We’ve had friends bring us back bags of Stumptown Coffee from Portland and we’ve always brewed great cups with their beans. So we were quite excited to discover that Stumptown Coffee has landed in Japan… sort of. In the quiet Tokyo neighbourhood of Nishihara, a warm and cosy little café called Paddlers Coffee serves Stumptown Coffee. It’s the only place, in fact, where you can get Stumptown Coffee in Japan.

Owner Daisuke Matsushima grew up studying in Portland but it was only after he returned to Japan to helped as a volunteer in the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami that he realised the magic of communal effort and experiences. After a trip back to Portland, Matsushima came upon Stumptown Coffee, enrolled in some classes there and returned to Tokyo once more to share his cache of Stumptown beans with his compatriots.

Of course, it’s not only his compatriots that gets to enjoy the Stumptown beans. As visitors to Japan, Nishihara is a really lovely albeit ageing area with various shops lining the street from the station to Paddlers. Bicycles are parked outside the café, itself looking not unlike a log cabin with plenty of blonde woods creating a warm background for the vinyl records and vintage record player, the bric-à-brac that run the gamut from model sailing vessels to a snow globe of – where else? – Portland, Oregon.

Besides the excellent coffee, there are sweet and savoury treats. Ian, our barista, recommended their kouign-amann, the rich and addictive Breton pastry, and their gourmet hot dog in a made-from-scratch soft bun from Yoyogi-based Tarui Bakery, smothered with sauerkraut.

In case you’re wondering where the name Paddlers Coffee came from, it’s derived from the adage “paddle out” — that is, life, and coffee, should about going with the flow, no? Tokyoites are always in a rush; here’s a chance to slow down and savour the good life and a good cuppa.

幾年前曾在朋友的咖啡館里喝過Stumptown的豆子,
那是朋友的私貨,趁著沒客人時自己偷偷泡來享受,
要不是我們到訪的時間剛好;就錯過了那杯好咖啡。
自那次起,我就對這家來自美國西岸波特蘭的烘豆商留下深刻的印象。
這次到訪東京,知道在西原鄰里區那;
有家叫Paddlers的咖啡館用的是Stumptown豆子后,
便二話不說把她列入了我們的咖啡館名單裡頭。

我們在一個平常工作日的早晨來到Paddlers。
裡頭大量的木質家具加上飽滿的陽光讓人倍感舒適。
而斑駁的石灰天花板,則帶點隨性不修邊幅的感覺。
點了餐點和咖啡后,我們選了後方靠窗的位子,
在這裡可以邊喝咖啡邊瀏覽周遭的景致和人群。
我喜歡這種在遠距離偷偷觀察的感覺;
公用桌那高談闊論的人,神情專注的咖啡師,
在那柔和得帶點夢幻的光線下,這一切仿佛變得有點不真實。
在享用完早餐後,我們再點了兩杯咖啡,并搬到戶外的位子上。
這次我的觀察對象換成了大樹、小花和意外發現的一株草莓。
微涼的秋天里,讓暖洋洋的陽光灑在身上,
手裡再捧著一杯香暖的咖啡,是多麼讓人快樂的一件事啊。
當然,臨走前我也不忘去買了包豆子回來,以慰藉即將重返的上班日子。


Paddlers Coffee
2-26-5 Nishihara Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Open daily (except Wed closed) 7:30am-6pm
+81-3-5738-7281
paddlerscoffee.com

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March 12, 2016

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