Sweet and simple ‘es kopyor’
Varieties of es kopyor can be found in every region in Indonesia, especially Bali. The refreshing drink of sweetened coconut milk and shaved ice is at the top of the list of Indonesian’s favorite drinks. It shares the position with iced tea and iced orange juice.
Among the varieties of es kopyor is Ibu Nyoman Jumartini’s es kopyor, sold at her stall at Jl. Mawar No. 43 in Tabanan. Jumartini makes her es kopyor just plain sweet and simple.
With only a Rp 2,000 (21 US cents) note, you can slurp the brownish shaved ice from a green glass, served with a sweet or plain bread roll.
The 2-by-4 meter stall opens from 09:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“Every day, I buy one-and-half blocks of ice, two jerrycans of coconut milk and mix it with 10 kilograms of sugar,” said Ibu Nyoman. She offers not only es kopyor and its bread accompaniment, but also various traditional Balinese snacks, as well as boiled noodles.
Nyoman, a mother-of-two, said that during religious days like Galungan she could even have to shave up to five blocks of ice because not only her regular customers come to quench their thirst, but also new faces.
Nyoman got her es kopyor recipe from her father, who had been selling the sweet treat since 1938. “He used to sell it on the side of the street, now, I have my own rented stall,” said Nyoman.
It takes around 2.5 hours to make the kopyor. The first two hours are spent cooking the coconut milk, mixed with a pinch of salt and kilograms of granulated sugar, in a big wok, while the remaining time is needed to shave the ice from the blocks.
Nyoman also serves regular customers who order up to two large thermoses full of es kopyor. The price for a full thermos is Rp 110,000. The humorous Nyoman has a lot of stories from her es kopyor business. Among them is her heroic story of supporting her two children and her husband, who suffered a stroke three years ago.