All posts filed under: Coffee

London Coffee Festival with Shinsaku Fukayama

Londoners had a chance to get over-caffeinated once again in the annual London Coffee Festival which is the largest of its kind in the world. It celebrates coffee culture by gathering the best baristas and hosting coffee shops from all around the Europe under one roof. The festival invites customers to learn about the basics of cupping, how to roast, brew at home or pour a beautiful latte art. It has also featured major demonstrations from world-class baristas and latte art masterclasses. Coming all the way from Australia, Shinsaku “Shin” Fukayama is one of the most anticipated guests in this year’s London Coffee Festival. His journey in coffee industry has started four years ago in St Ali, one of the most famous specialty coffee shops in Australia, and by now he is known as a World Latte Art Champion. Shin rushed to London straight after Australian Latte Art Championship where he took the second place. In Latte Art Live shows, Shin amazed crowds by free-pouring his original latte designs – a monkey, an astronaut and …

Tiny Wonders of Coffee in Tokyo

In between Tokyo’s mile-high skyscrapers, a million passengers pass through every day without recognising each other. This extremely fast pace slows down in coffee shops, the smaller the better. A coffee shop with no more than three stools doesn’t invite you for lingering but rather for a short personal experience. Facing a barista and a fellow caffeine-thirsty customer surely loosens up the atmosphere and leaves you randomly chatting about what brings you here. This time I am settling down in tiny coffee shops with serious-minded coffee makers. … COFFEE AND ICE CREAM | Little Nap Coffee Stand On the back side of Yoyogi park, Little Nap Coffee Stand is not easy to find but people make their way to this side of Tokyo just to sip its coffee. Having featured in many publications, this coffee shop is a popular destination for tourists, both Japanese and foreigners. Little Nap Coffee Stand is run by Daisuke Hamada and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that he is one of the most recognised baristas in Tokyo. Hamada is involved in every aspect of running a …

Slowing Down the Pace – Minka Cafe

First-time travellers to Japan usually choose Kamakura, the small version of Kyoto, just one hour away by train from Tokyo centre. Traditional century-aged Zen temples, the Great Buddha statue and Edo period small alleys every year attract thousands of tourists to the city. But those who search for the true roots of Zen in the former de facto capital find themselves in the West part of the town, Kita-Kamakura. Despite being a home to three of the five highest-ranking Zen temples, this part of the town dwells with tranquility without a trace of mass tourism. *** While you would easily find the way to temples here without a map, Minka Cafe is hidden like a well-kept secret in Kamakura’s greenery. In Japanese, a word Minka describes the type of traditional Japanese house building style which could still be found in the countryside. Yet Kita-Kamakura’s Minka represents a literal meaning of the term – houses of the people – which kindly accommodates anyone who steps inside.     The place fills up with customers very quickly as soon as it opens. Usually locals or nearby-living moms with toddlers settle for a conversation and …

Most Impressive Cafe Designs – Tokyo

I have always described Japan as a country of perfection, from manners to dedication. Visiting Tokyo for the third time, I was not surprised to encounter extraordinary hospitality and a sacred-like coffee preparation. While quality was exceptional in most of the cafes, I was rather deeply moved by the creativity and the design of some coffee shops I came across. Whereas coffee quality is the top priority, cafes in Tokyo go one step further to improve customers’ experience. Japanese minimalistic architecture mixed with Western influences inspired designers and coffee lovers to transform industrial and residential space into impressive designs. This time I focus on eye-catching café designs in Tokyo. Here’s the top five. KI CAFE Hidden one station away from Shimokitazawa, a commercial and entertainment district in Setagaya, Ki Café invites Tokyoites to run away from the crowd to a mesmerizing white forest. Ki Café is a true fusion of modernism and minimalism somewhere in between zen philosophy and urban city. No surprise that this little coffee shop has made to top 10 best designed …

A Shot of Summer — Iki Espresso

  Following the Aussie coffee culture, Iki espresso serves generous cups of excellent coffee in the centre of Chigasaki. This coffee stand is a successor of Allpress that is originally based in New Zealand, where coffee culture is said to be one of the best in the world. Allpress roasters opened their mega successful stores in cities such as London and Melbourne and very recently they expanded with a branch in Tokyo. Iki espresso embodies the idea of coffee stand with a look of abandoned coffee warehouse. Minimalistic concrete interior, a great collection of Kinfolk magazines and Off Season newspapers make you feel like out of Japan. No need to say about coffee as Allpress roaster is already acknowledged and loved by millions of people around the world. With the help of La Marzocco, Allpress roasted beans and creamy milk, Iki Espresso latte will never be enough. The coffee shop has been opened for more than two years and recently they have got something exciting behind the counter. Rapidly gaining popularity among Tokyo trendy coffee shops, coffee tonic is said to …

Discovering Beauty in White Forest

In this simple, pure space a guest can savour his coffee and let his mind flow in tranquility. The minimalism culture that had been nurtured in Japan since ancient times has adapted modern influences in Tokyo. Ki Café is a true fusion of modernism and minimalism somewhere in between zen philosophy and urban city. Hidden one station away from Shimokitazawa, a commercial and entertainment district in Setagaya, Ki Café invites Tokyoites to run away from crowd to a mesmerizing white forest. Ki (木) means ‘tree’ in Japanese and details of it can be seen around the shop. While most of the design magazines describe Ki as cafe with an abstract tree theme, it is much more than that. According to the owner, Yuko, the main inspiration is ‘white’, which spreads tranquility and at the same time invites to reach a mental state of no-mind (無心). At the entrance, you will be asked to take off your shoes as if you enter a sacred space. There is no music in the background. No excessive details either. …

Rejoice in the Land of Purist Coffee: Lanark Coffee

  London’s coffee purists stick to simple little spots that fully concentrate on quality in the cup. Lanark is one of those cafes with the shortest menus ever: espresso, espresso with milk or filter. It is a perfect spot to hide from hustle and bustle of Columbian Road and Broadway Market as its minimalist design and simple menu help guests to turn their attention to the complexity of specialty coffee.     True coffee guru would know Greg Boyce’s coffee-making abilities from Alchemy and Black Box. Lanark Coffee is his new coffee venture launched in 2014. Greg does not settle with one kind of beans but you can fully rely on his selected coffee from top micro-roasters. At the time of my arrival, behind the counter Greg has got beautiful Rwandan roast from Alchemy and East London’s Dark Arts Coffee waiting for its turn. Lanark is a coffee bar with its particular pure coffee approach: no soya milk or tea options here and sugar is available only on request. A tiny coffee bar inside is …

Meet me under the arch: Concierge Coffee

The only sign that you finally reached that famous window which sells excellent coffee is interesting logo on forest green background. Before you reach the backyard on Paul-Lincke-Ufer, you might walk a few times forwards and backwards to find Concierge, as pre-caffeinated body would easily miss the hidden petite café. Advice — no need for maps, just follow the roasty aroma. A logo is different from other coffee shops in Berlin. It looks more strict and serious. Baristas seem to have a gentlemen kind of vibe but the atmosphere itself is laid-back. However, after spending five minutes in this coffee shop, one cannot help but notice that Concierge is the place full of pride. It is Berliners’ pride of delicious coffee and owners’ pride of being independent baristas. While most Berlin’s baristas are extremely kind and heart-warming, Concierge shows a bit cool and arrogant side of baristas. But who wouldn’t have pride in serving one of the best coffees in Berlin? This arrogance is easily forgiven here. 15sqm hut is tiny with just a few …

Berlin’s True Coffee Heroes

Cursive letters that reads, Bonanza Coffee Heroes, on the greyish blue painted walls could be easily mistaken for a stylish boutique. Its minimal, yet stylish interior and exterior attract one’s eye, but the smell of freshly brewed coffee makes every passersby of Oderberger Straße a coffee addict. While for most foreigners the Barn’s name associates with the third wave coffee in Berlin, in fact, Kiduk Reus and Yumi Choi, baristas behind Bonanza, were the first to bring the legendary coffee movement to Berlin. This original roaster has been setting standards in the German capital for almost a decade and its coffee beans can be found in many coffee shops in Berlin. The inspiration behind Bonanza is London and one of the first specialty coffee shops, Monmouth Coffee Company. Monmouth is well known internationally for its approach to roasting coffee from single farms and directly trading coffee beans. While nowadays we can easily find specialty coffee shops on almost every corner, before the mid-2000s it would be a hard task to find a good cup in …

Kreuzberg’s gem – Companion Coffee

Third wave coffee companies over the last decade have been occupying mixed-use spaces, ranging from barbershops to libraries. That way specialty coffee has become in the centre of community, finding its home in unexpected locations. Companion Coffee, brought by Shawn Barber and Chris Onton, settled in East Central part of Berlin and operates in association with trendy clothing boutique, known as ‘Voo Store’. It is a tiny space for a coffee shop. However, as the café space is extended with a spacious concept store, it creates different types of casual seating. Some sipping coffee on stairs, some sitting on stools, others reading magazines at the concrete tables. There are a few natural layers and all of them present different perspectives and different experiences. The walls and ceiling are roughly whitewashed; the atmosphere is casual, yet trendy. A contrast between concrete and vivid green plants gives an impression of an urban jungle. A bath in the corner of Companion Coffee brings back memories of funky Kyoto Hanjiro shop, where not only bathtubs but also sinks are blooming …

Coffee ‘The Barn’ Way

The best-known coffee mecca in Berlin is undoubtedly The Barn. This coffee shop effectively spreads the knowledge of specialty coffee and educates the new generation of coffee connoisseurs. There is no room for a laptop or toddlers. The space of The Barn is designed to indulge in coffee and face-to-face communication. … First opened in 2010 in Mitte’s Auguststraße, this coffee company has significantly expanded in 2012 with its new coffee shop and on-site roastery in 2012. The owner, Ralph Ruller and his company has become in recent years a reliable roast supplier, as Barn’s coffee beans are more and more common to see around the city, as well as outside of Berlin. I settled in cozy and spacious Barn café in Prenzlauer Berg and I was struck by the baristas’ enthusiasm to their coffee brew. Youthful staff in plaid shirts is always passionate to advise you and help you to find a cup of coffee that is suitable for your taste buds. While the space feels a bit like an abandoned warehouse, The Barn …

Curators of Coffee, Art and Flawless Design

A small group of Antipodeans has gathered together for another coffee venture, where design infused with art of coffee brings space for local artists and coffee aficionados. Opened in 2014 summer, ‘Currators Coffee’ has been ‘loud’ since then. Blessed be Fitzrovia for its best selection of coffee shops in London and ‘Curators Coffee’ has absolutely deserved to be on this list. The Curators Coffee design fueled with creativity and innovation has brought two beautiful spaces to the City. However, Curators Gallery is the one that gets the most attention for its unique concept and flawless design. An airy space devided into ground floor and basement was designed by interior designer and stylist Ana Foster-Adams. A former clothing store on Margeret Street has been retransformed into a modern cafe and gallery space.  A design of careful thought and detail is the perfect environment for local art to be displayed and admired. Apart from artistic canvas, another form of art that is taken for granted in Curators Gallery is the art of coffee. Either coffee extracted by La Marzocco Strada or one of the neatly rowed Chemex, …

Obsessive Tim Williams’ Quest for a ‘Decent’ Coffee

A decade ago London’s perception of coffee as a ‘dark fluid’ was revolutionized with arrival of Aussies and their serious approach to our daily caffeine fix. A rapid growth of independent coffee shops in recent years has proved that Londoners have become pickier about their ‘cup of joe’. I am meeting Australian-born Tim Williams, a director of Workshop, who has been personally involved in reshaping London’s coffee culture, to discuss a current state and the future of coffee. Just before a midmorning coffee break only a few loners are sipping their espressos in Clerkenwell-based Workshop coffee house. Friendly-looking Tim offers me a cup of coffee and the smell of brew fills the air. “The coffee culture that we have is the result of number of influences but the Australians’ one is undeniable,” says Tim Williams, one of the most influential people in London coffee business. After getting experience in excellent coffee establishments in Melbourne, in 2006 Tim moved to London and joined Aussie-inspired Flat White team in Soho. Also known as a ‘director of coffee’, …

Let Coffee Speak to You

Talkhouse Coffee has attracted some serious coffee gents and ladies for a chat at the top of famous Portobello Road. Most of them happen to drink 5 oz latte or one of the elegantly served teas. The beans are sourced from James Gourmet, Workshop, Tate and Square Mile. After grinding, coffee is precisely measured on a scale (every gram matters!) This small detail reveals the level of attention and skill in the preparation of their espresso and Aeropress filter drinks. Lattes are exceptionally beautiful as barista is a prize-winner in the World Latte Art Championship.

Coffee For Passion in ‘The Borough Barista’

Nestling in an unexpected location behind Marble Arch station, The Borough Barista makes local hearts explode with happiness of artisan coffee. Fashionable chicks and elegant ladies, young lads and businessmen: all quietly sitting in front of the window and sipping locally roasted caffeinated goodness. It proves me again – coffee unites generations. Only good coffee, of course. … The Borough Barista on Seymour Street occupies the corner of red-brick building and beautifully stands out of the crowd with blueish gray painted walls and intriguing vivid yellow front doors. The sign board saying ‘Coffee For Passion’ lets the whole borough know that this is the place for a ‘decent’ cup of java. This corner coffee shop, surrounded by many bland cafe chains in Oxford Street and Edgware Road, stands proudly and boldly in the corrupt sands of commerce. As soon as you walk in, cheerful barista greets you and this small detail reveals that you are more than ‘just another customer waiting in a queue’. It is always a big pleasure to try locally roasted coffee beans. Without waiting any longer, I order …

Best Shonan Coffee Stands (コーヒースタンド)

Take-and-go or stay for a while. Coffee stands are extremely popular in busy Tokyo where the pace of life is so fast. However, Shonan is quite newly adopting this idea of coffee shops as beach side folks are much more laid-back. Coffee stands in Shonan differ from urban city ones; they are much more slower and personal. Scroll down for the list of the greatest 5 coffee stands around the coast. 1. 27 Coffee Roasters (27コーヒーロースターズ) Coffee stand + Roasting works + Espresso lab. It is not cramped like usual coffee shops. 27 Coffee Roasters is spacious enough to wander around freely, check magazines, coffee goods and try coffee itself. There are 14 kinds of coffee beans displayed in 3 stages: raw green beans, already roasted and brewed coffee. Feel free to try them! For latte/cappuccino they use fruity Columbia Omar Collazos that is said to be the best coffee match with milk. 27 Coffee Roasters espresso+milk is really extraordinary; sweet, creamy, but at the same time very light and ‘noncommittal’. As for seating, there are 7 seats outside …

When West Comes Calling

Finally, Aussies with their world-famous coffee obsession started taking over West London. Hidden under a concrete flyover and local offices, Antipode is a real ray of sunshine for locals in the coffee wasteland of Hammersmith. … If there is a lack of shops serving a ‘decent’ cup of coffee in your local area, then create one. Seems that the owner of Antipode exactly followed this rule, giving joy to locals by bringing third wave coffee into an area. Thanks to never resting Aussies spreading their serious approach to coffee, West Londoners are a little bit more relieved for having unrivalled cup of joe on their doorstep. Opened for less than a year, Antipode is a relatively new coffee shop with fresh ideas, how West London coffee culture should look like. A cafe has already regular clientele as well as a queue on peak hours full of caffeine hungry local office workers. Striking 80% of customers are Kiwis and Aussies missing their Antipodean atmosphere and getting a big piece of it next to Hammersmith station. On the counter they proudly serve …

Let Yourself Be Drawn by Coffee in New York

The touch of a raw paper slipping through your fingers with beautifully laid out photos and insightful writing is an experience that proves “Print Will Never Die”. Coffee culture has been ignored by magazines and appeared only in a few feature sections across world-wide publications. Finally, our daily ‘dark fluid’ is celebrated with the arrival of fresh globally-orientated DRIFT magazine.

Coffee with a Big Splash of Kindness

As I come in at 2 o’clock it starts to get busy for an afternoon coffee, I suppose. A lovely elderly couple enters the Antishop café in identical colourful clothes. Adel, the owner, greets them, gives a hug, and serves a croissant and a double espresso at the end. The couple is not too much talkative, but there is no need as honest smiles on their faces speak for themselves. Before leaving, a gentleman compliments Adel: “This is the best coffee ever”. Later the shop owner reveals that they have been coming to his café every day since it had been opened. Situated on the famous Brick Lane Road, The Antishop spreads anti-commercial love with its coffee and generosity.

The Sound of 50s

When you first hear the name of coffee shop like LC-1A, it does not stuck to your memory straight away. The mystical letters and numbers do not give you a clue what it is all about. You make a guess, such as LC-1A might stand for ‘Love Coffee – First Aspiration’ but actually you have no clue. It is much more simple than that and this complicated name is a coffee master’s big life passion – vintage speakers.

Home, Atelier, Cafe ー a space for inspiration

“It is rather the building fits our lifestyle than we fit the building.” – with this kind of approach Takeuchi family designed a space where they can live every day with happiness and inspiration. The aesthetic world of two people are not shut between white walls. They are a big part of community through a cup of morning coffee and a love for art. The space is a combination of studio, cafe, living space and even museum, which they recall as ‘Museum of Art’.