As a coffee lover, I cannot resist the smell of good coffee. Walking a narrow street near Hirosedori station, I recognise my next destination, Damo Kaffee Haus, by this magical, irresistible smell. “Another one good coffee shop in Sendai!” - that is my first thought, which turns to be wrong - Damo Kaffee Haus is not another one, it’s a coffee shop I have never seen before.
First of all - the music. A kind of music you don’t expect to hear in a coffee shop. “I like weird things. I can’t name some genres, just everything strange”, says the owner - a nice-looking bearded guy in a Sex Pistols T-shirt. This “weird” music means, for example, Japanese technopop band Plastics or British post-punk band The Raincoats. The shop itself was named after Damo Suzuki, the lead singer of German krautrock pioneers Can.
The shop is full of cool and weird things. Posters on the wall, small statuettes and art objects, magazines and flyers of other great shops and cafes - enough to put an eye on while waiting for your coffee to come.
Yes, speaking about coffee. “I think that my type of the customer is a person who drinks coffee everyday, not just time after time. I offer some take-out coffee, but mostly I’m selling coffee beans that customers can take home and drink slowly, the way they like it. When I have a new customer, first we talk about what kind of coffee does she or he prefer. Bitter or mild, with a bit of a fruity note… There are plenty of things to choose.”
We are interrupted by a customer, definitely the experienced one. The whole process is almost silent - the client wants everything to be “as usual.” When he leaves, I ask if I can choose my type of coffee. “Sure. What kind of smell do you prefer?” I smell different kinds of beans, listening to the careful explanation about how do they taste and what are their special qualities. My choice is finally made - a limited offer from Guatemala. One more treat I grab before going home is a delicious-looking scone from Damo’s friends - a bakery from Rifu - spica. These scones appear in Damo only once in a week, so I was lucky.
I follow the advice of the owner and drink coffee at home, from my favourite cup, while listening to The Raincoats (Damo’s influence). A very strong aroma and a gentle taste with some hint of a sweetness - indeed, this coffee is meant for relaxing and enjoying. And the spica’s scone is its’ perfect companion!
Just imagine finding you ideal type of coffee in a truly unique coffee shop. Isn’t this a great experience?