We talk to the owner of Java’s Nordic Coffee about his minimalist manual brew station at home.
BY TANYA NANETTI
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of Christian Hartono
Christian Hartono, who goes by Sebenza Coffee on Instagram, started his career as a home barista. Eventually he opened his own café called Nordic Coffee right in the heart of Surabaya, one of the biggest cities on the Indonesian island of Java.
Long before serving as a professional barista (and also an active certified national judge for Brewers Cup and Latte Art competitions), Christian put together his home coffee setup with just a simple single plastic V60, a Hario Buono kettle, and a scale.
In time the setup grew, but Christian has always maintained a focus on pourover brewing options.
An Essential Home Coffee Setup
Then and now, Christian’s home brewing philosophy is “essential.” Essential to Christian means no big and expensive espresso machines, no bulky electric grinders, and no shelves filled with tons of coffee tools. The result: Christian’s setup mostly consists of a series of different drippers.
Of course a good kettle and a reliable scale cannot be missed in a proper coffee home setup, as well as a proper functional and reliable hand grinder. But if Christian were to choose the top five indispensable tools in his setup, he would surely pick the drippers that helped him in his personal growth as a home barista.
Different shapes, different sizes, and different recipes … so much can be done playing with such a diverse set of drippers. The Orea Brewer (either in plastic or metal), the Timemore Crystal Eye dripper, the Origami Dripper, the Tricolate dripper, and the Hario Switch—these are the tools that simply cannot be missed in Christian’s setup.
Having Good Coffee
Apart from the standard specialty-brewing equipment (scale, kettle, grinder), what Christian considers essential are a small stock of high-quality coffee (freshly roasted, and if it’s possible bought at a local specialty-coffee business) and excellent water. Once you find the water that works best for you (it can be filtered, bottled, or made at home with one of the various kits available nowadays), the road to the perfect cup is ready.
A Home Coffee Setup Doesn’t Need Frills
Concerning décor and lighting, Christian’s home setup again sticks to the essentials—almost to the point of minimalism. There is no specific light source, no frills, no plants, and no books or coffee-related decorations. To brew his coffee, Christian just needs one of his drippers and his phone to share everything with his followers.
On the same note is Christian’s brewing log: Instead of choosing a fancy notebook or an Excel page, he puts everything (almost) directly online via the YouTube channel for Nordic Coffee.
Storage Relies on Use
Last but not least, there are also essential practices in the way Christian chooses to store his coffee. In case a coffee needs to be kept longer, a Fellow or Ankomn vacuum storage container is an ideal choice. But most of the time, there’s no need for it—Christian typically has just a couple of bags of coffee at a time that he can drink quickly before they have the chance to show signs of aging.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tanya Nanetti (she/her) is a specialty-coffee barista, a traveler, and a dreamer. When she’s not behind the coffee machine (or visiting some hidden corner of the world), she’s busy writing for Coffee Insurrection, a website about specialty coffee that she’s creating