The Story of a Coffee Pot that Travelled from Jakarta to Batang to Sorong to Jayapura

Cintani (left) and Nova (right) look on while Bupati Mathius (center) ground the coffee. The mystique coffee pot is concealed behind the round black thing.


Story by A. Ruwidrijarto


During the Noken Yeu Amah, homecoming, end of November through to early December 2020, nokenners Andry Wijaya and Dwi Yoga, Soter, Nova, Cintani, and Mathias, and several more from the Great Sorong area visited Sorain, a hamlet in Ayamaru Lake, then the Baho Community and its Uter Lake, Maybrat. In a truly noken fashion, the nokenners introduced sign language, learned about customary forest, and picked up trash in a not a small area around the lakes.

Back in Sorong they had evening conversation with the Great Sorong Women Association. Top among many topics of conversation is the Noken Day, 4 December. The next several days, nokenners visited Werur in Sausapor, Tambrauw and Salemkai in South Sorong where they had exchange of knowledge and experience on coffee and cacao production and processing, and ecotourism with communities in the villages. And that’s how the Noken Yeu Amah celebrated the international Noken Day, 4 December 2020.

A crowd of new people, mostly young and women, took the torch and continue nokening here and there around Sorong. Cintani and Nova visited other communities and kampongs right after Ambon and Dwi returned to Java.

Also, together with Soter, Mathias, and others from their community they set up GF Nata Café in Sorong. Now, this is perhaps the only café in town which is wholly owned by local Papuans. It received very good acceptance and very much appreciated by a growing number of customers in Sorong.

The exact time of the initial forming of GF Nata Café is the moment Ilham, the blind barista, gave Nova his most precious coffee equipment, the pour over coffee pot that Ilham bought for the first time ever when he started learning to be a barista1. That was the exact moment of forming of GF Nata Café, a moment in the Noken in November in Lojohan, Batang, Central Java. That pour over cofee pot is the first asset of GF Nata Café.

After three weeks of running, that pour over coffee pot survived the calamity that befell upon GF Nata. One drunken driver and his truck hit the stalls, including the GF Nata café. Everything was destroyed and flattened to the ground. Pots and kettles and coffee beans were all over the pavement. The wooden structure and table and coco leaves roof were no more.

But the pour over coffee pot survived. It means that GF Nata Café will survive too. Knowledge, skills, and spirit are intact. Solidarity, coffee beans, equipment, funds, everything else have been pouring in and will continue to be there for Nova, Cintani, Mathias and the rest of nokenners in Sorong to restart the enterprise.

That is the power of that coffee pot that has travelled all the time with Ilham in his journey to become a barista and then owner of the Blind Café. It was the gift that was given to Nova and put in her noken that day in Batang, brought to Sorong, and then Jayapura.

Yes, Nova and Cintani went and Noken in Tabi, in Jayapura. That coffee pot helped many of us started the first day of the noken, 11 March 2021: the team of Papua Jungle Chef, the Papuan Tour Guide Forum, the nature clubs of Jayapura and Sarmi, the Jayapura Deaf and Mute Community, the youth of Kwadeware Kampong, the Vespa Adventure club, village and youth leaders, Samdhana, AMAN, GTMA, etc., even the Bupati of Jayapura and his staffs.

The mystique continued that night and the night after, serving right at the center of the circle, by the fire. It was the midnight of 12 March 2021, at the top of the hill of Yotoro, that 8 youth (5 male, 3 female) and 7 kids (under 15) of Kwadeware together with everyone nokening there that night issued the Yotoro Hill Declaration. It’s a pledge to work with indigenous leaders and elders to advance indigenous peoples rights and livelihood, manage the hill for education and tourism, plant the hill and make it green, and free it from any trash from that moment on, and them to never litter, not ever.

The coffee pot continued travelling from Yotoro, Kwadeware to Abar, Hobong, Yoboi, and Asei kampongs around Sentani Lake, then to Hena near the city of Sentani, the Rumah Bakau Jayapura in Engros, then to Hiroshi at the slope of the Cyclops mountain range, to Rhepang Muaif which is around 2 hours driving west from Sentani, and to Yokiwa in Sentani Lake, the kampong of Bupati Mathius, for the last day and reflection night of Noken in Tabi.

In all those places, the pour over coffee pot served. It energized. It sparked. It mystiqued the Noken in Tabi.

And…what a productive and (more importantly) fun and beautiful noken that Noken in Tabi was.

Hopefully you will be able to read more of those products, fun, and beauty in a noken story right after this one, but for now let’s cherish the simple and humble one, from Ilham to Nova, from Jakarta via Batang to Sorong and Jayapura.

This one


The Mystique 
Pour Over 
Coffee Pot

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