The coffee shop eventually becomes a multifunctional public space. A true coffee shop that serves as an aspiration house in Aceh, the tradition of drinking coffee, a meal that is followed by a chat in a coffee shop, is not a new habit that emerged lately. The habit has been around for hundreds of years, especially in the port and trade centers. Although at the time it is very likely the drink is not coffee, the habit of hanging out and chatting to "kill" time has been going on for generations.
Denys Lombard writes that Peter Mundy in April 1637 had laboriously reached port in Aceh. Peter Mundy reported that some were selling boiled turtle eggs. Each of the stalls was levied a gold coin a month for the rich Sri Maharaja.
In the meantime, Peter Mundy's record of April 1637 could at least serve as the basis for the existence of a public space known as food stalls in Aceh. This note may have broken down some of the assumptions that existed and drinking habits at stalls emerged after the Dutch "taught" the tradition of drinking coffee.
Indeed, the Netherlands has an important role in cultivating coffee crops in Indonesia. They have introduced the arabica coffee plant (Caffea arabim L.) in Java in 1699. In Aceh, precisely in the Gayo highlands, Central Aceh, they started to build arabica coffee plantations in 1924 in Paya Tumpi area. Today, the Gayo highlands covering Central Aceh District and Bener Meriah Regency are nationally the largest arabica coffee plant in Indonesia.
The existence and function of a coffee shop in Aceh, in principle does not vary much with the function of lepau in West Sumatra. According to Pandoe and Pour, the lepau function becomes the center of information. Fellow lepau visitors chatting about various things, from social life to "high politics" at home and abroad. Can also they talked about officials, analyzing football or talking about the 'soap operas they watch on television.
Human interaction in the lepau as written Pandoe and Pour exactly with social interaction and traffic information that occurs in coffee shops in Aceh. Likewise, the topic of coffee drinkers in public spaces called coffee stalls revolves around the issues of social life, politics, football, and the sharing of experience in the field of trade and agriculture.
Surely, the interest of coffee shop visitors is not absolute due to the taste and aroma of coffee served, however, more influenced by the desire to interact. The proof, most of the coffee shop in Aceh only provide coffee drinks made from robusta coffee. In fact, for the true coffee lovers, they will definitely find a coffee shop or cafe that provides arabica coffee because of the sharp aroma and taste that kick.
This phenomenon further reinforces the meaning of coffee in the community tradition in Aceh. Coffee or coffee activity is a medium of interaction between people from various social stratifications. In this public space, people gather from the lowest social stratification group to the highest. From a pedicab driver to a governor, they gather between tables and chairs, hear, and talk while sipping coffee.
This condition reinforces the fact that the function of the shop (coffee began to shift, from just a coffee place to a public space, a space that belongs to all elements of society.This space gives them the freedom to cang panah, mingle, including as a means of entertainment to unwind. A cup of coffee into a kind of electronic mail (e-mail) and password for permission to enjoy the atmosphere and participate in interacting with others who are in the coffee shop as a public space.
Like Twitter social networking accounts, coffee shops allow anyone to join and follow the person who became the idol and the source. Anyone, especially if you already know, may hear and comment on the speaker's speech during the cup still contains coffee. No one is prohibited from paying the price of coffee of the person he or his followers follow.
The coffee shop eventually becomes a multifunctional public space. A true coffee place serves as a home for aspiration. From that space, various information, both rumors, facts, and data are constantly updated. This information is rolling like a snowball, rolling, and growing until it becomes a public consensus. In the same place, the Information is finally back in the form of feedback that is usually spiced up with negative comments.
Those who understand the function of a coffee shop as a home aspiration, always present in this public space. They will join the people who are the source of information. Comment on the language of "commoners" who are joking so that there is no distance between stratification. let's take a coffee..!