yang sudah kami gunakan selama 4 tahun terakhir. Kami mendistribusikan biji kopi tersebut untuk wilayah Asia Tenggara, kami juga menjalin relasi yang baik dengan petani di sana,”jelas Mikael.

“Dengan Rp 90.000 per cup untuk kopi tier 3, saya rasa harganya masih accessible untuk kebanyakan orang. Kami bahkan memiliki online store yang menjual biji kopi istimewa tersebut dalam kemasan kecil (50-100 gram) untuk menjawab permintaan pelanggan,” tambahnya.

Banyak pelanggan yang mengasosiasikan kopiCommon Grounds sebagai kopi yang bright, fruity, namun bagaimana Mikael menjelaskan karakter kopi Common Grounds secara umum? “Ketika melakukan roasting, kami selalu mencari rasa yang balance dan well developed. Ada beberapa roaster yang suka melakukan roasting yang sangat light atau dark, kami mencari yang ditengah-tengah, untuk biji kopi tersebut, that’s like our holy grail. Kami sering membeli kopi Brazil, Burundi, Uganda atau Rwanda yang karakternya berbeda, namun pelanggan sepertinya lebih suka yang bright dan fruity. Kami mencoba mengedukasi pelanggan dalam banyak hal, namun, pada akhirnya kita harus mendengarkan kemauan pelanggan kan?” tutur Mikael.


Australian Brunch

Harus diakui, konsep brunch and coffee yang menjelma menjadi bagian dari lifestyle, bukanlah budaya asli Indonesia. Jika ada tempat yang menjadi kiblat kedua hal tersebut, bisa jadi itu adalah Australia, tepatnya Melbourne. Tidak heran, banyak coffee shop terkemuka di Indonesia didirikan oleh orang Indonesia yang pernah kuliah di ibukota kopi dunia tersebut. Tipikal brunch Australia tentu melibatkan produk-produk seperti telur, alpukat, smoked salmon.

Pengaruh Australia yang kental juga diberikan oleh St. Ali dan Sensory Lab, keduanya merupakan brand franchise dari Australia yang dipegang grup Common Grounds. Mikael menjelaskan sedikitmengenai perbedaan antara ketiga brand ini. “Common Grounds berfokus pada kopi, tentu ada menu brunch sebagai pelengkap. St. Ali lebih menyasar ke ekspatriat, kebetulan lokasinya dekat dengan Kedutaan Australia. St. Ali memiliki makanan dan atmosfer yang sangat Australia. Sensory Lab sebetulnya adalah brand coffee roaster St. Ali, namun di sini Sensory Lab memiliki konsep sederhana, straight up coffee and food,” kata Mikael.

“Passion kami tidak hanya sebatas di kopi specialty, namun juga produk specialty lain. Contohnya saja, untuk smoked salmon, kami tidak asal-asalan, kami menggunakan yang terbaik sebagai wujud apresiasi kami terhadap produk specialty,” kata Mikael. Meski buka hingga malam hari, Common Grounds menolak untuk menyajikan menu dinner. “Kami akan tetap melakukan bidang kami dan membiarkan orang lain untuk membuat menu makan malam. Kami tidak mau berada di wilayah yang bukan menjadi keahlian kami.”

Jika Anda menginginkan menu yang sangat “Australian brunch”, Anda bisa memilih Eggs Norwegian (poached eggs, smoked salmon, hollandaise on sourdough), Smashed Avocados (poached eggs, pesto, feta cheese on sourdough), atau Maple Glazed Bacon (scrambled eggs, garlic butter baguette). Tentu saja

Gourmet Beef Burger akan selalu menjadi pilihan aman, namun jika ingin mengetahui apa jadinya jika makanan khas Mexico berpadu dengan rendang, maka Huevos Rancheros con Rendang (baked eggs, tomato reduction, Mexican rice) adalah pilihan yang lebih eksploratif. Untuk dessert, Buttermilk Waffles (berry coulis, salted caramel, honeycomb , pretzel, homemade peanut butter ice cream) merupakan rekomendasi Common Grounds.

Hingga saat ini, Common Grounds memiliki 7 outlet yang tersebar di seluruh Indonesia, 3 outlet di Jakarta (Citywalk, Neo Soho, Pondok Indah Mall 2), 2 outlet di Surabaya (Galaxy Mall dan Pakuwon Mall), dan masing-masing 1 outlet di Bandung dan Palembang.

Keberhasilan Common Grounds menjadi juara di kompetisi kopi menunjukkan komitmen mereka untuk berinvestasi pada orang dan kopi berkualitas. Secara langsung, hal ini tentu akan diteruskan para juara pada pelanggan Common Grounds melalui standar kualitas, tidak hanya soal kopi, namun juga produk-produk lainnya. Jadi, jika Anda berpikir menjuarai kompetisi tidak ada hubungannya dengan kualitas sebuah coffee shop, datangilah salah satu dari 7 outlet Common Grounds untuk memastikan hal tersebut.


COMMON GROUNDS
Citywalk Sudirman, Ground Floor, Jl. KH Mas Mansyur, Sudirman, Jakarta,
Phone : +62 21 2555 8963, www.commongrounds.co.id

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