.TEMU: A celebrity-owned café
I arrived at .TEMU (chic, ain’t it?) after lunch at a nearby burger joint. It was about 1 pm, perfect time for an afternoon coffee session. In order to reach .TEMU, one would need to enter a narrow alley, meet a garden, then go around it. The shop is located next to Warung Siam (a Thai restaurant), near a small art gallery, an art shop, and the aforementioned “Suksma” garden. I was most intrigued by the art gallery, being an art enthusiast myself, but let’s save that for another story.
Reaching the front of the shop, one would notice the unique etching of the letters “.TEMU” on the left wall, which lights up at night. It gives off this elegant yet minimalistic look, and I was not surprised to see it become subject of tourist pictures almost the entire time I was there. My friend and I were greeted by a young waitress dressed in a traditional Balinese sarong who took us inside and asked us our table preferences. We then settled on a bench in front of the bar — comme d’habitude. Having arrived at rush hour traffic, the place was nearly full — with lively chatter, steaming noises, and soft music in the background. The shop was almost entirely surrounded by glass panes, covering most of the walls and part of the ceiling, which had additional touches of wood and concrete to create a beautiful orchestra of colours and structures, garnished with vines that ran halfway down; and featured a naturally unconcealed concrete flooring system.
To the right of the entrance, a long concrete bench stretched all the way to the very back of the shop, present with its associated wooden tables and boxed stools. Behind me, there were two more tables, paired with classic dinner chairs that overlooked the garden outside. The bar in itself was quite spacious, and offered two benches for an engaging session with their seasoned baristas. The shop uses a double head La Marzocco Linea Piero Bambi (or PB for short), and two grinders: a Victoria Arduino Mythos for their espressos, and a Mahlkönig EK43 for their filtered coffee. There is also an outdoor smoking area on the second floor, accessible only from a single stairway on the outside, to the far left of the entrance.
As per usual, I ordered their Piccolo — my constant variable, an amazing but often forgotten glass of coffee that every person should try at least once in their life. Unsurprisingly, it came in the wrong cup (Traditionally, a Piccolo is served in a 100 ml (4 oz) glass demitasse — as its name suggests, it’s a mini Latté after all). The espresso was extracted from their in-house blend — a 100% full arabica blend of two different Sunda beans. For the sake of privacy, I’d rather stop specifics at that. The single ristretto says it all. The sensation was soothing — due to the low acidity of the honey-process; and its flavor notes apparent, though being slightly muffled by the steamed milk. The sweet from the honey-process was discernible, though not striking, and I could identify hints of nuts and caramel. It was a good cup of Piccolo. Service-wise, I thought they were brilliant. The waiter/waitress-service was excellent — constantly making sure your stay is pleasurable. The baristas were also very friendly and engaging, as it was reflected on the length of my stay there — 6 hours.
My cup costed IDR 38k, tax and services included. In my opinion, a tad bit overpriced, even considering Seminyak’s price-points. I found it rather funny how they charged the same amount for a Latte — which is twice the volume of my Piccolo!
.TEMU is a fantastic place for many leisurely activities, whether it be reading a book, catching up with old friends, a date, even a tête-à-tête with the baristas. My concern for this place is the lack of driving philosophy that it is mounted upon, a philosophy that is supposed to be the very basis of the shop. As a person with a soft spot for ideologies of the industry, I was disappointed. It is a shop that focuses more on the business than the culture itself, utilizing their renowned owners as a leverage to attract consumers, achieving a bandwagon. In the end, I feel like people come to .TEMU for just that reason, and not for their coffee.