Slow breakfast at a cosy machiya coffee store.
Text : Keiko Nakamura / Photo : Kaina Honma
Having a delicious breakfast means your holiday is already amazing. There is ‘Konaya coffee store’ on the north side of Daitoku-ji Temple, serving a speciality coffee at Kyo-machiya townhouse.
Right after you step into the store, you can see an earthen floor with a roasting machine on, table seats, and moreover there is a fine counter table going inside a long narrow space. I sat on a heavy wooden seat at a counter table and ordered ‘Morning Croissant’ (600yen) out of 2 kinds of breakfast plates. I also chose their specialty blend coffee, ‘Brazil base’. The owner, who works here by herself, uses siphon to make a coffee slowly and nicely. A light taste coffee made by siphon style goes with a fresh croissant very much. It comes with a boiled egg and a colorful salad.
This coffee store has a good reputation for its speciality coffee straight. Speciality coffee means that the place of production and a plantation are specified and moreover its taste and flavor has a high score and very high quality. ‘Konaya coffee’ prepares 5~6 kinds all the time. ‘Mandheling’ from Indonesia, Aceh, (cup 500yen/ 100g 540yen) is a standard coffee bean with a bitter and rich taste even though it is very smooth. Other beans are selected by the owner. For example, she said that JAVA ROBU from Java is not for everyone, but her adventurous mind couldn’t help getting these wild taste beans. She also added ‘Kopi Luwak’, undigested coffee beans out of civet cat’s excrement, which she directly bought in Indonesia and it drew a big attention at that time.
Not only her delicious coffee, but also the atmosphere inside of this coffee store is very heartwarming. She said, “Usually I have customers around this area in their 60s and 70s”. I saw senior customers, 3 ladies talking and having fun, and a man siting by himself reading his hobby book. The owner sometimes doing Tsukkomi (straight man who feeds the line) politely to her regular customers and when I heard how she did, it made me smile. She moved to Kyoto from Osaka because of her dream to live and now she totally looks like a Kyoto local.
Since she communicates with seniors a lot, she said in a low voice with a happy face, “when young people come to my store, I get really nervous. I know that I am very happy, but...” She serves a customer who visits for the first time very nicely and friendly. Now I kind of understand why people love this place so much. She said in the end, “I would like my customers find out what they really like out of all the beans in the world. I am also asking their favorite, your favorite, and also recommend the latest one as well. This is how I enjoy myself between my customers”. This is the place that I would like you to visit the owner and also drink her siphon coffee.
ADDRESS : 48-1 Shichiku Nishitakanawa-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto City (MAP)
PHONE : +81(0)75-204-1396
HOURS : 8:00 a.m. ~ 6:00 p.m.
CLOSED : Monday
WEBSITE : http://konaya-coffee.net