Brewed to per­fec­tion

Is fas­ci­nated by Tokyo’s thriv­ing cof­fee cul­ture, where each shop of­fers a unique and dis­tinc­tive per­fect brew

New Straits Times - - Jom! -

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.

4. ABOUT

DOGENZAKA

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!

LIFE

COF­FEE

BREW­ERS,

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

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