[Mino-kamo] Cocu Coffee is the One of the Best Place to Relax and Chill in Gifu!

Minokamo City
Posting date: 2022.05.13
[Mino-kamo] Cocu Coffee is the One of the Best Place to Relax and Chill in Gifu!

"Nakasendo Ota-juku" in Minokamo City, Gifu Prefecture, which prospered as a post town with "Ota no Watashi", one of the three most difficult parts of the Nakasendo. There is a cafe "Cocu Coffee" standing quietly in one corner of this street.

The post office built in the first year of the Showa era has been refurbished, and the shop is over 90 years old! However, contrary to the retro appearance, the inside of the store is white and has a clean space. It seems that you can relax while enjoying delicious coffee.

We interviewed the owner, Mr. Yasuo Shinoda, about Cocu Coffee, which opened in 2009 and has been in Minokamo for 13 years.

Learning Brewing Techniques While Working at a Cafe
Opened Cocu Coffee after Many Years

-Tell us about the process leading up to opening the shop.

Shinoda:"I am from Ichinomiya City, Aichi Prefecture, and have frequented coffee shops since I was a child. So I was familiar with coffee shops and loved the time I spent there and the unique atmosphere. As an adult, I worked at a coffee shop and eventually wanted to open my own store, but I was too busy with work to spend time preparing for the opening, so I resigned. After that, I worked at a major coffee shop while learning coffee roasting techniques at another location and looking for a store property. Because everything was happening at the same time, I think it took me about four to five years to open this store."

-How did you learn coffee roasting techniques?

Mr. Shinoda: "I went to Flavor Coffee in Nishio City to learn from them. At the time, there were not many places that taught roasting techniques, and Flavor Coffee happened to be within commuting distance from my house, so it was the only place I could go! So I decided to ask for help."

The Kiso River that flows near Koku Coffee

-Why did you choose this location to open your shop?

Mr. Shinoda: “I was married before opening the shop, and my wife was working in Minokamo at the time. I think that feeling was a big decisive factor.I also happened to come across this property by chance, and there may have been some momentum (laughs).”

There is a promenade next to the river where you can take a walk or jog.

Cocu Coffee facing Nakasendo

-It sure is a very nice place with the atmosphere of a post town and the view of the Kiso River! Next, please tell us about the concept of Cocu Coffee.

Mr. Shinoda: “The concept has changed quite a bit since we opened the store. When we first opened, we wanted to make it a place where men could come alone and relax. I had a strong impression that women would be the main customers, and that they would put a lot of effort into sweets, so I wanted to create a place that would be like a hideout for adults who would come here on a daily basis.

However, now I want to be a place for people who want to spend time alone, regardless of gender or age. I want it to be a place where I can drink coffee, relax, read a book or magazine, or just be distracted. In order to continue to be such a space, the shop has some rules. ”

There is also a special seat where you can immerse yourself in time alone.

The Rules of the Shop that are Daringly Set Strictly

-What kind of rules are enforced at your store?

Mr. Shinoda: "There are three main things. (1) Up to 3 people per group, (2) Staying within 1 hour and a half, (3) Photography is prohibited inside the store except on the table. However, if there are many people, the voice will inevitably become louder, and if you work on a computer for a long time, other customers will not be able to use it even if they want to. It's OK to take a picture of the coffee on the desk. However, recently, more and more people are taking videos, and there are many cases where they take pictures not only at hand but also around the store. Then the faces of other customers will be shown, and some people don't feel comfortable with that. I myself do not like to be photographed. Also, while some people are willing to crop or blur/process their faces, not everyone is so considerate.

Many people come to this store based on the information spread on SNS, so it is certain that they are benefiting from it. Although I understand the benefits of doing so, I intentionally set strict rules to protect the atmosphere of the store. ”

-I see. It's important for the shop and for the customers who come to the shop.

Many Works are Displayed on the Wall
A Store that is Conscious of the White Cube

-There are many works displayed in the store.

Mr. Shinoda: "Yes, but we don't sell it, it's all our own collection. There is also a copperplate print made by my wife who graduated from art college.

In the display method of museums and galleries, a pure white space without extra unevenness or decorations is called a "white cube" so as not to interfere with the work. The name of Cocu Coffee is derived from the word "void (Kokuu)", which means a space where there is nothing or nothing. When creating the store, I was conscious of the purpose of the White Cube, so as not to interfere with the work and the customers who spend time in this space. ”

works displayed on the wall

Coffee Extracted by the Matsuya Method
Characterized by Long-lasting Taste

-The coffee is brewed using the Matsuya method. What are its characteristics?

Mr. Shinoda: "The biggest feature of Matsuya-style drip coffee is that it retains its flavor over time. This method was devised by Matsuya Coffee in Osu, Nagoya City, and is designed to help you make delicious coffee efficiently at a coffee shop. It was devised from the point of view of whether it can be served.The Matsuya method requires a little more work than the other methods, but I think it is the best when it comes to taste.

In general coffee shops and cafes, coffee is brewed for several people at a time and reheated when an order is placed, but the taste of coffee suddenly deteriorates when heat is applied. In the Matsuya style, the coffee is strongly extracted, and when an order is placed, it is diluted with boiling water, so it is difficult to oxidize and the taste does not deteriorate. ”

Extracting with Matsuya-style drip

-I see! Easy to understand. How did you arrive at this Matsuya style?

Mr. Shinoda: “This method was also taught to me by Mr. Nakagawa of Flavored Coffee. I don't know if I'll be in a position to teach someone the technique in the future, but if I do, I hope I can be of some help by connecting to the next and not interrupting. hey."

-You also sell home-roasted beans.

Mr. Shinoda:"We sell a higher percentage of roasted beans than we use the café. We roast about 9 to 10 kinds of coffee beans in the store, from shallow roast to deep roast. Coffee is a luxury item, but we want to make it something that as many people as possible can enjoy on a daily basis, so we are not particular about the type of beans we use, but choose those that offer a good balance of price and taste. However, we hand-pick the roasted beans, checking each one individually. Checking and sorting the beans for color, size, and whether they have cracks or not is an important process that also affects the taste of the coffee."

"Hand picking" to check and assign roasted coffee beans one by one

-It seems that you are doing the work that seems to be very nerve-wracking! The package design is also stylish.

Mr. Shinoda: "I asked my wife to make all the designs. My wife is also active as a copperplate artist, and all the illustrations on the package were created with copperplate prints. It is very helpful because it is easy to convey and understands more than anyone else."

The design is based on the tools used for roasting and brewing coffee.

Enjoy Delicious Coffee and Rest in a Relaxing Space

Cocu Coffee is located in a corner of Ota-juku, which is full of history. Each seat is spacious enough for you to relax. Listening to music, reading books and magazines, just sitting in a daze without thinking about anything... how about spending some time in your own way while drinking delicious coffee?

In addition, coffee classes are held at the shop about once a season. It seems that they are always available for consultation about coffee, such as how to brew coffee and how to choose beans.

Take-out coffee is also available, so it would be nice to take a walk while looking at Ota-juku and the Kiso River.

Spot Details

[Kokuu Coffee]
Address: 1-7-1 Otahonmachi, Minokamo City, Gifu Prefecture
Phone number: 0574-49-9840
Business hours: 11:00-20:30 (orders stop at 19:00)
Closed: Thursdays, 2nd and 4th Wednesdays
Official site: http://cocu-coffee.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cocu_coffee/

I live in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture. I have experience in working for 3 years as a copywriter and for 3 years as a media editor at an advertising agency before going freelance. After gaining editing experience in a wide range of media genres such as finance, SDGs, and fashion, I currently write and collects information mainly on gourmet and travel.

My hobbies are traveling, reading, and drinking. I love domestic travel and have conquered all 47 prefectures in Japan, and am currently enjoying my second round. I also manage my own media site about alcoholic beverages, and spends 365 days a year in writing.


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