Taylor here. Based in Shanghai workin’ on a few coffee projects this year, I took advantage of my proximity to Japan and hopped over for a bit of touring. My trip wasn’t necessarily coffee focused, but it’s hard to avoid. Japan is a special place for coffee lovers (assuming you don’t need espresso everyday), and included are a few pics of what I came across.
Highlights of the trip were:
– Stumbling upon Nao Coffee in a Kyoto alleyway, Aneyakoji Dori, just east of Kawaramachi Dori. True minimalist Japanese design and a perfect cup of light roast Bolivia off a Kalita dripper. I wish my photography skills were better, so I could give a fair shake to the space’s design. According to the cafe owner, it was designed by Tetsu Kijima Architecture Office, Kyoto.
– Finding Union Coffee in Kappabashi Market (Tokyo’s restaurant supply street) – the ultimate coffee gear website, stocking most every type of coffee tool imaginable. Not a ton of espresso items, but it’s like Disneyland for alternative brewing junkies. They also have a roaster across the street, selling green and roasted beans. I spent 2 hours at Union and have no idea how I’m going to carry all this stuff back to New York.
– Old school coffee diners and signage all over the place. It’s like Japan’s version of American 70s and 80s diners but with way better coffee, single-cup drippers, and siphons
– Seeing old ladies buying their weekly specialty beans in the coffee sections of many mall basement food courts. These food courts are like Harrod’s but with more unique products. Just cuz it’s Japan.
– Enjoying a cappuccino from Tokyo’s Little Nap Coffee Stand. A nice break from drip coffee.