Kupi Khop – Indonesia’s Upside-Down Coffee Is Best Sipped Through a Straw

Kupi Khop is a unique type of coffee served in an upside-down glass on a glass plate and sipped through a straw. For obvious reasons, it’s also known as Indonesian upside-down coffee.

If you ever find yourself on the West Coast of Aceh, in Indonesia, you owe it to yourself to enjoy a Kupi Khop coffee. The unique serving method alone makes it worth a try, as even if you don’t enjoy coffee, you can at least share it on Instagram or on whatever other socials you prefer. Kupi Khop consists of coarsely ground robusta 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.

Photo: Si Gam/Wikimedia Commons

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. It has been officially declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage (WBT) of West Aceh Regency, and its history can be traced back centuries.


Serving coffee in an upside-down glass doesn’t really make sense, but the fishermen of Aceh who first came up with this unusual serving method were actually on to something. Enjoying coffee while fishing was not the simplest affair back then the thermos hadn’t been 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. But 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 make a big mess. That’s where the straw comes in. It’s 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.


Posted in Foods        Tags: , , , , , ,