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A Cup of Coffee Offered at “Tettoh Coffee,” by a Passionate Coffee Roaster
post : 2018.09.19 06:00
In an exposed concrete building at the foot of a large “tettoh” or steel tower in Uruma City in the middle of Okinawa Island, is Tettoh Coffee. People from the northern and southern regions of the island travel the distance to visit, just for a cup of coffee served at this popular shop. The owner, Mr. Satoshi Ishikawa has spent a lot of time in pursuit of the perfect cup of coffee, repeating trial and error numerous times in his roasting. He offers a carefully hand-dripped cup of coffee at his shop.
Before the opening of this coffee shop, which has a solid and sturdy atmosphere, Mr. Ishikawa cut down about a ton of grass, created a garden, planted plants, and added touches while communicating with the shop itself, he says. On the shelves inside are numerous books on coffee, and on the ceiling are hemp jute bags used during harvest of coffee beans. The beautiful sunset from outside the window pours in rays of light as if on cue, and on the mortared walls are photos taken in Ethiopia on his fieldwork visits. The shop, it feels, was created for the sole purpose of enjoying a cup of coffee poured by Mr. Ishikawa.
Observing Mr. Ishikawa closely as he roasted the coffee, I saw his passion for coffee. His ideal cup of coffee is achieved through his close attention to the temperature and humidity which changes daily, and his experience and instinct in determining the subtle changes in the roasting time, heating power and ventilation. To reach this, he has uncountable attempts and repeated trial and error under his belt. “Coffee is nature itself. My main objective is to serve a cup of coffee that my customers truly find delicious, and while respecting changes and inconsistencies, systematizing the process towards expression,” he explains. “Technique and knowledge are necessary, but also demanded are experience and inspiration. Spirituality and human nature. Also, an eye for design and sense of beauty.” As Mr. Ishikawa continues, he has a look on his face as though he’s trying to solve a difficult problem, but also seems to be enjoying the process. He goes on to share his inquiring mind about the cups that his coffee is served in. “Drinking from a different coffee cup brings a different sense of tension and expectation.” He says that the shape and texture of the cups play a role in the perfect cup. He calls this the “coffee attire,” and as he says, everything he has in his shop, from the cups to various items and things, to the air itself, all exist for the purpose of heightening the quality of that cup of coffee. All of these things, it seemed, to be compatible, all fitting in together. Mr. Ishikawa’s mental strength and his earnest approach in his pursuit for the ideal cup of coffee was fascinating.
On your visit to Okinawa, I highly recommend a visit to Tettoh Coffee. Coffee served at your hotel or other places are good, too, but the coffee here is special. My personal recommendation is their blended coffee, accompanied by the raisin butter toast. There’s a touch of lemon added to the raisin butter, spread on a nicely toasted slice of toast. The fine balance of the sweetness, tartness, bitterness, and overall deliciousness will leave you pleasantly surprised.
Address: 717 Enobi, Uruma City, Okinawa
Business Hours: 8:00-18:00
Closed: Sundays and the 4th Monday of the month
*Tettoh Coffee will be closed from 9/26-10/31 due to the owner's fieldwork trip to Ethiopia.
Takeout coffee and beans will be available at the bakery next door during this period.
Okinawa CLIP photo writer Yu Murakami