Coffee in Tokyo
Compared to food, coffee in Tokyo can be quite pricey but we were determined to experience as much as possible. I certainly had more iced coffees here than possibly I've had in my whole coffee drinking life!
With the amount of amazing bakeries around, we quickly got into the habit of grabbing some for breakfast the night before. We enjoyed our first coffee of the day with them while watching the day unfold outside our hotel window.
We'd prioritise the locally owned although annoyingly two were closed on a Monday in the same area after we'd walked a long way from the station to them! Otherwise, the local chain Excelsior were excellent each time we came across one. At one branch, we were able to help ourselves to a reserve sign to save a table before buying a coffee. It makes complete sense.
Another chain I was delighted to come across was my New York favourite, Dean & Deluca. How it is here and not in ex-pat heavy Hong Kong I didn't bother to research, but I nearly fell to my knees when i saw it listed at the train station we first arrived in from the airport. It was my place for vanilla chai in NYC and I had to bring a mug home to replace the one that broke from my move back from New York in 2009, even though it cost so much more. And I bought my 'snack bag' from here. Ladies in Tokyo carry their dainty handbag or a smart laptop bag and a separate one for Benito boxes and I just got hooked on that idea. You can fold it away afterwards.
We also really loved Glitch and I paid the most I've spent on a mug! The little bag of coffee beans were off the scale too (the two came in at over £20). I remember the places that have staff who like to talk coffee and just want you to experience what they love. And so we visited Nozy (main photo) although I think we were so overwhelmed by the experience we didn't buy any to bring home! Extra points for this place as it was close the Happy Socks shop.
Nozy was pretty large and full on a Sunday afternoon. Others such as Yanaka Coffee in Taito are a little whole in the wall. Here most of the space taken up by their roasting machine. They gave us a free little taster here, so we just had to bring some beans back from here too.
Another tiny one is Streamer where I elected for a cold one. They had a spiral staircase going up to two tiny floors, each the size of my bathroom. Perfect to watch life go on in the street below. About Life Coffee, one of our first stops offered takeout only but we managed to utilise their tiny perch outside. Another cold brew was enjoyed late in the trip in Lattest which seemed to be in a great neighbourhood.
Blue Bottle Coffee is around around the corner from Verve Coffee in a shopping/train station complex close to one of my Dean & Deluca's. Like many others, it's open late into the evening. We popped into Gorilla Coffee just because of the name and it turned out to be American owned, full of suits in meetings and could have been anywhere in the world, but still pretty nice.
And then there was the Dog Cafe found by chance when we were on our way to explore the Minato district. Obviously we went to see the dogs rather than experience coffee but we did eat, mainly to prolong the visit.
Finally a mention to one of our saviours, Kappabashi Coffee. It was another muggy day and the tourist guides sent us to this Kitchen Town which was a lot less fascinating than I had hoped and the road a lot longer that we imagined. Kappabashi therefore, was a sight for sore feet and delightfully, it had table service so our feet were immediately impressed.