Whether driving to Yasugi City or through it, you owe it to yourself to stop by Cafe Rosso on Route 9. Cafe Rosso is proudly owned and cared for by world renowned Barista Hiroyuki Kadowaki, a local native of Yasugi. In 2005, Hiroyuki took 2nd place at the World Barista Championship in Seattle, Washington, USA. His craft is nurtured slowly, taking an active role in each part of the process. From sourcing coffee beans, to the roasting process, Hiroyuku is a man who loves what he does.
During my first visit to Cafe Rosso, my conversation with Hiroyuki quickly led to Formula 1 racing and Ferrari. Sharing an interest in all things auto, I was happy to oblige. His love for Ferrari shows apparent when you walk through this tiny corner of Yasugi, situated casually along a sliver of Lake Nakaumi. He chose the name Rosso, not surprisingly, because of the classic Ferrari color.
If you weren’t already aware of Cafe Rosso, chances are you’d pass right on by, never knowing the great taste and aroma trapped within these walls. Here you’ll find a variety of meals, with a lean toward simple and clean. The coffee is served with grace and care. After each order, I wondered what fancy design would be left in the foam atop my mug. The flavors are rich and smooth, not watered down like so many places tend to do. At Cafe Rosso, you’ll leave with a new benchmark for your taste buds.
At around ￥600 per cup, it ranks on–par with specialty restaurants, a tad more than your average shop. But you’re getting much, much more here at Cafe Rosso. You’re getting the privilege of tasting perfection.
The setting is perfect for lunch with friends or a loved one. As I looked around, I saw people of ages working, chatting quietly, reading. It is the kind of place that draws you in, a place that you want to return to. And how many cafes can you visit where someone who is worldly ranked prepares your next cuppa joe? So please, if you’re driving through Yasugi on Route 9, pass by all the generic coffee shops and conbinis (convenience stores), and stop by to see Hiroyuki. And if you’re driving a Ferrari, be sure to invite him outside for a spin.