A Small Haven on a Busy Street
Take a few steps from Exit 4 of Akasaka station( in Fukuoka ) and you’ll find a small and unique coffee stand by the name of ” Seed Village “.
The owner Takuya Tanemura runs the coffee stand along the busy and historic Meiji Avenue.
Although not a novel concept, coffee stands are yet to take the center stage in the cafe culture of Japan. The 喫茶店 Kissaten culture, together with the burgeoning ‘third wave of coffee’ cafe’s are the main aspects of the cafe culture in Japan and Fukuoka.
The concept of coffee stands stems from the Italian bar/counter culture, where people off to work or some other proceedings have a quick shot of espresso while chatting briefly about recent news, events, and weather with the barista.
In August 2013, Tanemura-san made the bold decision to open a coffee stand in Fukuoka. He was inspired by the founder of Omotesandou Coffee Stand, Eiichi Kunimoto, who introduced the coffee stand/counter culture to Japan along with ‘ The Square Shape ‘ concept.
The Square Shape
The Box or Square Shape is actually a well thought-out concept. Square shapes for a compact and effective housing/apartment model has been very common for decades in Japan and have always been necessary. This, of course, not only allows for an effective use of the space but also enables customers to make an order and then watch the barista make coffee and espresso drinks.
It also creates an amazing and a unique atmosphere that makes one forget about the worries/stress of daily life and just enjoy the moment together with other customers. Also a very ideal way of stirring up conversations.
Tanemura-san’s coffee stand has also become a third place for the locals of Akasaka. Many people of different ages, occupations and backgrounds have connected and later on ended up as good friends.
The Passionate Owner
Tanemura-san is very dedicated to providing the best possible coffee/espresso drinks he can provide as a Barista. He uses the Nuova Simonelli brand espresso machine to take espresso shots as well as outsourcing some of the higher grades of arabica coffee(specialty coffee included).
Nuova Simonelli is an Italian company which has been making some of the highest quality espresso machines since 1936. The Nuova Simonelli Aurelia espresso machine has been used as the World Barista Championship Official Espresso Machine since 2009. So, it’s pretty much one of the best espresso machines out there.
But of course, the machine is only one aspect. The person behind the machine has to be just as good to extract the perfect espresso shot. Tanemura-san has been perfecting the art of pulling a shot which has taken him to the Japan Barista Championship.
He commits to serving the best coffee for his customers and creating a place where people can meet and bond.
So, let’s talk about his espresso.
I have two words.
Creamy and Fruity.
Creamy – The texture of maple syrup, or maybe melted butter. It coats your tongue and allows you to pick up all of the marvellous tastes. It’s not too often you get to try espresso this creamy and so I suggest you definitely do when you visit his place.
Fruity – The fruitiness(acidity) comes from the high-quality beans he selects with roasts suitable to bring out the fruity-acidic flavour when pulling an espresso shot.
I like to first enjoy the espresso as it is, then add a dash of sugar and enjoy the changing texture as well as the taste.
Lemonade using Organic Ingredients
Tanemura-san loves to experiment, and not only with coffee. He’s created his own version of lemonade which is made using fresh organic lemon, raw organic honey from Estonia and hot water. It’s been welcomed by the many customers and he couldn’t take it off his menu even if he wanted to.
He also creates seasonal drinks ( like cherry-blossom latte ) so be sure to look out for them.
Appreciating the Coffee Community
There’s a map and a logo mark on the wall. The map serves its purpose to talk about the many different origins of coffee as well as the coffee belt. The logo has a lot of thought put into it; the cherries and leaves representing the farmers who grow the coffee plants; the seeds representing the roasters who roast the seeds of the coffee plants; the hand representing the barista and the handle on the right representing the customer. These elements which are all part of the concept of ‘from seed to cup’ truly represent the amount of passion, time, and effort put into presenting us, the customers, with the perfect cup of coffee that keeps us going daily.
Seed Village is a place to meet people of different backgrounds who share love for coffee and the community. There’s really no pressure to join in on a conversation or meet new people. But the atmosphere shared by everyone makes it easier for conversations to take place and new connections.
If you get the chance to visit Fukuoka, take a short trip to Coffee Stand Seed Village and enjoy the unique atmosphere shared by the many coffee lovers.
Address: 2 Chome-4-31 Daimyo, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture
Open hours: 8:00 ~ 18:00 (Mon-Fri)
10:00 ~ 18:00 (Sat)
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays
Getting there: The fastest way to get there is to use the Airport Subway Line and get off at Exit 4 of Akasaka. Walk up the stairs and then a few steps down the side-walk and you’ll quickly find it on your right.
Take Out: Yes
Fun Fact: The Name ‘Seed Village’ comes from his surname 種村 ( TaneMura )
種 written in Hiragana as たね (Tane) which means ‘seed’
村 written in Hiragana as むら(Mura) which means ‘ village ‘
I guess he’s really destined to handle coffee beans or coffee seeds.