15 December 2015

Coffee - Japan #2

Well let's talk about coffee, shall we?

Coffee in Japan was quite the experience. So many interesting people and so much tradition and interest within this topic. I am a pretty big third wave coffee enthusiast and have been for years. I am no barista - steaming that milk properly stresses me out and I do it very poorly ! But I enjoy a good cup of brewed coffee or a decent flat white and I am quite the coffee snob according to my friends  and family. But in Japan there was such a diversity - everything from old school "traditional" coffee shops and roasters. My list of favourites are mostly modern - pretty hip places. But I could mention so many more.

Here is a little glimpse of my favourite places. 
Some for the coffee, other for the atmosphere and shop design and third simply because they had the complete package. I have linked to the websites if you need further details.

#1 - Rapha. This was not a planned visit. I had read about it but I am not that big of a cycle enthusiast and this coffee shop is made by the biking company Rapha. But when I happened to pass it. I was really overwhelmed that the design was so well performed so I had to check it out. And as I was hanging out drinking a well made cappuccino this old school Japanese guy walked in - completely dressed in his bike gear. Adventure complete. Loved the concept. link here. 

#2 - Muji's take away chilled latte became a favourite "on the way snack". I loved the Muji stores in Tokyo because they were huge concept stores and they even had supermarkets inside where they sold so much interesting and pretty packaged food. This is trash coffee at it's best - and when the packaging is so pretty I am all in.

#3 - Shozo Coffee - oh my gosh. This place !!! A really small very little tiny cosy place. The flat white and filter coffee I had here combined with the best biscuit ever, kicked ass. So much love put into every little detail. And the lovely two ladies - I believe they were mum and daughter were so lovable. link here.

#4 - Cafe Kitsune. Maison Kitsune is a lifestyle and sitting in here given you entrance in Hipster Heaven for the while of your coffee. Have a french toast and lean back -  puzzled over the fact that Japanese guys suddenly appear so darn handsome and even hot in a way. Fell in love with everything - the bearded men serving coffee, the drizzling french toast and the flat white. Had a Matcha Latte here as well. When in Japan right?! Beautiful place - so well designed. link here.

#5 - Blue Bottle is a huge corporate - I had read about this and it has been a dream for years to go to the states and visit - haven't gotten their yet. But hey Tokyo came along so I could pay the "founders" of third wave or at least a company who have done a whole lot for this movement a visit. The pour over coffee is sublime and reminded me again of why I started to enjoy this type of coffee in the first place. Link here. 

#6 - Fuglen Tokyo - is a must. I am a Norwegian and this is run by Norwegians and is a branch off - Fuglen Oslo. Beautiful 60' ies interiour. Packed with international hipsters. Also a great hang out spot at nighttime. Good place to hang - and drink the filter of the day. It reminded me of home but was also a good place to talk to other coffee enthusiast. This is a great area with very pretty shops and interesting people. The Monocle Shop is around the corner. Link here.

#7 - Before going to Japan - I researched like mad. Bought guides, browsed the world wide web and asked friends and facebook contacts what to see and what to do. I also got a magazine Drift and their edition on coffee culture in Tokyo. When researching on third wave I came across the Bear Pond many times - the guy who runs it trained / worked / hung out at Gimme Coffee in New York which used to be my favourite place in New York and where I learned about this type of coffee in the first place so closing the circle here felt right. Link here.