Reviving a culture locally and spreading the love globally: The story of Suwe Ora Jamu

Tue, 17 December 2019 14:23

In a growing health minded and fitspo era, it wouldn’t seem odd or unheard of to boost your beverages with turmeric or tamarind. Nowadays, many hip coffee shops offer a turmeric latte or tamarind lemon tonic. In Indonesia however, the use of tamarind, ginger, and turmeric in drinks has been part of the culture for generations. Indonesians get their shot of jamu every day, the way Italians get their shot of espresso while standing against a counter.

Jamu is made of plants and spices such as ginger, turmeric, cloves, fennel, celery, and tamarind. Indonesians drink it daily to maintain health and to prevent diseases. Jamu is often prepared traditionally at a street stall or by ladies who walk the streets with baskets attached to their bodies that are filled with spices and mixtures. Nova Dewi Setiabudi was introduced to jamu at a young age by her late grandmother. When she moved to Jakarta early 2011 she had a hard time finding fresh tasting jamu like she had at home. And whilst many people still drank their jamu, she noticed how the younger generation of Indonesians have become less interested in the goodness of jamu.


“I wanted to restore and revive jamu. I wanted us Indonesians to become proud of jamu as our culture and heritage. I also wanted to find a way to make jamu consistent and sustainable in quality”

This is how ‘Suwe Ora Jamu’ came about. Suwe Ora Jamu means ‘it’s been a while since I had jamu’ and it derives from the lyrics of a folksong in the special region of Yogyakarta. Nova wanted to create a small shop that sells quality, ready-to-go and custom made jamu with a heritage yet modern appeal. Now, there are Suwe Ora Jamu shops in Jakarta, Surabaya and Bali.

Not just Indonesian customers have shown their peaked interest in Nova’s range of jamu. “I wrote and launched the book “Cerita Jamu” (The story of Jamu) at the Beauty World Japan International Fair in May 2019.” Nova said. She is grateful for the opportunity to represent jamu in international events and to grow a community of jamu lovers in Indonesia and abroad. Another sign of the growing interest is the amount of participants at her jamu workshops. There are many young Indonesians registering for the ‘make your own jamu at home’ and ‘how to open a jamu business’ workshops.



“I am also proud and excited about the upcoming launch of our Jamu Tisane, a new line of Suwe Ora Jamu consisting of dried blends of herbs with wellness benefits. The Tisane is currently ready to be shipped locally and internationally”.

The fact that Suwe Ora Jamu has been able to grow the business and expand their customer reach is due to their focus on the following five points

1. Product Quality (Quality Assurance)
Suwe Ora Jamu works together with farmers in Desa Simpenan, Cihaur, Sukabumi, securing organic ingredients with care. Each ingredient is harvested according to a set of standards and maturity. Suwe Ora Jamu provides the farmers with continuous training & monitoring.

2. Product Variants & Development

There are 3 product categories:

  • Ready To Drink (RTD) Jamu Houseblend
  • Jamu Untukmu (Customized White Label Jamu / Special Order
  • Our latest Jamu Tisane (Dried Blends of herbs and spices of Indonesia)


3. Product Availability

Suwe Ora Jamu makes sure it meets the deliveries but it must uphold the consistency in quality. Compromising the product quality cannot happen, ever.

4. Product Honesty
All products are blended & processed naturally without any preservative or additives.

5. Product Story
To grow enthusiasm and eventually love for jamu, Suwe Ora Jamu feels compelled to tell the story of each beverage. There is still so much to learn about Jamu.



Nova believes that Suwe Ora Jamu is ready for the global market. The current health trends, the power of story telling and the quality of her products have made jamu worthy for introduction to the whole world. Suwe Ora Jamu relies on e-commerce platforms for this introduction. These platforms ncrease the access to a bigger market and amplify the presence of Suwe Ora Jamu significantly. She believes that Indonesia Access is a great platform to introduce and shhowcase Suwe Ora Jamu as a trusted product and brand,

“I wish that Indonesia Access will be successful and that it can showcase many more products and stories from Indonesia.”