Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 1-1: 750 Yen for a Cup of Blue Mountain
“Min-kun, now’s a good time to have some coffee.”
A man slapped a bag containing a kilo of coffee beans and cut open the top of the bag with a pair of scissors.
The snipping sounds from the scissors occurred simultaneously with the screams from Min-kun, also known as Park Sungmin.
“Mana~ger! Isn’t that Blue Mountain?!!!”
“Yes, it is.”
“It’s 750 yen for a cup, right?!”
“Good job. You properly remembered the price.”
“That’s not something you drink during break!”
“You say that, but beans have a shelf life, you know.”
He measured out two cups of coffee beans with a measuring spoon and dropped them in the coffee grinder.
The mana~ger, also known as Tachibana Uta, began to grind the beans without a second thought.
“What are we going to do?! Coffee Galette Chofu is in its biggest pinch!”
Sungmin went out to the front of the store and held his head with both hands.
“Min-kun, do you really think the store will shut down because of a 1500 yen loss?”
“Yeah, I mean, we were in the red last month, and the one before that as well?!”
“You’re well-aware of it?”
“You were grumbling about it when you were looking at the ledger, manager.”
“Ah, right. Sorry. I often talk to myself…”
“Customers, please co~me! If you don’t come, the manager will drink all of the best coffee in the store!”
“Let me drink some good coffee…”
There was hardly anyone out in the streets of Chofu Ginza on the weekday morning, when this heartfelt cry echoed.
People continued to distance themselves due to the pandemic, and the shutters of the neighboring stores remained down.
“There’s nothing we can do if the customers don’t come. Let’s have some coffee.”
Uta finished grinding the beans, then put them into a cloth filter, and poured hot water over them.
The fragrant aroma of coffee wafted through the streets.
“…Ah, what a refreshing taste…”
Sungmin gave up, sat at the counter, and sipped the Blue Mountain coffee with tears in his eyes.
“Since we have the chance, I’ll also leave some at the household shrine.”
Uta poured a little brewed coffee into an espresso cup and headed deeper inside the store.
The store only had counter seats, so further inside was Uta’s residence. Beyond the sliding door was the household shrine.
He placed the cup and gave two bows, two claps, and one more bow.
“I pray for a thriving business! I have no choice but to pray to the gods now…”
Uta laughed bitterly and gazed at the well-crafted household shrine.
Contrary to its name, Coffee Galette Chofu was a privately-owned business.
The manager of this store was the young Tachibana Uta, who was 25 years old. The store was pretty much just a hobby for him.
The reason why this 25-year-old man owned such a store was because this place was once a soba restaurant run by Uta’s grandparents.
Their Heisei-era soba restaurant had long gone out of business, and Uta had decided to start something with it two years ago. When he opened his coffee shop and used the leftover buckwheat flour from the soba to make galettes, it was featured in the town magazine and gained decent popularity.
At that time, many customers came to see the popular young manager. But, that was only temporary.
Managing an eatery was intense. There were other coffee shops around, and even convenience stores sold coffee nowadays.
Even if Uta didn’t have to worry about rent, purchasing ingredients and paying his part-time employee ate right into his income.
Uta’s prayer for a “thriving business” hadn’t been granted yet.
“I don’t think there’s a god in your household shrine anymore.”
When Uta returned to the store, Sungmin said with a serious face.
“If this situation is a result of praying every day, then maybe you should switch over to another god.”
“You’re strict, Min-kun.”
“It has only been three years, but back when it was a soba restaurant, it lasted through the Edo period. We’ve been together with the god of the household shrine since that long ago. Saying something like switching over will only get you punished.”
Uta poured the remaining coffee from the carafe into a cup and finally enjoyed a sip.
“Blue Mountain’s good!”
“Right? If you switch gods and have the business thrive, you can drink it every day.”
“No, let’s drink this normally every day. We’ll have a whole kilo left unsold, after all.”
Uta pointed at the containers that were now filled with Blue Mountain coffee.