Good Company Coffee

    CONTRIBUTED BY KELLYERACE

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    So last week’s post was about coffee. And this week’s post is about coffee. I’ve been kind of obsessed with the stuff lately. I think it started at Jusco about a month ago. I was there with my friend, Nana, doing a little window shopping when I honed in on a booth giving out coffee samples. We made a bee-line to it and the lady there handed us multiple shot size cups of coffee and offered some pieces of airy homemade banana cake. Oishii! She told us her name was Junko, and she worked at a shop called Good Company. (Check out their website HERE)

    After that I was lost, because my Japanese is horrendous. Luckily Nana stepped in and found out some pretty darn interesting information about the business. So, it’s a coffee shop, but not your ordinary coffee shop. It’s a coffee roaster. You don’t go there to order a cup of coffee or two; instead, you go to order coffee beans, custom roasted on the spot. Coffee roasted especially for you? Yes. And, according to Junko-san, it only takes 15 minutes. She’ll give you a little cake to nibble on while you wait.

    Wow. Wow, wow, wow! She told us it was near Camp Courtney, clear on the other side of the island from me. Drats. But, I couldn’t let a little thing like that, or the crazy google translated directions from the website stop me. So on the weekend, hubby, baby and I went on (yet another) coffee quest. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard to get too. It’s really just a hop skip and a jump from McT and Courtney, you lucky people. Of course, it was closed the day we went (Sunday), but at least I knew where it was.

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    So today, I dragged a friend and her baby along with me and Gabe and we tried again. It was open. And the smell. The smell. Can I even describe it? The aroma of freshly roasted coffee, wafting through the air, penetrating the closed windows of your car in the parking lot? Ah…divine. Paradise. Well, a very tiny paradise. It’s about the size of, I don’t know, maybe your kitchen. But the floor is covered with a dozen or so bags of green coffee beans: Kilimanjaro beans, Brazilian beans, Panamanian, mocha, special blend beans, and more. About three varieties are organic and they also sell decaffinated beans.

    The beans range in price from about 700 yen – 1000 yen per 200 grams (that’s about 1/3 smaller than the bags they sell at the commissary), but you can get it roasted to suit your taste. Frankly, I was kind of overwhelmed. When I drink a cup of coffee, I know when I like it (strong, full bodied, hot) and when I don’t (stale, burnt, weak) but I don’t know anything about bean varietals. And, to be honest, I don’t know much about roasts either. I get French Roast usually. It tastes richer to me but that’s about as far as I go.

    At Good Company, the owner Masaki-san showed me a menu of the different roasts they do: Italian, French, City, and many more. What kind of bean should I pick? What kind of roast? I had no idea. So I decided to ask Masaki-san in my broken Japanese which bean he liked. I think he said “all” at first, but then he pointed to “Kilimanjaro”. I decided to get that bean and the Special Blend bean and have them both roasted French Roast. (Junko-san, who drinks three cups of coffee a day, opts for medium roast.)

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    So, here begins my coffee self education. My plan is to do a little taste-off between the two kinds of beans I bought and then eventually try out all the different roasts. Then later, if I’m up to it, I’ll do the same thing with the other kinds of beans too. I suppose there are easier ways to do my coffee learnin’, like asking Good Company to do a tasting for me, or a “cupping” as they are called in the coffee world. But this seems funner. Less objective, perhaps, but ah well. Free feel to follow along on my coffee journey on this blog: www.coffeefilter.wordpress.com which I’m starting in the hopes that it’ll make me disciplined in my experiment.

    If you’d like to make the journey to Good Company, look for the little green star (top right) in the maps below. Courtney and McT folks, I’m jealous because y’all are so close. However, I learned today that for an extra few hundred yen Good Company will actually DELIVER coffee to YOUR HOME (off base). Lovin’ that. Fax or call your order in and they’ll drive it your way. They only speak Japanese though, so you might need to get some help on that one.

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    HOURS and PHONE: Open 10am-7pm (last order 6pm) Closed Sundays Phone/fax 098-974-2002

    DIRECTIONS: From Kadena Gate 3: Hang a right on 74. Then hang a left on 85 like you are going to San A Main Place (Marino’s). From 85, you can EITHER take a left on 329 north or wait a few more lights and go left on 75 north, both of these roads will intersect Rte 8. (I don’t know which way is quicker.) Turn right on Rte 8. Look for a Max Value on the right side of the road, two signals after 75. Turn right there. It’s Rte 224. There’s also a bus station. Good Company is a small building on the left with a yellow and black sign, next to a water store and before a Coco’s convenience store.

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    20 COMMENTS

    1. This place is a must for any coffee lover. They are super kind and the smell while it’s roasting….amazing! We think this will be a new monthly stop for us. And let me say- I’ve had some high quality coffee brewed table side before in a high end eatery that was good, but the complimentary coffee here was the best flavor I think I have ever tasted. Give them a try- it’s a great store and you will be glad each morning when you sip your custom brew!

      • Elizabeth if you haven’t found out yet, it still is! Purchased the panama beans in medium roast. Looking forward to trying it tomorrow morning!! They also grinded the beans for me there. I was very happy about that 🙂

    2. This is by far the best coffee my husband and I have ever had. We buy the Queen Somatro and have it roasted at their city roast level and it is so good!

    3. Just got back from this adorable little shop. They are so friendly and welcoming, just as others have mentioned. Here’s the latest info on their coffee beans and prices:
      Columbia ¥600
      Brazil Santos ¥600
      Guatemala ¥630
      Mocha Blend ¥650
      Mandheling ¥660
      Mexico ¥700
      Kilimanjaro ¥700
      Special Blend ¥800
      Queen Sumatra ¥800
      Organic Peru ¥900
      Loyal Blend ¥900
      Toraja ¥1,000
      Decaffeinated ¥1,100
      Blue Mountain Blen ¥1,350
      High Mountain ¥1,800

      They are open 10am-7pm Mon-Fri and 10am-6pm on Saturday. They are closed on Sundays and Japanese holidays. I hope everyone gets the chance to enjoy this wonderful little shop as much as I did! :o)

    4. I love Good Company! I feel welcome every time I go there, and you can’t beat the coffee! I am often offered a wonderful cup while waiting for my selection to be roasted. I need to take the time to learn more and taste more. Great product, better service!

    5. To Kellyrace-
      It has been a while,
      I thankyou so much for visiting “Good Company” and posting on Okinawa Hai.
      Please come again anytime when you have the time.(-translated)

    6. Regarding the decaffeinated coffee beans available at Good Company, does anyone know which method of decaffeinating is used?

      If someone who speaks Japanese goes to Good Company, could you inquire about which method is used?

      Swiss Watter Process Method
      Chemical Solvent Method
      or the
      Carbon Dioxide Method.

      Decaffeinated coffee should be taste tested to other decaffeinated coffees. Organic can be and should be compared with other caffeinated coffees.

    7. YIPPEE! You just made my day. I haven’t checked Okinawahai for 2 days and I come back to this fantastic post about another terrific coffee possibility!! My husband said “let’s go RIGHT NOW!” I don’t think we will make it today, but we will most definitely be checking it out in the next week or so. THANK YOU, THANK YOU for the post!!

    8. Kat/Ed, I just learned about the whole darker roast = less caffeine at Hiro’s Coffee Farm a few weeks ago. All these years, being unwittingly healthier. Who whudda thunk? Starting to think I should opt for the medium roast next time.

      Renee, Good luck w/ the orders! Panamanian coffee awaits 🙂

    9. The longer the beans are roasted more of the oils are roasted out thereby producing less caffeine. Light to medium roasting produces finished beans that are best to use for “cupping” to taste and experience the “terrior” of that specific coffee.

    10. I’m a personal fan of the Gorudenbitoru, in medium roast.

      A fun fact about coffee: the lighter the roast, the more caffeine it has. It seem like it would be the opposite, but it’s not…a darker roast has a fuller flavor with less caffeine content, a lighter roast has more caffeine with a less-bold taste. This is why I opt for medium roast–best of both worlds. 🙂

    11. Kelly, the organic coffees should be considered to other caffienated coffees.

      Decaffienated coffee should be compared against other decaffienated coffee.

      When cupping coffee it should be black to notice the terrior. Sugar & Milk mask the terrior.

    12. Kelly, I based the groupings on the order that I would have purchased them if I had been in the store.

      Left some thoughts concerning cupping of coffee on your blog.

      The terrior of different coffees is fun to explore.

    13. Ed, thanks for all those great tips. I’m glad that you wrote you’ll read, ’cause it will help me be diligent and post! Interested in knowing what made you decide to pair up those particular bean types too.

      Renee, are you here in Okinawa? Because I’m actually brewing Panamanian coffee as I type, which I got at Good Company (I went back and got more coffee since I wrote the post and picked up Panamanian and Columbian). They said they just got the Panamanian in stock.

      Kat, Great to hear from another Good Company follower. (What do you usually get, btw?) I’m new to them, but can’t wait to go back. Just wish I were a little closer, but I guess that’s where the coffee delivery comes in handy!

      Joelle, there’s a sign on the door that says they sell decaffeinated beans, but I haven’t actually gotten them. Also, last time I went there were three kinds of organic beans. But they get different shipments in, so I’m not sure if that changes (or if you can request more?)

    14. If you like a full-body, rich coffee, try the Panamanian. When I was in the Army stationed in Panama, I used to drink it all the time and send it back to the states to my dad. For some reason you can’t buy Panamanian coffee here except for sometimes you can find it in specialty coffee shops in small amounts. I’m not a big coffee fan, but I love the Panamanian coffee.

    15. Good Company is awesome! We live about 3 km from them, and discovered them our first week here. We’ve been loyal customers ever since! SO glad to see them written up here!!

    16. Kelly, I just checkout their web page. They have some very outstanding beans listed. For several years now I have been interested in the Terroir of coffee. Based on Good Coffee list of beans may I suggest that you compare the following Beans:

      Kilimanjaro
      Santos of Brazil

      Guatemala SHB
      Mexico (Organic)

      Peru Machu Picchu
      Gorudenbitoru (Panama)

      Though I’m in the US, I will be following with interest the results of your tasting on your blog.

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