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Kupi Khop – Indonesia’s Upside-Down Coffee

3 min read

For all of you coffee lovers out there, you need to know that you can only be considered a coffee geek when you have tried almost every variant of coffee.
And we are not talking about regional signatures like the Turkish and Irish Coffee, or American Starbucks iced coffee.
Kupi Khop is a curious coffee served in an upside-down glass on a glass plate and sipped through a straw.
Yes, you read that right.
For obvious reasons, it’s also known as Indonesian upside-down coffee.

It is a traditional way of serving coffee on the West Coast of Aceh, Indonesia, and has been followed for years.
The unique serving method alone makes it worth a try, as even if you don’t like coffee.
Kupi Khop consists of coarsely ground coffee brewed in a glass that is then turned upside down on a glass saucer. A plastic straw is then used to gradually extract the coffee from the glass without it spilling uncontrollably.

Regular coffee shops have been coming up with all sorts of gimmicks to get a leg up on the competition, but Kupi Khop is much more than a marketing gimmick, as It has been officially declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage (WBT) of West Aceh Regency, and its history can be actually traced back centuries.
Serving coffee in an upside-down glass doesn’t really a common way to enjoy coffee, but were fishermen of Aceh who first came up with this unusual serving method. Enjoying coffee while fishing was not the simplest affair and the thermos hadn’t been yet invented. You had to leave your cup and check the lines or try to bring in a fish, and that meant the coffee often went cold before you returned.
Keeping it covered meant it stayed warm for longer, not to mention free from dust, insects, and other impurities.

So how does one enjoy upside-down coffee? Lifting the glass off of the saucer would just cause the coffee to spill and, of course, make a big mess.
The straw usually slid under the lip of the upside-down glass when the drink is brought to the table, but locals have learned to slide it under the glass themselves, without lifting the glass from the saucer.
Once the straw is in place, all you have to do is blow gently into the straw, increasing the pressure inside the glass and causing coffee to ooze from it. When a puddle forms around the glass, you just use the straw to sip the liquid. Then just repeat the process as many times as necessary.
This way, the coffee stays warm for longer, just like it did hundreds of years ago….

Images from web – Google Research