Few have heard of the little Japanese coffee house The Münch in the south east side of Osaka in Japan, in Yao. In fact, their Yelp page only has 2 reviews (both raving). But don’t let their Yelp page fool you. The Münch coffee in Japan has been gaining quite a following.
The Münch serves coffees typically in the $10-20 range, but has become known for their 100,000¥ (a bit more than $900 USD, but we’re rounding down here).
The story behind the expensive cup of coffee comes from The Münch’s sole proprietor and only person manning the shop: Kanji Tanaka. Many years ago he used to store his iced coffees in the refrigerator. He forgot about one cup and left it in the refrigerator for 6 months. On the verge of throwing out the cup of coffee, he thought, “what the heck? Lets brew it and give it a try.”
Then, Kanji Tanaka was on a mission. Old barrels used to add flavor to other liquors is a not-so-secret step of his. That and the aging of the beans is key. Tanaka noticed that after the 10 year mark their flavor changed extraordinarily and started to get very syrupy in flavor. Thus, his famous iced coffee process began coming to life.
Tanaka’s now famous coffee begins with raw, green coffee beans are aged. The 22 year old beans are then roasted in-house. He then puts them into a fine grind. A Nel Drip system then brews Kanji’s coffee grounds.
A Nel Drip system works very similarly to a Pour Over or Chemex. There is a filter with coffee grounds inside it has hot water poured into it. Coffee drips down and comes out the other end.
Kanji, however, does this in a very slow and methodical way. In fact, when using his Nel Drip system, it takes 30 minutes for even the first drip to fall out into the cup. By brewing this slowly Tanaka claims that not only is the coffee brewing from the hot water, but that the steam has an effect that removes many of the unpleasant flavors of coffee beans.
Once a full cup comes out, Tanaka runs it through the small barrels mentioned above. This falls out of a tap built into the barrel into a literally one-of-a-kind Miessen mug that looks like it was for royalty centuries ago.
This coffee is incredibly black. It carries notes of wine, and a syrupy sweetness blended with chocolate.
The Münch coffee in Japan and its founder Kanji Tanaka have since been popping up on everything from TripAdvisor, to Twitter shout outs, to BuzzFeed videos.
The slow and intricately crafted coffee has a certain allure to it. Or perhaps it is the handsome picture of his younger self that he serves to customers.
I don’t know about you guys, but I suddenly want to try this over $900 cup of coffee. I also want to do a Nel Drip for an hour to see how the coffee turns out.
What are your thoughts? And would you guys be willing to wait 22 years for a Match Made Coffee subscription with super aged coffee beans? Or should we just order The Münch coffee in Japan and have ship it on over?