That is the one word, the only word you need to know about this place.
Technically, this place, like many others, is not a cafe. It is a coffee roastery and tasting room. It’s unusual in that the owner keeps no stock of roasted coffee ready to sell: all coffee is roasted in small batches and upon order only.
Centerpiece of unroasted coffee beans
On the day that we went, my friends made reservations for us to try several coffees and to learn how to make a good cup of coffee using the cone drip method.
We were taught how to calculate and measure out the beans, how to grind them, and how to fit the filter into the cone so that no gap remains between the cone and filter. Then we learned how to steam the grounds and pour hot water over them to yield a delicious cup of coffee. The freshness of the ground beans resulted in a heady aroma, and the grounds looked fluffy and light in the paper cone, something which I’d never seen before.
I usually take my coffee with a bit of cream or milk to dull the acidity, but Yuichiro’s coffee is best enjoyed plain. Pictured above right is a cup of his house blend, Tsubaki. Mild and delicious.
Along with the coffee workshop, my friends ordered a small lunch for us. We were served salad with slices of French bread toast (to be dipped in olive oil), and a wonderful dish of Chicken Cacciatore.
Chicken Cacciatore: mild flavors of virgin olive oil and red wine
Our meal wrapped up with a sampling of Geisha coffee from Panama. It was served in tall champagne flutes, for a touch of elegance. At 2,800 Yen per cup, and served with handmade fudge and freshly roasted almonds and cashews, it was quite a treat and the perfect end to a meal. It had a rich, fruity taste that paired well with the chocolate and nuts.
We not only had a great time, but also learned a lot about something we drink everyday but actually don’t know much about. This is a really elegant little place hidden in the backstreets of Tamano. The building is the family’s antique home that has been renovated in a modern, comfortable space, and the owner is friendly, personable, and really knows his stuff. He loves what he does and it shows. I will definitely be going back to learn more.
Services include sales (including special gift boxes), tastings, and workshops. Everything is by reservation only. Workshops are taught in Japanese.
Coffees available for roasting include selections from Indonesia, Panama, the U.S.A., Jamaica, Ethiopia, Brazil, El Salvador, Peru, Tanzania, the Dominican Republic, and Guatemala.
Roast almonds & cashews
+ What I liked about this place: Emphasis on superior quality. Excellent product and friendly, excellent service. The beautiful interior is a mix of contemporary with antique accessories, East and West.
– What I didn’t like about this place: Nothing. A bit pricey but absolutely worth it!
Address: 〒706-0011 岡山県玉野市宇野4丁目13－11 / 706-0011 Okayama Prefecture, Tamano-shi, Uno 4 Chome 13-11
Tel: 090-5267-2136 Fax: 0863-31-5789
Hours: 12:00 ~ evening. (no set holidays). Tastings 3x/day: 13:00~, 15:00~, 18:00~ (on days when no workshops are held); please call or email for reservations.
Date visited: February 19, 2015