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Coffee in Japan

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  • Coffee in Japan

    Japan can be challenging for the coffee snob, no question about that. One way of coping is to suspend your palate and enjoy the cultural experience of vending machines and 7-11s for the milky sugary brown treats within.

    I happily stumbled across The Basset Store (Paul Bassets joint) in Shinjuku, which is down a wee way from the Hilton. It was excitingly shocking to find they are roasting on premises and the Japanese baristas have their technique down pat - more macninic than flamboyant, but it was a really good coffee, they also sell green beans and all roasted coffee is tagged and bagged for consumer freshness.

    The last trip I made over I noticed a lot more machines and grinders in cafes, rather than automatic all in one Saeco style hell, so hopefully as the palates develop so will the offerings.

  • #2
    Re: Coffee in Japan

    so the PB store is just down from the Hilton? Bugger! Thats where I usually stay in Shinjuku so I must have looked in the wrong place or something.

    When I was there last the suggestion was to look out for Vac Pot bars, but I couldnt see one anywhere. I know they exist, just never found one.

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    • #3
      Re: Coffee in Japan

      Weve just come back from a skiing holiday at a place called Shigakogen, which is near Nagano in the Central Mountains. The Saeco automatics are the only coffee machines that I could find up there and the coffee was really bad.

      Could be an opening for a boutique roaster I reackon. Just have to compete with the lovely hot chocolates.

      Cheers

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      • #4
        Re: Coffee in Japan

        Any one been to Tokyo lately. Heading over end of July and while I will enjoy the super autos has any one come across anything else more recently?

        Cheers Chris.

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        • #5
          Re: Coffee in Japan

          speak to Yeeza - he did a LOT of shopping

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          • #6
            Re: Coffee in Japan

            Yeah thanks Ben I have sent a PM to him but he must be busy (or ignoring me) ;D

            Chris

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            • #7
              Re: Coffee in Japan

              Im heading over at the end of the year, and Ill make sure to pop into Pauls store.
              but theres another in tokyo that has taken my attention..
              Streamer Coffee, Shibuya, Tokyo. (GIYF)
              From the website, it looks like an alright spot for a cuppa, and well, it must be .. Gwilym Davies has been hanging out there lately.

              Bit OT, but ..
              Originally posted by 033B3A3F1E3230530 link=1224039526/2#2 date=1233223154
              skiing holiday at a place called Shigakogen
              the autospro might be horrible, but its the best skiing destination in Japan , my fav.

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              • #8
                Re: Coffee in Japan

                Bit of a grave dig, but theres a little place called Bear Pond that is more than worth the detour - its only a few minutes out of shibuya (i think). a handful of very special signature drinks and a nice quiet atmosphere.

                http://www.bear-pond.com/

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                • #9
                  Re: Coffee in Japan

                  Heres a great link to most of the better coffee bars there. Fuglen out of Oslo are opening up there soon too.
                  http://www.timeout.jp/en/tokyo/feature/4934/Tokyos-best-coffee-shops
                  I get to Tokyo pretty often to go to SCAJ and general coffee play.

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                  • #10
                    I second Bear Pond, went there today, it's 2 stops on the train from Shinjuku, not far at all.

                    Make sure the owner is working before going, the espresso is incredible, but only he serves the espresso shots, others can make Macchiato, Lattes.

                    He's opened another store in Shibuya, Bear Pond No 8. I haven't got there yet, but no espresso is served as he doesn't work at that store, just Latte, Macchiato, etc.

                    Paul Bassett's place is also pretty great.

                    I picked up a Hario V60 and ceramic grinder while here too, have a go at pourover when I get home.

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                    • #11
                      Bear Pond No 8 was great too. Had a Macchiato and single origin pourover. The place was more wife friendly, they do western style food and soft drinks.

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                      • #12
                        I'm heading over to Japan in January next year to do a spot of skiing with the family, at this stage we're looking at Hakuba. Does anyone have any recommendations for that area?
                        Many thanks,
                        Steve.

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                        • #13
                          We were earlier this year to Hakuba, great for skiing but didn't stumble on any decent coffee places. They seem few and far between in Japan.

                          Cheers

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                          • #14
                            Coffee in Japan

                            Hakuba is great, but I don't think I saw an espresso machine the whole time.

                            As an earlier poster said - it's japan, get into the spirit and try the vending machine coffee in the little cans.

                            The ones with a red button are hot and the blue button ones are served cold. Yes, from the same machine.


                            I seem to recall Black Boss was one of the better brands.

                            And while japan is not known for coffee, the local beer on tap is fantastic, as are some of their whiskies.

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                            • #15
                              Yep the food is amazing and the vending machines can provide a lucky dip of beverage/food when its all in Japanese and the pics don't really tell the story. Makes it all more fun!!

                              On another note, seemed like hakuba has more aussies than locals.

                              Cheers

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