Cobi Coffee, Tokyo

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.

青山這一代是東京著名的時尚街區,
每次來到這類地方都感覺非常危險,為了避免皮包大出血兼逛到腳軟,
我們這次很乖的直接往Cobi Coffee走去。
但抵達目的地時竟然發現這是一家複合型咖啡館,
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,
讓我邊喝咖啡,邊看著那些很漂亮的杯盤碗碟心動不已。
(還好最後也沒下手。)

說起來Cobi佔地不大,但對咖啡的態度絕對認真。
先說豆子方面,Cobi沒有自家烘焙豆子,但會從當地的不同的烘豆商中嚴選提貨。
我們到訪時選用的剛好是Obscura的豆子,那是一家兩年前到訪過的咖啡館。
除了有意式咖啡外,這裡還有單品手沖,而手沖方式是以少見的法蘭絨為主。
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。
至於豆子的選擇方面,也有五、六種不算少。
當天我點了衣索比亞的豆子,那花果香氣和茶感是我喜歡的類型,
配上冰得剛好的抹茶和菓子,非常的對味滿足。
近來聽說他們在新宿的NewoMan開了家分店,有興趣的朋友可以去看看。


Cobi Coffee Aoyama
5-10-5 Minato-ku, Minami Aoyama, Tokyo, Japan
+81-3-6427-3976
Mon-Fri 8am-8pm / Sat-Sun 9am-8pm
bloom-branch.jp/cobicoffee/