The Yu Yu Kobo Coffee Shop has to be the best run coffee shop in Tokyo. They have the best beans and the friendliest of owners. Not only is he friendly he knows his beans. Yuji Urakawa has worked in coffee all his life and is a retired veteran of a large Japanese coffee company.
But, it’s not all about the beans and the roast in this store. After retiring, Yuji decided he wanted to live his own life at his own pace. He also wanted to become part of his community so he decided to open the shop so that he could communicate with the locals and give something back at the same time.
He says we are well on our way to an aging society, not only in Nagasaki, but all over Japan. Older people around 60-80, who are living by themselves visit his shop to have coffee and enjoy the conversation. Sometimes they can make new connections with other customers there and he is trying to help them expand their connections by offering a cozy atmosphere at his shop. He hopes his customers can make connections not only with old people but with younger people, too. He says, “The most important thing is not selling the products, but the value in meeting and communicating with people. The business will follow after those things.”
So be it that it’s not all about the beans, he does have a wide selection from around the world, which he roasts there in the shop while you wait. Roasting of the beans doesn’t take long and if you haven’t caught on yet, he likes to talk. So he usually keeps you company with a nice cup of coffee or a glass of ice-water depending on the weather outside and a great bit of friendly smiles, nods, and small talk.
The coffee beans are fun to see and when you finally decide on which flavor you want you won’t be making a mistake no matter what your taste, be it sour, bitter, or mild. Yu Yu blend is the most popular and consists of four beans mixed together. He suggests to wait 24 hours before grinding the beans, but says if you want the flavor go ahead and grind them and use them.
He has all the things you need to make the perfect cup of coffee at home. There are filters for this and for that. There are strainers, presses, and percolators, too. And don’t forget all the cups and sugar cubes. He of course has a few machines of his own that he does all his wonderment with there in the shop. You can get the beans whole or he can grind them for you.
The big machine he does the magic roasting with is really something to see as well. And it is an art that he works in front of you as he meticulously separates and measures the beans before gently pouring them into the shiny bags of heaven he presents to you when he’s done.
The place doesn’t sit many, but there is never much of a crowd. And if there is a crowd, there is actually some talking going on between tables. It’s a refreshing place. Just the smell of the freshly roasted beans is worth popping in for and make sure you take something home as a prize. You’ll definitely be leaving having made a new friend.
Yu Yu Kobo accept orders by telephone or fax.