• Ann Allanson

Coffee Served with Lump of Coal?

Updated: Apr 25



No, it isn't Christmas. And no, you didn't do anything wrong to get a lump of coal in your coffee. At least, not in Indonesia anyway.

The city of Yogyakarta is famous thanks to a man with stomach problems. It seems that back in the 1960's, there was a local coffee shop owner known only as Mr. Mann.

He was making his coffee as usual when he began to study the coal he used to boil his water.

His stomach was hurting, and he thought he would try putting a lump of red hot coal in his coffee drink. It worked so well, Mr. Mann started selling it to any brave customer that would try it. At that time, college students were the only ones to raise their hands.

Photo: foodandfeast/Facebook

Everybody else thought he was nuts. Called Kopi Joss, the drink was shunned until people began to learn of its medicinal properties. Fast forward today, and Kopi Joss is a major tourist draw, but Mr. Alex, who now owns the shop, claims it stops bloating, heartburn, diarrhea, and nausea.

And you know what? It does!

Charcoal Coffee Benefits

Students in the area decided to analyze Kopi Joss to see why it makes you feel better. The results were interesting, and make sense once you think about it.

Charcoal coffee has a lower amount of caffeine than regular coffee. That's because the coal absorbs some of the caffeine. The coal also neutralizes coffee's acidity, much in the same way iced coffee does. That's why Mr. Mann's stomach felt so much better!

How is Kopi Joss Made?


Mr. Alex grinds up coffee, adds 4 teaspoons of sugar, pours the two into a glass and adds boiling water. Once that has brewed, he adds a red hot lump of coal (or two) to your glass. Don't be surprised if the coffee spews over. Once the coal cools, you take the coal out of the drink.

What does it Taste Like?

People say it tastes a lot like regular java with one exception. The coal tends to burn the sugar so the coffee has a slight caramel flavor.

I know what you're thinking.

Photo: Adryany Hamidin/Facebook

What are the chances of enjoying this kind of exotic

coffee here in Staunton, VA. Don't hold your breath.

But hey, barbecue season is coming up.

You could always grab some coal from the grill...


#charcoalcoffee #kopijoss

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