By : Hendra Utama (LPPOM MUI Senior Auditor)
They were sipping coffee in the morning, like an unavoidable ritual for some people. Therefore, coffee shops have become crowded even before the sun shows. Although not a few, too, coffee drinks are served at each other’s homes. For coffee lovers, something must be added if they taste their favorite drink that day.
This was common in villages before farmers came to the fields, traders set up stalls, teachers or cooperative employees went to work, or the unemployed continued to enjoy their way of life. The mosque congregation also visited the coffee shop before returning home with the cap still perched on his head and the turban still around his neck.
In a way, the coffee shop has become a hub, even an information center for the villagers. Information about events, even hoaxes, can start from here. Without exception, discussions about the current political situation or social conditions can also be present here.
If we study the coffee shop culture, almost all cultures have it. Be it locally in various remote areas, to the urban frenzy. Of course, this will be much broader when we talk about coffee for the world market, which includes multiple countries with their own cultures and types of coffee.
Generally, coffee consumers want to identify as part of a community with the same lifestyle. Even though an organization does not bind them, the same experience can make them feel part of the community. With the growth of some enthusiasts—even transformed into connoisseurs and lovers—coffee shop products are now starting to become a lifestyle.
Coffee Shop Products or Menu
Meanwhile, in urban areas, coffee drinks appear in various variants. In rural areas, brewed or hot coffee with milk is often the choice. A local culinary culture assimilated with foreign cultures increases these variants.
Take a look at the menu offered. The menu variants offered may seem foreign if it’s your first time visiting such a coffee shop. Not just a mixture of coffee and hot water, various types of ingredients are mixed.
In addition, drinking coffee only feels complete if you have accompanied it with snacks. How many combinations of drinks and snacks consumers can choose depends on how many types of drinks and snacks they offer. Usually, the snacks offered are various cakes and bread.
Not just selling products, “modern” coffee shops emphasize service quality that makes consumers unique. Product quality is maintained, and service quality is complete. Because the business models are different, the prices are different.
Even though the price is somewhat fantastic, coffee enthusiasts are getting increasingly crowded. In rural areas, the price of a cup or glass of coffee is only around five thousand rupiahs. It can reach ten times that in “modern” coffee shop outlets.
Now many coffee shops are starting to transform into hubs or information centers in the online world. This coffee shop provides wifi services to make it easier for consumers to surf and network online.
Coffee shop facilities that provide wifi and a comfortable environment to work indeed make consumers feel at home for a long. A relaxed atmosphere is not without purpose. With too long, the possibility of consumers repeating orders or ordering other menus is certainly getting more prominent. In the end, the money and benefits of providing the facilities return to the facility provider—in this case, the coffee shop.
Even though coffee comes from plants or vegetables, many coffee shops mix their products with critical ingredients. But don’t forget, as a Muslim visiting a coffee shop that is halal certified is a top priority. Why? Let’s find out what critical ingredients may be mixed with coffee and why they are declared crucial.
Critical Points of Haram in Coffee Shops
Indonesia, a country with the largest Muslim population in the world, causes most of us to feel safe in consuming something. This means that anything sold in Indonesia does not need to be questioned about its halal status.
Now, every country can be connected easily. Food ingredients that quickly come from any country, including to and from Indonesia, are no exception. Most of these materials come from countries that do not consider the halal status of the ingredients.
The same with coffee shops, especially with franchise formats from other countries. Of course, the ingredients will adjust to the standards of where the coffee shop comes from. Not infrequently, the materials usually of a high standard cannot be provided by domestic suppliers. Finally, imports from other countries are the solution.
Following are some examples of imported materials from other countries, including sweetened condensed milk, sweetened condensed creamer, and non-dairy creamer (creamer not derived from milk): as an ingredient for making drinks—besides coffee, or, flour, shortening, sugar, whipped cream, cheese, jam, jelly, gelatin: as an ingredient in cakes or bread or dessert.
Let’s review some examples and why they are critical from a halal perspective.
1. Sweetened Condensed Milk/Sweet Condensed Creamer. In addition to sugar, the ingredient that becomes a critical point is lactose. Lactose is a byproduct of the cheese industry whose halalness is primarily determined by the halalness of the cheese.
2. Non-Dairy Creamer. Even though it is made from vegetables, non-dairy creamers usually use emulsifiers, anti-caking agents, and coloring agents, which may be made from animals.
3. Wheat. As an ingredient for cakes or bread, wheat is made from grain, but the Indonesian National Standard (SNI) requires that flour be fortified with vitamins and minerals. This vitamin and mineral premix must be watched out for because it may not be halal.
4. Shortening. Apart from coming from vegetable fats, shortening can also use animal fats.
5. Whipped Cream. Even though it comes from milk in the processing process, whipped cream sometimes adds sugar and vanilla flavor. The critical point of non-halal lies in the sugar and its flavor .
6. Cheese. This dairy product is coagulated with the enzyme rennin or rennet. This enzyme is critical because it can come from animal ingredients or microbial products.
7. Jam. Jam products are critical because although they are usually of vegetable origin, they typically have added sugar and coloring agents.
8. gelatin. This material is a thickener or stabilizer produced from animal skins and bones.
Apart from all the ingredients mentioned, some coffee shops also provide coffee mixed with liquor or alcohol, called coffee cocktails. Some of these terms include:
· Irish coffee: coffee mix with Irish cream and whiskey; Irish cocktail
· Spanish Coffee With Brandy
· Cinnamon Whiskey Coffee Cocktail
· Expresso Negroni: a mixture of espresso coffee and negroni (a mixture of gin- an alcoholic beverage that comes from fermentation and is flavored with juniper berries
· Sweet Vermouth: wine mixed with spices
· Campari: a mixture of alcohol and spices first introduced by Gaspare Campari, an Italian drink.
If you look at the history of coffee, the use of coffee originated in Ethiopia and developed in the Arabian Peninsula. Coffee, which in the local Arabic language is called kahwa, turns out that in culinary practice, it can be mixed with liquor (khamr). Therefore, as a Muslim consumer, caution is the number one consideration.