Quick notes to undertake the exploration of the world of coffee Made in Japan
After the first, timid approaches due to Dutch merchants in the seventeenth century, for more than a hundred years the one between coffee and Japan has clearly been a love story.
After the opening in 1888 of the first venue dedicated to coffee, a plethora of kissaten have decreed its inexorable success and today Japan is the third world importer of coffee and the coffee culture that has developed in the archipelago is one of a kind, to the point that some local inventions, such as the Hario V60, have revolutionized the way the aroma of coffee is extracted and tasted around the world.
A matter of coffee quality, of the tools to work it, but also of a special technique, carefully developed in order to preserve the aroma expressed by the roasted beans and with the usual Japanese passion.
But where to taste a proper coffee around Japan? It’s impossible to define a perfect list in the magma of continuous openings and closures, but we will try to identify some safe harbours, a little at a time, starting from the capital.
Chatei Hatou 1 Chome-15-19 Shibuya, Shibuya City
Tokyo 150-0002, Japan
At first glance it may not seem obvious, but Chatei Hatou is a mecca for drip coffee enthusiasts and attracts baristas from all over the world, intent on observing and studying the meticulous gestures of its founder, Kazuya Tareshima, a recognized celebrity in the field. Hundreds of cups are on display behind the counter and each customer is associated with one, according to his personality and clothing.
Tsuta Coffee 5 Chome-11-20 Minamiaoyama, Minato City
Tokyo 107-0062, Japan
Housed in the former house of the famous architect Mamoru Yamada, designer of the Tokyo Budokan and the Kyoto Tower, this amazing café overlooks a wonderful secret garden: an oasis of tranquility and beauty where you can sip a fabulous coffee.
Meikyoku Kissa Lion
Meikyoku Kissa Lion 2 Chome-19-13 Dogenzaka, Shibuya City
Tokyo 150-0043, Japan
Meikyoku Kissa Lion has been watching over Shibuya since 1926, when - as they say - it was nothing but fields.
Crossing the threshold, it’s like traveling back in time.
You don't come to chat, but to enjoy a robust coffee accompanied by the powerful classical notes emitted by monumental speakers, which flood the place every afternoon. An experience simply impossible elsewhere.