it was a bit of a mission of mine that one day in tokyo i would try to
find a little coffee shop called omotesando koffee.
armed with a hand drawn map and having left my umbrella in the tiny
coffee joint near loopwheeler, i met up with yudai, my translator and
we traipsed through the tiny back streets of harajuku and omotosando
in the pouring rain. it was dark and cold too ( not that i'm moaning )
after a little while i spotted it
of omotesando don't have names. it's almost like the shop is just off a pavement
and is in somebody's back garden.
unfortunately i couldn't take a shot of the whole place and show how you
approach it because it was pouring down with rain and it was quite dark too.
i would best describe it as being like a shed at the back of a house.
the whole place is shaped like a cube and most things in there are cube shaped too.
or maybe i should say it's all straight lines and everything looks like it clips together,
you know, like it's a quick assembly thing.
here's a shot i took from just outside.
there's a metal cubed frame inside the wooden shed and the counter is also made from
cubed sections of wood
there's a sign inside the place, ( which i kept cracking my head on )
here's the menu
once again there's the cube theme running through the place
with the drinks being divided up into squares and the paper being held
down by a glass cube paperweight
there was a little display by the one ( square ) window in the place
only one type of snack was available to go with your coffee
i think they are called toasted custard cubes ( repetition of the word 'cube' i know )
no word of a lie, it was the best thing i've ever eaten with a coffee
the cake is served up in a paper coffee filter by the way
the filters also act as business cards and have a map on the back
here's another look at what i seriously reckon was one of the best flat whites
i've ever had
which he said was very nice indeed.
yudai asked the owner if it was ok for me to take photos and also asked
a few questions about omotosando koffee.
while he was scuttling around making more coffees for us
it turns out that the whole place is indeed a sort of build-it-yourself unit.
supposedly it can easily be taken to pieces and driven over to say a park
or another venue and easily set-up again. a pop-up coffee shop if you like.
while we were there another two small groups came and went. both groups faces
lit up when they stepped into the place. also they both had a hand-drawn map each...
it was as if everybody is on a quest to find the place.
watching eichii work was very interesting. it was like he was a performer
on a stage... or perhaps it was like watching a scientist at work in a laboratory ?
a very slickly run joint.
all the time he was working with the machine, the milk and the coffee,
he chatted away to yudai, who in turn translated for me.
but only on a 12 month lease. then when it was almost time for him to pack up,
there was an outcry from the locals who convinced the landlord to give him another
year ( at least ) to operate here.
he told us that the magazine 'monocle' did a feature on the place
and that did wonders for business from tourists.
if you check on the internet there is definitely a buzz about this place.
if you like coffee and you're in tokyo you just have to search it out.
here are a few of the many pics i took while sheltering from the cold and rain
and sipping away at my flat white.
sorting the milk out, judging it by sight
watching closely as the coffee drips into the cups
this is when eichii was making us our second drinks
there was definitely a feeling that eichii was a bit of a coffee scientist.
maybe that's the wrong word... what i mean is, he took so much care making our
coffees. it was a very precise thing. they probably took longer to make than any coffee
i've had before but watching him you could see the reason was that he
was taking so much care about making the drinks was that he was actually very
passionate about coffee and his business... taking pride in his work.
i know i'm taking too long to tell you about this place.
too many photos, too many words...
but it really was something very, very special to be in this magical little cube
standing in the warmth while outside was cold, dark and wet.
watching a master at work making the best coffee i can recall drinking
as you'd expect, even his lab coat was pretty stylish
with just a simple square stitched onto it
here's my second flat-white
and here's a shot of the happy barista
i think he was smiling because i spoke no japanese and just kept giving
him the 'thumbs up' sign as i jabbered away in english at him.
one last portrait
i was very sad to leave omotesando coffee,
but very glad i'd found it.
bye bye eichii-san
if you do a google search for 'omotesando koffee' you will find quite a few
articles and blog posts about it. some have photos of the exterior and some have
more in depth details about the place.
i'd like to say that none have photos quite as good as mine but maybe i'm
just searching for a compliment here ?
anyway, trust me... if you're ever in tokyo, find this place.
maybe ask me and i'll draw you a map !