In Japan, even boutiques have their own coffee corners.
Wander around Aoyama, one of the more fashionable neighbourhoods of Tokyo, and you will find plenty of chic places to shop, dine and, yes, enjoy a cuppa. The Japanese being the Japanese, when two of these retail worlds combine, you can be assured it’s done with much careful consideration.
Such is the case with Cobi Coffee, a café located within Bloom & Branch, a boutique that sells a range of artisanal housewares and hand-crafted attire. No surprise then that the coffee served here mirrors this philosophy: every cup is hand-brewed and served with courteous ceremony.
The café itself is but a tiny alcove, almost a pairing of coffee laboratory behind the bar and a space for customers to sit and observe the process of preparing coffee. Décor-wise, look forward to a warm blend of natural wood, vintage brass and copper, and the clean lines of glass pitchers onto which coffee drips, a result of the traditional flannel pour-over method popularised in old-school Japanese coffeehouses (kissaten).
The name Cobi supposedly means “beauty in age” in Japanese, which is a good description of the ambience of the café, truly, though perhaps Cobi Coffee benefits from a sense of contemporary timelessness too.
Despite the limited space, the main feature is a large wooden table where you sit around. This is not unlike a traditional Japanese tea room (chashitsu) where your host is preparing coffee (instead of tea) for you, the guest. Beans used come from a rotating selection of local roasters such as Obscura Coffee Roasters.
To go with the tea ceremony theme, Cobi Coffee also serves wagashi, Japanese sweets that accompany tea. We had matcha-mochi, chilled and slippery-smooth slivers of glutinous rice cakes that has a lovely bite and the aroma of green tea. Subtly sweet and quietly impressive, not unlike this beautiful coffee space.
而且咖啡館只佔了Bloom & Branch 這家手工家居用品和服飾專賣店的一小部分，
看著咖啡師認真泡著咖啡的樣子，讓我不禁想起在銀座的Café de l’Ambre。
Cobi Coffee Aoyama
5-10-5 Minato-ku, Minami Aoyama, Tokyo, Japan
Mon-Fri 8am-8pm / Sat-Sun 9am-8pm