Japan might be one of the biggest coffee importer in the world, but when it come to producing coffee, you will need to head to Hiro Coffee Farm in the northern part of Okinawa to taste truly Japanese home grown coffee.
Hiro Coffee Farm is an oddball is the Japanese coffee world, but it’s worth a trip up to the North Eastern part of the island which is definitely less touristy than the West shore.
The drive on route 70 is quite nice and a visit to the North offers a chance to see lot’s of pineapple and sugarcane plantations. This is pretty much the Okinawa I had in my mind before arriving on the island.
When we pulled in, a lady was waiting for us with umbrellas and she took us to one of the small shacks.
There is a main house where the coffee is prepared and two comfortable shacks on each side where you can drink and look at the lush nature. Chickens were running free on the ground of the coffee shop.
Coffee at Hiro is offered in normal or strong blend, I opted for the strong blend while my wife ordered a coffee jelly.
The lady brought the whole small brewing pot to our table along with a nice cup.
It’s a very generous serving of coffee, she even offered to give my wife and empty cup so we could share. So if you order coffee for one, be ready to drink at least 2 cups!
My wife and I concluded that Hiro Coffee had a very typical Japanese taste. It’s hard to describe, but it’s the kind of taste you can find in most old fashion coffee shop around Japan, stronger than the average American brew with a slight burn aftertaste.
When the rain stopped, I walked around the coffee shop and I looked at the coffee plants. Drinking coffee near a coffee plant puts things in perspective.
Hiro Coffee Farm also roast his own beans with a rudimentary homemade coffee roaster rudimentary and I think they would get a better result with a commercial roaster. Home roasting has it’s limit and I would be curious to see what another roaster could get out of these unique beans.
I bought 100g of coffee and I did managed to brew a decent cup of coffee, but nothing that extraordinary. I would probably not buy a second bag of coffee despite appreciating the rarity and the uniqueness of these Japanese beans.
Hiro Coffee Farm is well worth a visit, but I doubt I will get out of my way to go back a second time. The service was great and the area is really unique.
Do you have a favorite coffee shop that you think I should visit on my next visit to Okinawa?
Hiro Coffee Farm