Niseko, Kyoto, and Tokyo - Page 4

Talk about your favorite cafes, local barista events, or plan your own get-together.
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LBIespresso (original poster)
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#31: Post by LBIespresso (original poster) »

First leg of my trip, I am in Tokyo and promise to post pics and reviews of the places I have been. So far I have been to Glitch (Ginza), Geshary, and Fulgen. I just need more time to upload pics, plus I have Cokuun tomorrow morning.

But...jet lag and all I have spent my first two mornings 6am to 8am wandering around and trying convenience store (konbini) coffee. All from self serve superautomatics and very dark roast. 7-11 was like a respectable diner coffee from back home, Lawsons was a close second and family mart was a distant third. That said, the quality and breadth of food offerings and convenience stores here is tremendous compared to 7-11 back home and even way better than Wawa and those are fightin words in Jersey and PA.

Weirdly, many coffee shops don't open until 10 or 11AM and stay open waaaay past caffeine time for me. So I was thrilled to see that Fulgen was open at 7am today.

More to come......
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ShotClock
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#32: Post by ShotClock »

Not sure if i mentioned this before, but i really recommend trying a few bakeries. They are incredibly good, although you might end up with a surprise like a bean filled donut... They're often pastry focused, with small amounts of bread available, and sometimes do coffee.

In some ways, I think it's best to just go to the local JR station, and look for a place that's fairly busy. The amazing thing about Japan is not so much how good the very best places are, but rather how good the average place is.

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LBIespresso (original poster)
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#33: Post by LBIespresso (original poster) »

ShotClock wrote:
In some ways, I think it's best to just go to the local JR station, and look for a place that's fairly busy. The amazing thing about Japan is not so much how good the very best places are, but rather how good the average place is.
Excellent observation. I couldn't agree more. And the bakeries are insane. Why isn't everyone here obese and diabetic?
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#34: Post by MNate »

LBIespresso wrote: Weirdly, many coffee shops don't open until 10 or 11AM and stay open waaaay past caffeine time for me. So I was thrilled to see that Fulgen was open at 7am today.
Yeah, the 10a thing really prevented me from trying many places.

Looking forward to hearing about your experiences!

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#35: Post by LBIespresso (original poster) »

First special coffee was at Geshary. This place was pricey but very good. More of a La Cabra feel to it. By far the most info about a roast I have ever gotten in a coffee shop. Note the roast profile on the card and accompanying notes.
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#36: Post by LBIespresso (original poster) »

Fuglen. An Oslo based coffeehouse that has shops in Oslo and Tokyo. This place is amazing. The familiar feeling of an old school coffee shop that becomes a bar in the evening. I apologize for comparing everything to a shop in NYC but this place is, reminiscent of Abraço but they have several locations and are a Nordic style roaster.
They opened at 7am and were around the corner from my hotel. I would have walked a mile or more if I had to.


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#37: Post by LBIespresso (original poster) »

Cokuun: Below is the cocoon type thing we sat inside. There are only 4 seats inside. This is an omakase menu and there are 4 coffee drinks on the menu. The day I went was the first seating of a new menu. They change the menu every 2 months.


Below is what they called a bucket clam and yes that was a part of the first course


the first course (below) had the above clam, yuzu, brown sugar and a dropper full of a coffee concentrate made by flash freezing brewed coffee and then melting it until the ice left is mostly clear.


The next one was more of a coffee coffee brewed with the water used to make sake. We got a taste of the water but my mouth TDS meter wasn't calibrated so all I can say was it was tasty water. This water is unobtanium since the sake brewers guard their water sources and filtration methods and do not sell their water. I can't confirm any of this but it is what we were told. You can also see the menu...coffee stains were a part of the design :D


Back to the molecular gastronomy type coffee. I apologize but my memory is kind of hazy on this one but the coffee was an espresso over a single ice cube and the strawberry foam on top was divine. Japan has hundreds of strawberry varieties. I got to try about 5 different kinds while I was there and they were all so much sweeter than what we get in the US.


some strawberries, vanilla gelato, coffee jelly and mint leaf. An intermezzo if you will.


This next one was my favorite. Japanese cuisine in well versed in umami. Until this experience I thought of umami as glutamate (like msg or the naturally occuring glutamate in tomatoes or some mushrooms etc. I learned that there are 3 types: glutamate inosinate and guanylate. This drink had all three. Glutamate from tomato water and seaweed, inosinate from bonito flakes, and guanylate from porcini mushrooms. It also had juice from a sumo orange, SO (lol single farm) milk from "happy cows that graze" that she reduced the water content in to increase richness and sweetness, and a gently toasted sprig of rosemary. There was no sugar added and this drink was incredibly sweet. Orange creamsicle-esque.






Cokuun was quite the experience and I would highly recommend it. It is for coffee nerds only and I am glad I spared my wife from the 90 minutes of coffee nerd-dom. But if you have the chance to go, you should. Book on the Tablecheck app and book well in advance.
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#38: Post by LBIespresso (original poster) »

Glitch Coffee

Small shop where you wait online outside and order ocne you get in. There are very few seats but the flow of things seems to work well. They have a nice selection of coffee and they encourage you to smell the whole bean vials in the image below to aid in your choice beyond the flavor notes they have. They must have noticed the image of my roaster on my phone screen because they asked if I wanted to have some of the Colombia 2023 COE winner. I said no thanks :lol: :lol: JKJKJK of course I had it!





Latte for my wife. It was excellent. Also, I have seen a lot of the Paragon here. Now I am tempted to get one.
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#39: Post by LBIespresso (original poster) »

Niseko has mostly been the coffee one would expect in a resort town. I'm sure there's good coffee somewhere but the image of the EK in the lobby speaks volumes:
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#40: Post by LBIespresso (original poster) »

On to Kyoto. First stop was Weekenders. One of the very few shops to open early.


There was enough room inside for one person to order coffee and one more waiting to order. This place is tiny. The coffee was amazing and this shop, as small as it was had the most authentic feel of any shop in Kyoto. I felt the same way about this place as I did Fuglen in Tokyo. No nonsense amazing coffee roasted Medium light to light. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED Kurasu but Weekenders and Fuglen are all about serving delicious coffee. Full stop. That is their mission. Kurasu has great gear and is on top of the latest gear and methods and that is awesome. It has its place for me but Weekenders (Kyoto), Fuglen(Tokyo), and Abraço (NYC) are where I would go every day if I didn't brew at home.
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