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“The Wonderful World of Coffee!” TAMAGUSUKU COFFEE ROASTERS, a Coffee Shop Situated in an Alley of a Residential Area by Tsuboya, Lets You Rediscover Coffee
post : 2019.07.21 07:00
When TAMAGUSUKU COFFEE ROASTERS first opened their doors on December 10, 2015, they made a new mark in history of the Café Kingdom that Okinawa has come to be known for its numerous unique cafés.
Just two minutes away from the popular tourist spot, the old public market that’s currently undergoing construction in Naha, you’ll find yourself in a quieter, local area. This is where TAMAGUSUKU COFFEE ROASTERS is situated, and the shop has garnered much attention from not just “the coffee freaks” but from those who “prefer tea over coffee.”
Take, for example, the specialty coffee from Cameroon that the owner, Akihiro Yafune, prepared for me. It had a pleasant nutty aroma, and with one sip, my palate enjoyed the rich, smooth texture like butter. It had a comfortable sweetness that coffee naturally has.
High quality coffees that reflect the soil and climate of the production area, and the characteristics of the producers, are referred to as specialties coffees. Basically, in short, they’re just really delicious coffee. That said, though, what’s delicious or not depends on each person. That’s why it’s necessary for people who have specific standards to decide, to say, “Yes, this is delicious” for a coffee to be determined as specialty coffee.
There are eight varieties of coffee available at TAMAGUSUKU COFFEE ROASTERS. One of them is what I introduced earlier with the nutty aroma, the Cameroon Caplami Java Longberry. Another is the Guatemala SHB Antigua La Azotea, a type with a fruity citrus or apple touch when lightly roasted.
Upon visiting Okinawa, more than a few people feel a sense of discovery and say, “What a great way to live!” When people come to this shop, there’s a similar sense for many, who excitedly think, “I never knew about this wonderful world of coffee.” Learning the depth of coffee is perhaps like the mature, acquired tastes in wine or single malt whiskeys.
Again, with that said though (and this is really important), this café isn’t just for the coffee experts and coffee snobs. Yafune-san says, “It was because of the ties and bonds with people that I was able to open this shop.” He explained how the comfortable space was created with the help of many of his friends, including Fujita-san (who owns Garb Domingo nearby) and Kameya-san (who owns Nijigame Shoten near his home). As a result, the café has a sharp stylishness but at the same time, a relaxing and warm atmosphere.
The atmosphere in the café is very comfortably Okinawan, and something you definitely won’t find in Tokyo. When preparing to open for business, Yafune-san wanted to create “a shop that caters to the local area”, and not necessary just to those who are the first to catch on to the new trends. “Coffee shops are like old tofu shops (that were once found in every neighborhood). They're shops that really become a part of the community.” With that, he set out to create a café that the local Oba or grandmas, and the Nini or brothers working at the markets can come by and enjoy a great cup of coffee.
That is what TAMAGUSUKU COFFEE ROASTERS has managed to bring to the café culture in Okinawa.
“In opening a shop in this area where the customers are of all ages with varying income levels, the hardest part, and something that I really had a hard time deciding all the way through to the opening stages, was the level of roasting, and the price.” I can see that he really gave a lot of thought into these factors. In tasting the coffee and seeing the prices, it was clear that he decided those things from the standpoint of the people he wanted to serve.
To offer a cup of hot coffee brewed with coffee beans that were carefully selected among the numerous producers and roasted with great care in small portions by hand at 400 yen (450 yen for iced) is truly exceptional. Importantly, the taste of the coffee is wonderful, and is a taste that anyone will enjoy, showcasing the uniqueness of each the various coffee beans.
TAMAGUSUKU COFFEE ROASTERS offers delicious coffee at an affordable price and is a gem of a café that anyone can casually step in to.
If you’re looking to enjoy a quiet, relaxing coffee break alone, or learn more about coffee or share your knowledge of coffee with Yafune-san, or all of the above, the shop has a friendly layout for you to enjoy. The walls and counter are decorated with Yafune-san’s collection of items. The chairs are of all different shapes and sizes, made with different materials. The walls are a shade of pink, which reminds me of the unique hue often seen in Central America, and a green that reminds me of green coffee leaves.
At this café, they bring people together to provide a comfortable place for all to thoroughly enjoy everything that coffee has to offer. You’ll likely not see or experience the stereotypical charms of Okinawa often introduced in travel magazines and sites. But the air and atmosphere is absolutely Okinawan with a very welcome presence.
TAMAGUSUKU COFFEE ROASTERS is conveniently located for you to take a break when strolling the interesting and exotic streets and alleys around the old public market and the Tsuboya neighborhood. When you’re in the area, I recommend you drop by for a great cup of coffee.
TAMAGUSUKU COFFEE ROASTERS
Address: #202 Green Heights Naha, 2-19-39 Matsuo, Naha City, Okinawa
Hours: 9:00 to 18:00
Closed: Tuesdays & Fridays
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Nobuya Fukuda