At Cafe Bimi in Fukuoka
How the Japanese Make Their Coffee
6:23 p.m., Fukuoka, Japan — Cafe Bimi is the kind of Japanese coffee shop you sometimes hear about overseas — those small, dimly lit institutions where old men have devoted their lives to making coffee by nel drip, a very Japanese convention utilizing a flannel cloth filter. The result, posit subscribers, is a dense, almost velvety cup of coffee, when done correctly. (They also say that it takes decades to master.) There is no music playing in this old, two-story building, and little chatter about the upstairs cafe. Only the sound of the lone man behind the counter, draped in a loose linen shirt, as he progresses cup, by cup, by cup — each of which is made individually for the round of customers watching him. A thin, clear stream of water runs from spout, to nel, dripping softly into demitasse, for five to seven minutes per cup. It’s methodical, almost hypnotic — and, when the coffee finally lands in front of you, pretty damn memorable.