Hiroshima Morning Club: Inaugural Meeting at Teranishi Coffee Kokutaiji
What’s better than going out for breakfast? [日本語]
The act of eating breakfast, which is usually a simple affair crammed in-between the daily hustle of getting up, getting ready, and running out the door, becomes something of an extravagance, a luxury when savored leisurely in a coffeehouse or cafe. So to all you leisure-seeking early birds, I say:
Welcome to Hiroshima Morning Club.
Hiroshima Morning Club actually hatched as an idea between me and my Hiroshiman-turned-Chiban best friend over our mutual love of モーニング or Morning, which here refers to Japan’s “Morning Set” — for the price of a cup of coffee, you not only get coffee, but (traditionally) a piece of buttery, thick-cut toast and a hard-boiled egg. Quick and simple, offered until 10 or 11 am, Morning is a little bit of magic in the mundane. And that’s the kind of magic I love.
So in this column, I’m here to explore the magic of Morning, from its humble traditional roots to more modern takes on this Japanese coffeehouse culture phenomenon.
I hereby call this meeting of Hiroshima Morning Club to order, and for this, our inaugural meeting, I submit to you Teranishi Coffee in Kokutaiji.
Serving coffee to the people of Hiroshima since 1978 (startiung at its original honten location), Teranishi Coffee prides itself on quality. From house-roasted beans, custom-made nel drip coffee pots, and even down to the thickness of their mugs, everything is calculated for the sake of creating one perfect cup of coffee.
After ordering at the counter, I sat down in the non-smoking section (you can tell this coffeehouse is old school because they still have a smoking section) to casually people-watch the Wednesday morning patrons as they read papers or fiddled with phones in-between sips and bites. Office-working salarymen in dark suits gathered around a corner table while an elderly gentlemen thumbed through the morning edition. Two elderly women whisper-chatted among themselves, sipping coffee and exchanging smiles. Light music filtered into the dining area, just loud enough to hear, adding a tiny hint of sound in the otherwise relative quiet.
Before I knew it, my breakfast had arrived. I chose the Morning B Set, a week-day only special where for 500 yen you get the drink of your choice (I chose their cafe au lait, made with milk specifically tailored to their needs/preferred fat content for an even more perfect cup), plus a potato salad sandwich with red leaf lettuce and crisp cucumbers on (you guessed it!) homemade, thick-sliced bread toasted to crunchy perfection. The mayonnaise from the potato salad, combined with a zesty karashi mustard and ketchup, creates a distinctly Japanese flavor palette of sweet, creamy, and just a kick of spice. Combined with a stout mug of cafe au lait topped with a fluffy cloud of milk foam, this simple, good-natured Morning is a satisfying way to start any weekday.
Around me patrons were coming and going, choruses of “good morning!” and “thank you!” adding to the warm ambiance of the coffeehouse, and it made me think: since when did Sunday morning have a monopoly on relaxation? Why shouldn’t weekday mornings have their fair share? Maybe that’s what Teranishi Coffee’s Kokutaiji location is trying to say. Sundays don’t deserve all the glory; give weekday mornings a little love too.
Until next time, meeting adjourned.
- Smoking section
Teranishi Coffee (Kokutaiji-machi)
Address: Kokutaiji-machi 1-3-15, Naka-ku, Hiroshima City
Closed: Sundays and National Holidays