Kopi Jahe Rempah: Spiced Ginger Coffee (Vegan)

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Deyana Goh
Deyana Goh
Deyana was born in Singapore and lives there. She is half-Chinese, half-Arab, with a grandmother who was born to an Arab family in Bogor, Indonesia. Deyana grew up eating Indonesian food as it is cooked in Arab-Indonesian households, and has fond memories of the festive whole chicken stuffed with lamb.

Kopi jahe means “ginger coffee” and is, literally, ginger-flavoured black coffee. The drink has a lot of heat, with the ginger adding a sharp pungence that strangely complements the coffee. It is a common drink in Indonesia, and you can even buy ginger coffee sachets at the supermarket the same way you buy tea bags. But ginger powder, which is used in these sachets, is truly an offense to good taste! So I refuse to settle for instant ginger coffee and always make it fresh.

In this recipe, I’ve made spiced ginger coffee, which is basically ginger coffee with spices. I’ve also used instant coffee instead of the traditional coffee powder. Not only is this more convenient, I really love Lavazza’s Prontissimo. This shortcut makes the recipe really simple. Just boil sliced ginger with sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves for 10 minutes. Then turn off the stove, and add the coffee.


A Bit of Background

Ginger coffee (and spiced ginger coffee) is said to have come to Indonesia from the Middle East. In Indonesia, it still sometimes called Arab coffee (kopi Arab). But it’s very different from what the Western world thinks of as Arab coffee, because it is nothing like the thick, strong black coffee served in tiny cups. Instead, the coffee is much thinner, with a strong ginger/spice taste. This version originates in the Arabian Peninsula, in countries like Yemen/Saudi Arabia, rather than in Levantine areas like Lebanon which has exported its version to the West. Today, you can order it in every warung (casual restaurant) in Indonesia — it’s something I always order when I visit Indonesia.

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Kopi Jahe Rempah: Spiced Ginger Coffee

Kopi Jahe Rempah: Spiced Ginger Coffee (Vegan)

  • Author: Deyana Goh
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Vegan


Kopi jahe rempah is a dairy-free hot black coffee flavoured with ginger and spices, and is a common drink throughout Indonesia. This recipe is a quick shortcut using instant coffee.


  • 1 litre water
  • 4 tsp instant coffee
  • 4 cloves
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • ½  inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 inches fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • Sugar to taste


  1. Dry roast the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon in a pan for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
  2. Add the water. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add the fresh ginger. Boil for 10 minutes.
  4. Add sugar and stir until it dissolves.
  5. Turn off the stove
  6. Add the instant coffee and stir.
  7. Serve.

Kopi Jahe Rempah


  • If you’re interested in making un-spiced ginger coffee, the ginger should be pounded, grated or blended instead of sliced. This will impart a stronger ginger flavour to the coffee.

Keywords: Ginger, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Common ingredients, Vegan, Quick & Easy

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