If you can find it, Manu Coffee near Tenjin, Fukuoka offers probably the most authentic current wave of trendy cafe I’ve found so far in Asia. You know the one I’m talking about, with art work littering the weirdly coloured wall with funky design kinda everywhere but nothing consistent. Hanging lights and graffiti. Timber mixed with metal. The standard flair you see in Melbourne to be honest.
And while I’m being honest, I haven’t really missed this somewhat pretentious sub culture from home. It’s done everywhere in almost a cookie cutter fashion but it is that way because it looks better than the alternatives. Still I can’t help but feel that the trend needs to break and something new needs to stamp itself , especially in my home town.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having a go at Manu Coffee because for all purposes in this country, it is an adventurer blazing the way of its counterparts in an unknown territory. Japan, specifically Kyushu, has a distinct lack of modern coffee hang outs so it’s nice that Manu Coffee exists.
It exists in 3 forms. The ‘large well known store’ (as they call it) that you see here in Chuou-ku. The ‘shop Haruyoshi’ also in Chuou-ku, about a 10 minute walk away which is a smaller somewhat more traditional western style ‘Cafe’. And Wolf Roasters, an even shorter walk between the two. Manu first setup in 2001 and has been steadily growing its brand since. The one here is the newest of the three, having been open for two years.
They pride themselves on a sustainable and eco-friendly brand of roasting as evident in the greenhouse both inside and outside of the cafe. It’s an interesting setup I’ll give them that. I had no problem sitting here for most of the day working away absorbed in the tunes of Foals and Robyn playing in the background. It’s just so nice to hear ‘proper’ western music being played as opposed to the fascination with the Glee Soundtrack and Black Eyed Peas. If you’re in Fukuoka and looking for a decent slice of a modern cafe I would find it to go past Manu Coffee.
Finally here’s a passing thought, the Latte I ordered wasn’t great, and the food was typically small. So don’t go there expecting the best coffee you’ll have in Japan.
Manu Coffee is located at:
Border Tower Building 1F
3-11-2 Watanabe Street, Chuou-ku
+81 92 7630 6011
© 2017 Carey Ciuro