Thursday, July 04, 2013

Café Meguri

Today’s coffee: Nicaraguan coffee from Tokumitsu, ground and brewed at home. :) Busy day today… now is the only time available, and Tokumitsu doesn’t open until 10!

There’s a cultural difference for you. In America, we expect our coffee shops to be open by 5 or 6 a.m. so we can get our early morning fix, right? I’m not sure about Starbucks (I’ve never been in the vicinity of one that early in the morning), but most cafés in Japan seem to open around 10 or 11 a.m. If I want early morning coffee, I have to make it myself. Thankfully there’s a coffee-otaku nearby who taught me how to make good coffee.

Sharon demonstrates the correct way to make coffee with an aeropress. Also, there's some tasty stuff in the picture. That was this year's Osechi (new year's feast)
Not just one, actually. The pastor at our previous church roasts his own coffee… and it’s good! When we went to visit him, he brought out the coffee siphon. Fun!

Actually I had intended to write about tea ceremony today, but things seem to have taken a coffee sort of turn. So let’s talk about coffee.

Back in April, my friend, Sharon (the previously mentioned coffee-otaku) and I decided to do a coffee crawl in Ishikari and the northern parts of Sapporo. When explaining to a Japanese friend what we intended to do, I discovered that there is actually a Japanese word: カフェ巡り(café meguri). “Meguri” means going around; it can also be attached to “onsen”—温泉巡り(onsen meguri). I also like to do that. Good word, yes?

The first café we visited was Café Olive. It’s run by a church. Keith and I went there for lunch before, but the lunch was spectacular and filling, so we didn’t need dessert. (Not that you ever “need” dessert…) I absolutely wanted to try the gobo (burdock root) chocolate cake, so I’m glad we went again! It was tasty and a bit crunchy from the gobo… and I felt so virtuous eating a dessert with gobo in it.

Sharon, with our desserts.

Gobo chocolate cake!

Next stop was Sakura, which is not too far from our house. Fantastic lunch… and no room for dessert. Although the focus was supposed to be coffee, we actually didn’t have any there.

Lunch set at Sakura!
Although I checked the intended third café’s website, I must have made a mistake, because it was closed. :( Instead, we took a very cold walk on the boardwalk at the beach… and quickly gave up and went to the next place.

A great day for coffee, but not so much for taking a walk.
The last stop was Tokumitsu, which I discovered was about a 3-minute bike ride from my house. It came highly recommended from a number of coffee-loving friends. Noriko, a friend from church, joined us. I have to say Tokumitsu wins the “best coffee” prize… but that’s not surprising, since it’s a coffee specialty shop. There aren’t any cakes or cute handmade items for sale—just coffee. It’s a nice spot to sit and chat with friends.

Enjoying the Japanese tradition of "taking pictures of food and drink"
Which brings me to the “why” of it all. Of course we were searching for good coffee and good food. But I was also looking for places to meet friends, and places where I can go to relax or to get work done if home is too distracting. I’m also interested in cafés as ministry—places where people in the community can gather and care for one another.

I’m glad there are some good options nearby!

No post next week, probably... we're on holiday!

1 comment:

MJ Cossel said...

Celia, are you on Pinterest? All of your fantastic food pictures belong there! I bet you would have a strong following of foodies.