Release Date: Feb 23, 2018
Not sure where to go on your next day off? Let’s go support some of the new coffee shops that have opened over the last couple of months. Tag us @goodcoffeeme in your photos on instagram and we’ll do our best to regram you!
FUTATSUBOKISSA ABE COFFEE
MIZONOKUCHI, DECEMBER 3
Mariko Abe’s modest coffee stand is part of the exquisite Nokutica; once a hospital, but now transformed into a share office space, also home to a small gallery and various events. There isn’t really anywhere to sit, but somehow all the locals make Abe Coffee part of their day (sometimes a big part of their day), by congregating over coffee here. Service with a smile, the regular customers are interesting folk, and the coffee is really delicious. Definitely my type of place!
KICHIJOJI, DECEMBER 6
Capoon, a coined name deriving from “cafe” and “nippon”, is a little coffee space introducing domestic micro roasters to the people of Kichijoji. Currently, they’re serving up Onibus Coffee. The sento-eshi (traditional Japanese bathhouse art) feature wall of Mt Fuji was commissioned by the cafe to one of only three artists left practicing this style of art today. And speaking of excellent artists, Mariya Suzuki will be holding a show here about “Lives in Tokyo” from March 14th. Must put that in the diary!
GINZA, DECEMBER 15
Bongen Coffee is a small but stylish, modern yet traditional coffee spot in Ginza. Your eyes will be fixated on the hundred-year-old Bonsai plant which backdrops your barista making coffee. The owner hopes to serve the local people of Ginza, as well as showcase a modern Japanese interior for foreign visitors. He’s done a very good job. Best access is via Shintomicho station on the Yurakucho line.
KOENJI, DECEMBER 15
Ichisango, about 5 minutes from Koenji station, is offering coffee roasted by Fresco and Single O. Stay on the first floor for shots pulled on their Slayer (soon to be upgraded to a two-group!) while listening to eclectic music, which ranges from classic jazz to SMAP! Head up to the second floor where exhibitions and events are sometimes held!
YOYOGI HACHIMAN, DECEMBER 21
Anyone serious about coffee visiting Tokyo will usually have Switch Coffee towards the top of their list. Owner, Masahiro Onishi, originally learning his craft in Fukuoka and then in Melbourne, has built a great reputation in the specialty coffee scene over the years. He spends time talking through a selection of single origins roasted on site in his first shop in Meguro. This, his second shop, is about a 10-second walk from Yoyogi Hachiman station – making it the perfect place to grab and go. If you have time, stay and chat with the Switch baristas – there are coffee servers on the bench filled with single origins to coax conversation.
BAKUROCHO, JANUARY 6
Bridge has moved! It now beautifully occupies a corner spot on a main street in Bakurocho. The small podium entrance is welcoming and the wide window is wonderful to watch people pass by. The interior is warm, there’s a dope counter (by Arkestra), and there is generous space to sit and really relax. Coffee by Little Nap Coffee Roasters.
YOYOGI HACHIMAN, JANUARY 11
Almond Hostel is a well designed capsule-like hostel with a spacious cafe on the first floor open to the public. It’s a stone’s throw from the Tomigaya area, which is home to a cluster of some of my all time favourite bakeries (Jensen, Le Vain, 365), coffee shops (Fuglen, Little Nap), and bistros (Path, Ahiru Store) making this hostel one of the best bases when visiting Tokyo. Use the space on the first floor to gather with friends over pour over or espresso based drinks to plan your day.
LET IT BE COFFEE
FUTAKO TAMAGAWA, FEBRUARY 5
Let It Be Coffee, husband and wife team, is the first cafe to be opened by baristas who spent time working for Blue Bottle Japan. Excellent coffee roasted by Coffee Wrights and Lilo Coffee (Osaka) is brewed with love and care here, served in beautiful cups by Mashiko potter Taro Endo. The cafe interior, designed by architect Rei Oshima (SNARK), is more like a relaxing living room lending itself to a warm neighbourly feel. I have a strong feeling that this will soon become one of Tokyo’s most visited coffee shops.
HARAJUKU, FEBRUARY 9
The second Chop Coffee is located just off Cat Street, not far from the Gyre building in Omotesando. Multi-talented owner Paik-san, has done another fine job working his magic to create a beautiful little space for people to chill and chat, or grab and go. The opening party was attended by a lot people from both the art world and coffee community, which will no doubt make it another hot spot in Tokyo. Check out the little secret spot at the back for that special coffee time.