Japan Coffee 2014

I was so excited about going to Japan, but a little apprehensive at the same time as it was the first time I’ve visited a country where I didn’t speak the language, and didn’t have anyone who could translate for me. However that little barrier became something that made me love the country so much more – I had so much more fun because of the fact that I couldn’t understand a thing!

Now I avidly follow some Japanese baristas, so I had a small list of places I could go to try out some coffee. Since my visit, there have been so many more places that have popped up so that a revisit is definitely required.

Nozy Coffee was the first cafe we visited, in the Harajuku area. It’s a great setup with symmetrical Synessos and Mazzers on opposite sides of the essentially oval shaped central counter and bench. They only served espresso, but at the back was their roastery where they did make filter roasts too.

I found the way they served their espresso a little weird – in all sorts of different glasses including a flute! I actually do have a strong preference for the way my espressos are served so this weirded me out a little.

I stumbled across a place called Bridge Coffee while walking the streets of Asakusa, and decided to go in. It was quite a funky and hipster place, having that garage-like feeling to it. They had a Yirgacheffe on filter that day, and I also sampled one of their espressos. A really nice place.

Switch Coffee is a new little cafe in a little residential street of Meguro. In fact, it’s so residential that until we were actually standing in front of the cafe, my brother and I were still doubtful that a cafe could possibly exist in a street full of houses! Wow, what a selection of coffees they have here! It was also the first place that we found out about the espresso tonic, which seems to have now taken the coffee world by storm. Espresso in tonic water is sweet, fizzy, acidic and overall quite tasty especially on a warm day!

The last coffee stop of the trip was Onibus. Look at that firetruck red roaster! We were incredibly lucky here in the fact that the fellow at the roaster used to live in Sydney, so he spoke some English! He mentioned that he used to work in Newtown at a cafe called Papercup, which I did indeed recall but had never visited. I’m not sure it’s still open. He also gave us more cafe suggestions, which my brother then visited in his next trip. I still need to go! He mentioned that the owner of Onibus opened up a place called About Life Coffee Brewers, which I absolutely must visit! There was also Amameria Espresso. Plus a lot more!

Japan has a lot of great coffee, though not all of them service much food at all. But that’s ok, there’s bound to be ramen or sushi for breakfast somewhere nearby!