Café & the philosophy behind a cup of coffee

Enjoy a cup of hot coffee while processing your thoughts. In Indonesian it really hits: ngopi sembari ngo pi. Ngo pi is short of  ngolah pikir –> thinking. 

More specifically: that philosophy. I’ve been popping since our café opened –not established– in March 2019. Located in a middle-class area, Tangerang, the café which was originally named 3.1 was initially selling well.


But ahead of and during the Covid-19 Pandemic, it dropped dramatically. I don’t want to go out of business. Sticking to the field (my son’s passion), I keep trying. Encouraging how Cafes can not only survive, but also: grow.

Get lost on the right path. Perhaps it is a complete performance. To illustrate. How I first had no taste in the culinary world. But then can enjoy it.

So since the beginning of 2022. I am directly involved in the café. With that Japanese feel and name. Result. The café did not profit much. But it’s not a loss, it’s a loss.

What are the tips?
I applied Habermas’s concept. That behind a cup of coffee, there is an intangible. There is another “value”, which is invisible.

Moreover, the café is now developing into a public sphere. Now the meeting office person is in the café. Business people also transact in cafes. Young people are going out in a café. It’s not even just them. Mature ladies’ men too. Until the grandparents. Often make out in the Café.

All these phenomena are just strategized. To net money. In short, a café can be anything — for good, of course.

Also for virtual office. In addition to the fungi that are loci stability. I even, with young people, opened a virtual bookstore. Every month, we hold Webibar about Literacy. And paid anyway. Yes, in the Café that switches, precisely increases, the function becomes it: the public sphere.


Let. I want to tell you a little bit about Habermas, whom I had “met” his ideas and thoughts in college. His thinking was very, very far forward.

Nicolas Garnham in The Media and Public Sphere (Routledge, 2004: 359) states that the theory of the public sphere (PS) was developed from the concept of Jürgen Habermas, one of the leaders of the Frankfurt School.

He noted, among other things, “.. as articulated in particular Habermas argued that, just as the participatory democracy of the Athenian agora depended upon the material base of slavery….”

Meanwhile, in the book Studies in Ethno metdhology (Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, 2003), Harold Garfinkel discusses PS, referring to Habermas’s concept as well and noting “… by the public sphere” we mean first of all a realm of our social life in which something approaching public opinion can be formed.”

I applied Habermas’s concept. That behind a cup of coffee, there is an intangible. There is another “value”, which is invisible.

Thus, PS is seen as part of democratic practice, where every citizen is free to express his opinion – through any media, including print and electronic media.

Long ago. This freedom of expression of opinion in the times of ancient Greece was carried out in the square. The square was a public space of that time, especially in the city of Athens.

Along with the times, public space in Greece and in Europe in general penetrated and expanded. Until in cafes.

This tradition of expressing opinions as a form of democracy is especially fertile in Europe and America. It has been a long time since the tradition took place. About the same age as our great-grandmothers.

In public spaces, especially coffee shops and cafes, many people discuss. Free.

We, Indonesia. The last few years have entered the atmosphere of Europe in the past. It doesn’t matter which comes first and which one is later. Which is obvious. In the public sphere, people are free to express opinions. Also express yourself. Including revealing accessories. Or hide falsehoods.

Anyone can express an opinion on anything that concerns (public) common life. People are free to express opinions without fear. Without being restricted by any party. Including rulers, security forces, and superiors.

That’s the atmosphere that creates. Which not everyone can be grateful for.

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Masri Sareb Putra
Articles: 711

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