The Coffee Innovator Of Ropponmatsu
Ropponmatsu, an area within Fukuoka city, used to thrive with many restaurants and shops catering to young adults from the local university campus. However, the closing down of the campus drove students away, resulting in the decline of the local economy.
But now, this area has had a resurgence – and quite a remarkable one too. With the arrival of new residents (with many couples looking to settle down) together with the growing demand of renovations of the many residential areas and infrastructures, Ropponmatsu is now gaining wide recognition as the new scene of Fukuoka city.
One such reason for the revival is the advent of artisanal shops. And this includes roaster cafes catering to the locals with fresh coffee roasted by professionals.
Fusuku Coffee (also known as the brewers laboratory ), opened back in 2014, provides customers with various single-origin coffee as well as blends of the highest quality. This cafe proudly represents the ‘third wave of coffee’ generation with a lot of attention put into providing customers with accurate information on the coffee served.
The owner,barista and roaster, Kouji Fusuku, annually attends the national hand drip competitions (he won the Kyushu block and made it into the top 10 of the 2014 national competition) and dedicates his time on providing the best coffee. He experiments often with various kinds of drippers. Hence the name ‘Brewers Labo ‘. He prefers to use the Kalita Wave Dripper because of the ease, consistency, and body one can get from the dripper.
The Emphasis on Correct Information
As a third wave cafe, a lot of importance is placed on providing proper accurate information to customers. The impressive coffee menu at Fusuku Coffee provides the varieties, processing-methods, coffee farms, and also the people who takes care of the farms.
Kouji told me that the making of the menu took a while because he had to find the right words to explain the taste of the coffee he made at various roast degrees.
When importing specialty coffee, there’s usually some information on the expected acidic, aromatic, and sweet notes one can get from the coffee. The thing is, it’s up to the roaster, and finally the barista to fully express the potential/character of the coffee at hand. This means that the coffee served can taste different depending on the barista.
That’s where Kouji takes responsibility. The definition of taste on the menu is a true expression of the coffee made by Kouji and him only; that’s what I really like about his menu.
The really cool and amazing thing about Fusuku Coffee is that they serve the same coffee of various roast levels. So, for example, I could have the Ethiopia G1 Washed Coffee light, medium or darkly roasted. This gives me an understanding of the characteristics the coffee portrays depending on the roast degree. You seldom find cafes serving coffee like this, which makes me appreciate the adventurous mind of Kouji.
But that’s not all.
Kouji goes a little of the path with unconventional ways of roasting coffee of specific origins. He serves light roast Sumatra Mandheling. This is probably the first roaster cafe I’ve found where Sumatra Mandheling is not dark-roasted.
Since Kouji doesn’t have such a large roaster, he has to roast several times a day. He told me that he sometimes roasts about 300 times a month which made my jaw drop. Frequency can be a huge factor in gaining experience and an intuitive feel with roasting, and I think this really shows in Kouji’s coffee.
I particularly adore his Ethiopia G1 Natural Dark Roast as well as his Entrance Blend.
At Fusuku Coffee, it’s not necessarily about the number of varieties one can have, but more of the innovative aspects of what one can do with the coffee at hand. It’s definitely important to be able to showcase one’s talents as a roaster and this may just be one way of doing that.
Simply Amazing Croissants
I also love bread and pastries. The chocolate croissants served at Fusuku Coffee are amazing. Unlike most croissants, which are flaky and light, these are slightly more doughy, which is very refreshing since you sometimes just want to bite down into your croissant without feeling like you are biting into thin air. The quality of chocolate used enhances the whole experience, especially when the chocolate marries with the dough inside your mouth. Finally, a little sip of coffee to down your bite creates the most pleasant experience. To be honest, I love the chocolate croissants so much that I’ve actually not had the chance to try any of his other breakfast sets(I actually got a chance to try the butter croissant) since I always give in to the chocolate croissant breakfast set. But I’ve heard from other customers that his pretzel hotdog set is quite amazing with the crunchy outside and the soft inside of the hotdog.
Simple and Laid-back Atmosphere
The seating arrangements at Fusuku Coffee are rather simple. You have a long counter table where you get to see Kouji doing his magic making coffee. That’s also where you get to see the huge shelf of various drippers, glasswares and liquors (the cafe is actually a share shop between a cafe and bar).
There’s a table by the window and also a few among the fancy art work and shelf of books. A very desirable setting for some relaxation and chill-out time.
Unlike most other cafes, Fusuku Coffee opens from 7am so it’s your go-to-place for some wonderful morning breakfast and coffee. It is also the go-to spot for the very wonderful and loving community of the locals of Ropponmatsu. You may have some wonderful encounters with the locals which always a satisfying experience. From office workers who drop by for some coffee, to the daily dog walker stopping by to say hello.
Koji also has an affinity for Shodou (Japanese Calligraphy) and holds a workshop once a month.
A Cafe for Coffee Enthusiasts and People who want to chill and relax
If you love to try different kinds of coffee, and want a place with good vibes, this is the place to go. Since Fusuku Coffee opens from 7am, it’s an awesome place to just chill and let time pass for the morning.
There’s a saying about this cafe, ‘一度入ると長く居る’ which translates to ‘once you enter, you’ll stay long ‘ and I think it’s just perfect.
Take short train ride from Tenjin-Minami to Ropponmatsu, and you’ll be at Fusuku Coffee in no time.
Address: 1 Chome-12-30 Tani, Chūō-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka-ken 810-0031
Open Hours: 7:00~18:00 (closed on Wednesdays )
What to Order the First Time: Chocolate Croissant Set (for breakfast), Entrance Blend, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Natural Dark Roast
What I’d like to try the next time: Pizza Toast Set (for breakfast), Guatemala Honey Light Roast, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Washed Light Roast
Great For: Coffee Lovers, Specialty Coffee Lovers, People who get up early and are hungry