Two creative foodies out to discover enticing flavours and food ideas. When we aren't tucking into our latest delicious find, we're photographing and designing our hearts out.
Published March 7th 2015
Organic and rare coffee beans sourced from around the world
Tucked away off the main drag through Hirano and Kire-Uriwari in Osaka, Japan, is a beautiful little coffee house called Yabu Coffee, which sources fresh green coffee beans and roasts them to order. They have an incredible range of raw beans on display imported from Africa, Jamaica, South America, Mexico, Indonesia, and even Hawaii to name just a few. Located around 25min away from central Osaka and accessed via the Tanimachi Subway line, it's about an eight minute walk from Kire-Uriwari station.
All beans are freshly roasted to order, meaning your coffee will always taste amazing.
In a country famous for drinking a vast array of tea, it can be difficult for coffee lovers to find a decent cup in Japan. You could visit one of the many coffee shops popping up throughout the city, and try your luck with a cappuccino or a latte, or if you're really desperate, you could grab a can from your nearest convenient vending machine *shudder*. Or you could do what we did, and explore the laneways and see what you can discover. On a recent walk around our current 'home town' in Osaka-shi, Hirano-ku, we were lucky enough to stumble across this special spot.
Is this coffee heaven?
Yabu Coffee lets you choose your favourite beans and then roast them right before your eyes. The whole process takes approximately 15 minutes and you are welcome to taste a coffee or two while you wait. Alternatively if you are strapped for time, you can order by email or phone and pick up your coffee when you're ready. Pricing is very reasonable with most 200g bags of ground beans setting you back around $9-11AU.
Rotating the beans to ensure they are roasted evenly all the way through.
If you're not sure which beans to order, you're welcome to talk with Sakiko and let her know what style of coffee you like. Sakiko speaks English very well and will be happy to recommend something to your liking. Alternatively Yabu Coffee has some fantastic little drip packets which you can pick up for around a $1AU. Featuring an ingenious little pop out filter bag inside which is full of the freshly roasted and ground coffee, all you need is a cup, boiled water and you'll have great tasting coffee in no time at all.
You'll have that much-needed cuppa in no time at all with Yabu Coffee's drip packs
After talking with Sakiko we decided to try a few of the drip packs; one from Kenya, one from Guatemala, and the local Naniwa Blend. So far our favourite is the Kenyan coffee, which was similar to the Ethiopian coffee we had recently at Tana Cafe; it is perfect served black. We had fun trying the Naniwa blend next as these are original blend beans grown in Osaka. Being a milder blend, it was recommended to have this with milk. This is a good breakfast blend and would go nicely with toast or a hot bowl of miso if you are living in Japan.
Hot beans being sorted on the cooling racks.
Organic beans are available for the environmentally conscious. There are two different types to choose from that are both from South America. The first is a sweet and mild Peruvian blend called Peru Tiara. Andes Mountain blend is the other option which has more of a flavour kick with fruit and nut overtones and a smooth finish.
Delicious coffee for only $1AU - it must be too good to be true.
Our highest recommendation goes to the Jamaican No.1 Blue Mountain beans. These are the highest category of bean quality and are some of the most expensive and sought after beans in the world. Interestingly, over 80% of these are exported to Japan. Full of intense flavour without the bitterness is not something you come across everyday. These little beanies will set you back around $30AU for 200g. Yes, we will definitely be going back to buy some.
Jamaican Blue Mountain No.1 Carri'bean's are the highest quality you can get.
For coffee aficionados who take brewing their coffee seriously, Yabu Coffee has a range of products to make sure you'll get the best flavour out of your beans, including Italian style percolators, drip coffee sets, grinders and gift packs for someone special. Whether you're an expat or a local you'll soon be enjoying fresh coffee whenever you want it. Our favourites were the gorgeous hand-mill grinders which seem to be so popular in Japan. They look like pieces of art, yet they are actually quite affordable at just under $40AU.
Impress your friends with your hand-mill ground coffee.
Now if you're feeling a little on the nutty side, Yabu Coffee also roast a range of delicious nuts in house, including pistachios, almonds and cashews imported from the USA. Our favourite was the almonds which had a delicious smoky flavour, but apparently the cashews are the most popular among the local customers. What's your favourite?
If you have recently made the move to Osaka as an expat or are exploring the town for just a few days as a tourist - make sure you take the time to visit Yabu Coffee. Get your caffeine fix to take back home with you, wherever that may be. There are plenty of things to see and do in the area so you don't have to go too far out of your way.
Friendly service awaits at Yabu Coffee who are open from 10am to 6pm weekdays.
We give Yabu Coffee 4.5/5 Wanders for creating coffee heaven in the middle of a Green Tea mecca, and for their dedication to providing the best and freshest coffee beans from around the world.
Where 1 Wander isn't worth getting off the couch for and 5 Wanders should leave a trail of dust in your wake: it's that good.