Earlier this year, I moved to Bali for two months to take a break from London life and discover a new destination of which I had heard so many greats things about. I mostly spent my time in Ubud, but I also explored other parts of Bali. I wanted to experience as much as possible of this wonderful island and, at the same time, look for the best coffee and brunch spots.
Top 12 Speciality Coffee Shops in Bali
Bali has a thriving food and coffee scene, especially in the main tourist destinations like Ubud, Seminyak, Kuta and Canggu. It is really easy to find amazing brunch spots and speciality coffee shops (perhaps a result of tourisms from nearby Australia).
I have compiled a list of my personal favourite coffee shops in Bali, which I originally shared in the form of an Instagram Takeover on Sprudge. I am sure there are more cafés that could be added to this list, though I would have needed more than two months to try them all! :)
Senimam Coffee was the first place I went to, as soon as I arrived in Ubud. It was opened in 2010 by an Australian, Rodney Glick, and it remains still today one of the leading Third Wave coffee shops in Bali. Back when it opened, Seniman was probably the only shop where you could find light-medium roast, single origin coffee beans. Ubud’s coffee scene has evolved, but Seniman Coffee is still the best.
Sit down in one of their custom-made bar rocker chairs and order the “flight” of three coffee tastings. Or cross the street to THCR store to buy a bag of Indonesian coffee beans to take home with you as a souvenir of Bali. You can choose between coffees from Bali, Java, Sumatra, Flores, Sulawesi and Papua ((I love Bali Kintamani and Sumatra Aceh Gayo).
Milk and Madu
One my second or third day in Ubud, as I walked around the crowded main street (Jalan Raya Ubud) feeling lost, jet-lagged and lonely, I stumbled upon Milk and Madu. It was one of the cafés I already wanted to try, so I walked in and immediately felt at home. Milk and Madu is beautiful, Instagrammable and modern: I could have been in a café in London, Melbourne or Copenhagen. Over the next two months, I discovered many other good brunch spots in Bali, but Milk and Madu in Ubud remains my favourite (they also have a pop-up restaurant in Canggu).
The coffee is by Good use beans by The Good Food Brotherhood (100% Arabica from Colombia, Guatemala and Ethiopia). The creamy milk comes from expat Australian cows living in Java.
Ubud Coffee Culture
Ubud Coffee Culture is one of the newcomers to Ubud’s specialty scene, located on a side street, off Jalan Raya Ubud. I only discovered UCC because it was near the hotel where I stayed on my first week.
The coffee shop and micro roastery owned by a lovely Balinese couple is definitely worth checking out. They focus on pourovers (filter coffee) and they exclusively serve Indonesian single origin beans. I had an amazing V60 coffee from Flores. The owners love to engage and chat with customers – UCC is a hub for local baristas who go there in the late afternoons after their shifts, to spend a few hours drinking and talking about coffee.
Anomali is a coffee roaster company serving premium coffee beans from all over Indonesia. They have several shops and they have been promoting speciality coffee in Indonesia since 2007. In Bali, they have two locations: Ubud and Kuta.
Anomali is centrally located on Jalan Raya Ubud, not far from Ubud Royal Palace. It’s a great spot to have breakfast, drink coffee at any time of the day, or sit with your laptop to do some work.
Gangga Coffee Gallery
Gangga Coffee Gallery was one of my favourite coffee shops to go to when I lived in Ubud. It’s a little bit outside the main town, but since it’s on the road to Tegallalang Rice Terraces, you’ll likely go past it at least twice during your holiday in Ubud.
Gangga is a hub for the local specialty coffee community: you’ll find some of the best Balinese brewers and baristas working behind the bar. The house espresso ‘Sweet Solitude’ is a blend of house blend of Kintamani Bali and Ciwodey West Java, roasted by Smith in Jakarta. The brew bar also offers a variety of Indonesian single origins sourced by fair trade.
Revive is not just a vegetarian coffee shop (soon to turn into a roastery as well), it’s a place for the local community to get together. Revive opened in March in Penestanan – a popular neighbourhood on the outskirts of Ubud that is popular among expats. They currently serve a coffee blend by Revolver Espresso and a wide choice of dairy free milks (such as almond-cashew). Revive is a great place to spend a few relaxing hours and a nice addition to the already vibrant Ubud coffee scene.
I only discovered WAMM because my friends at Outpost Coworking recommended it. It’s located outside of Ubud’s city centre, on the south side of the Monkey Forest. I first stopped by once hot Sunday afternoon to buy a takeaway iced flat white – not my usual choice of coffee, but that drink really hit the spot.
I fell in love with the space: bright, airy and colourful and with two floors overlooking a large soccer field. I returned to WAMM several times for coffee, fresh smoothies, breakfast and lunch – all the food is made using the best sourced local ingredients.
Have you ever heard of Juria coffee? It’s a rare variety of Typica Arabica which used to grow in Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka. Most of it was destroyed by a disease about 130 years ago, though some of these plants can still be found today in Manggarai, Flores. Juria Coffee House was started to bring specialty coffee pourovers to the people of Bali. Juria’s founder started roasting coffee beans two years ago (fully washed or honey process).
The coolest coffee joint in Bali has to be Revolver Espresso. You’ll find it in Seminyak, a popular tourist destination on Bali’s south-west coast. Revolver is not on the beach, it’s inland and down an alleyway, where a dark door leads customers into a dark and large bar area. Keep going till you enter this beautiful pink room. I felt like walking into a secret speakeasy.
I had one of the best coffee experiences at Revolver Espresso in Bali. Their house blend (Guatemala, Colombia and Papua New Guinea) is supplied to the best cafés, restaurants and hotels all around the island. Try their Cold Brew: it comes in a glass bottle that you can take away and it’s essential to survive a hot day at the beach in Seminyak. Revolver is open from breakfast till late when it turns into a cocktails bar.
One place coffee lovers shouldn’t miss on the island is Expat Roasters, a brew bar and roastery led by Australian barista Shae Macnamara in Seminyak. The café is small, but funky and sleek. Order a cup of locally sourced Kintamani Ulian Murni Farm single origin: one of the best coffees in Bali. If you order a flat white or cappuccino, the barista will come to your table to pour the latte art in front of you.
Expat Roasters work closely with Balinese coffee farmers and producers to source the finest coffee beans from around the island (as well as special single origins from around the world).
All the cool people go to Canggu, a popular surf spot in Bali, located 20 minutes’ by car from Seminyak (about 1 hour from Ubud). Canggu is full of great cafés and brunch places, but I only had time to visit one – so I made sure it was one of the best.
Hungry Bird have been roasting and serving specialty coffee since 2013. Their house espresso ‘Berawa’, is a blend of Brazil, Sumatra and Colombia beans. I really loved the vibe at Hungry Bird and I wish I had more time to spend there.
I spent my last two nights in Bali near the beach town of Uluwatu, a tourist destination in the Bukit peninsula, particularly popular among surfers. My last ever breakfast in Bali was at Suka Espresso and interestingly it was also one of the best I had over the two months. Suka was opened in December 2016 and it’s located on the road to Uluwatu Temple, on the site of an old warung (a traditional Balinese eatery). We loved the relaxed vibe of this coffee shop as well as their pancakes, cocoa and peanut butter smoothie bowl and coffee.