Glitch Coffee & Roasters: Jimbocho

We enter the coffee shop on a rainy day, glad to escape the weather. We leave the behind us the dusty bookstores, crammed floor to ceiling with old and used books. We leave behind the aging noodle shops and the shower-slicked streets of Jimbocho. Here at Glitch Coffee & Roasters is an entire world hidden away yet very much part of the neighbourhood its owner, 2014 Japan AeroPress Champion Kiyokazu Suzuki, has chosen. This space isn’t meant to be busy or fashionable; quite the opposite….Continue Reading “Glitch Coffee Jimbocho, Tokyo”

Tokyo is one of our favourite cities in the world for simply wandering around and intentionally getting lost. For it’s hard to truly be lost when you don’t have a definite destination in mind, is it? Every place is a new discovery; every person you meet a fresh opportunity to connect. Everything is an experience. And so it was one day, after lunch in Omotesando, when we were strolling in the back streets of Shibuya when we came upon quite a sight smack in between…Continue Reading “The Airstream Garden, Tokyo”

This is the fourth in a series of city-specific café-hopping guides around the world, based on our articles in Sunday Mail’s Crave magazine.

The Japanese love their coffee. From traditional kissatens (coffee shops), dimly lit and smoke-filled, to giant American coffee chains, there’s a café around every corner. These days young Tokyoites frequent indie coffee shops that roast and brew their own beans — with a menu of espressos, cappuccinos, single origin brews and iced coffees.

The coffee scene in Tokyo is electrifying: How about a tavern that serves coffee in fine china teacups; or an artisanal café that only serves black coffee brewed using a flannel from aged beans; or some of the best latte art in the world?

Tokyo has everything a café hopper could ask for. Take a sip, enjoy your brew, taste the difference.

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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).

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Looking for a blast of Nordic cool in Tokyo? Hailing from Oslo, Fuglen (which means “the bird” in Norwegian) is a stylish blend of coffee bar by day and a cocktail bar by night. Located in a small alley near Yoyogi Park, Fuglen Tokyo is decorated with vintage furniture – every piece is for sale!

Night owls may wish to drop by in the evenings for the cocktail menu developed by champion bartender Halvor Digernes and the unusual mix of both Japanese and Norwegian craft beers. (Digernes is the co-owner of Fuglen, together with vintage design expert Einar Kleppe Holthe and Peppe Trulsen, who runs one of the oldest coffee companies in Oslo, Stockfleths.)

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