Isman Ramadhan is a barista, coffee roaster, and owner of Say Something Coffee. He also teaches coffee courses from amateur to professional level at ABCD School of Coffee. Since 2012, he has started working as a Barista professionally. Before that, he worked in a public relation company and restaurant. “Office work didn’t really suit me, instead I have an interest in working in the FnB industry,” said Isman. Latte art was the first thing that caught his attention about coffee. “It is really cool that you can paint in a cup of coffee,” Isman said.
I asked him why he decided to work in the coffee industry, he answered “(Laughs) This is the first time anyone ever asked me that! So after I’ve been exploring coffee more and more, I eventually realize that this is my passion. Coffee is complicated but fun.” Isman enjoys the complexity of the coffee, from a hilly coffee farm to a sip of warm black coffee in the morning. He has to drink coffee once a day at least. If he can’t find a decent cup of coffee, he prefers to get his caffeine boost from Coca Cola. Singkong rebus and kue lupis are his favourite snacks. “When I started my career as a barista, coffee was getting more popular in Jakarta,'' Isman said. Mostly, people come to the coffee shop to hangout. “I hope consumers care more about the product, not only following trends and liking the cool places,” said Isman whose milk product won as the best for the coffee category at the World Barista Championship 2018 from Indonesia. Isman has #postmilkgenerationid, a campaign from his milk brand ‘Milkyway’. Nowadays, you can find a lot of coffee shops in Jakarta side by side.
One of the first coffee farms that he visited was Malabar in West Java. He was excited but at the same time he didn’t know what to expect there. After a 4 hours drive, he found beautiful scenery of a coffee farm, clear air, and of course delicious food. Last year, he travelled to Europe where it was really cold, even in the summer. He visited his favourite coffee shops, Coffee Collective in Copenhagen and Toki in Amsterdam. “I love Copenhagen and Amsterdam’s vibe. You don’t know the difference between poor and rich, everybody is cycling,” said Isman.
Isman rides a folding bike for his daily commute. He cycles from home to the nearest KRL station and cycles again from KRL station to his coffee shop. “The air quality in Jakarta is very very bad, I choose to ride a bike to reduce pollution and it is also a healthy activity,” said Isman. He does want to have a car or motorcycle, but he thinks he isn't ready to face Jakarta’s traffic. He uses a folding bike because it is simple and you can bring it into KRL or MRT. In the future, he hopes there will be a special railway carriage for bicycles. So the number of cyclists will increase. Isman said, “Cycling makes you slow down your pace, you can find and enjoy more interesting places.”