Brewed to perfection
Is fascinated by Tokyo’s thriving coffee culture, where each shop offers a unique and distinctive perfect brew
1. UNLIMITED COFFEE BAR, SUMIDA Located under the shadow of Tokyo Skytree, this specialty coffee-shop is a bit removed from the clusters of other specialty coffee shops in the city. But that only works in its favour, for coffee enthusiasts wouldn’t have minded going out of their way to have a cup of single origin coffee prepared by its competitionwinning barista!
It doesn’t just serve coffee though but also roasts their own beans and conducts training to aspiring barista and roasters at its lab on the second floor of the premises.
The interior design of the shop is minimalism at its best. I love the tile pattern on the counter as much as I am deeply impressed by Unlimited’s impeccable customer service!
2. VERVE COFFEE, SHINJUKU STATION Verve may make the busiest-in-theworld Shinjuku station its home but by no means having coffee here is an orderand-take-away affair.
The interior -mostly monochrome with dusty gold finishing - creates a cosy atmosphere that invites guests to linger around long after their cups are drained.
Popular among the young, coffee selections are aplenty. Apart from single origin coffee, it also offers various blend options, similar to those from the original store in Santa Cruz, California.
3. LIGHT UP COFFEE, KICHIJOJI
There are two reasons why you should go to Kichijoji, a suburban just outside Tokyo metropolitan area. One is Museum Ghibli (yes, of the famous animation production house!) and two: Light Up Coffee.
The interior of this soft-blue-and-white little coffee-shop may have a low ceiling but the standard of its coffee is high.
So apart from serving the local clientele, it attracts coffee lovers from Japan and also abroad. Not to mention that there’s a charm to its almost industrial-like decoration and wooden steps leading to the entrance.
Dogenzaka is a part of Shibuya that I wish I didn’t know (it’s a long story), except for this little coffee kiosk.
Literally a hole in the wall at one of Dogenzaka’s narrow alleys, About Life is a coffee shop with a character.
Serving both drip and espresso-based coffee from notable roasters around town, it’s a meeting point for the local and foreign young and trendy crowd synonymous with the vibe of Shibuya.
I love the standing-only dining area for its clever use of space. The same goes to the on-the-wall bike racks!
5. FUGLEN, SHIBUYA
In Fuglen, one cannot help feeling as if one is transported to Oslo, Norway, where the coffee-shop originates from.
The interior is filled with Scandinavian vintage furniture and light wood finishing, while its clientele is very international. The coffee selection is also true to the Nordic approach: the beans are all lightly-roasted to bring out the fruity, clean flavours.
Cosily nestled in a calm enclave just