From the start, the emphasis was on roasting beans as much as serving lattes, and Amp has steadily sloughed off its cafe trappings ever since. The small tables that used to sit next to the entrance have long gone, and last month an extensive overhaul expanded the space for roasting, while reducing the seating to a few bar stools. Visitors to the petite shop can now watch each step of the coffee-making process. Sacks of green beans stacked on shelves in the back make their way to a glistening Fuji Royal roaster up front, then get bagged on a counter or prepared as drinks using a handsome La Marzocco espresso machine. In the rear is a wall mount for the bicycle that owner Hiroyuki rides to work every day from his home in nearby Nogata.
In line with the nationwide state of emergency declared on April 16, the government is strongly requesting that residents stay at home whenever possible and refrain from visiting bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.