Encountering the ultimate coffee in Sasebo
Good Coffee LaboCuisine: American
I love coffee. Very much. It’s right behind sake as my drink of choice. Hmmm … maybe my love for sake is the reason for my love of coffee.
On the way to work each morning, I always buy a 100-yen coffee at a convenience store. After lunch, I chug down an instant freeze-dry coffee. I average five or six cups of joe a day.
While I have no problem drinking cheap coffee, I sometimes have an irresistible urge to have a cup of really authentic coffee made from high-grade, freshly roasted beans. It could be after a good movie or on a lazy Sunday afternoon. If you’re a coffee drinker, you know what I’m talking about.
And if you’re stationed at Sasebo Naval Base, you’re in luck because the popular café Good Coffee Labo will satisfy your urge for, well, good coffee.
Walk into the café and simply ask one of the staff for a cup of coffee. That’s it. You don’t need to say “Colombian,” “Mocha,” or “Brazilian.” The experts at Good Coffee will know what taste you’re looking for. No kidding. But first, they have to do one thing.
“We ask customers for their preference of taste and flavor,” says owner Masanori Ushijima. “We ask them how they like it - sour, bitter or sweet, and fully or mild flavored.”
That’s all they need. Ushijima will then choose the best-matching roasted beans for you. They you sit and wait to be surprised and delighted by what they serve you.
Ushijima says he carefully chooses the best coffee beans based on the season where the beans are grown. There are always fresh beans in the shop. Good Coffee carries 15 different types of beans, each of those are broken down at roasted several different ways. The café also has five ways it drips the coffee, including AeroPress and FrenchPress. So, there are literally hundreds of variations of coffee that Ushijima and his staff can serve you.
“So I am sure you can find your ultimate coffee here,” Ushijima said.
“I like the shop, and I have learned how the difference of roast and beans affect a cup of coffee,” says Fukutaro Okamoto, Sasebo Area Office Manager of Stars and Stripes. “I think Good Coffee is really unique and you can’t find any other café like it in Sasebo.”
You can enjoy your “made-to-order” coffee for 350-450 yen ($2.50-3.50) depending on the beans.
You can buy coffee beans to take them home, as well. In fact, some sailors visit the shop and buy canned beans for their long deployment, according to Ushijima.
“I noticed that sailors preferred bitter coffee before,” Ushijima said. “But the trend may have changed as I see many of them enjoying light and sour coffee in these days.”
Currently at the cafe, medium-roasted Costa Rica and Nicaragua are the two most popular coffee brands, according to Ushijima.
So stop by and see what Good Coffee Labo has in store for you.