All posts tagged: coffee shop

Charmingly Retro Cafés in Portugal

You don’t have to go far to find vintage hotspots while in Portugal. Lisbon is a perfect example of timeless Portuguese charm. Just strolling along the narrow cobbled streets in the Old Quarter is a feast for the eyes. Make sure to get on wooden trams or iron funiculars in bold yellow that go up and down the city’s many hills – they are over 100 years old and possibly the most picturesque in Europe. Take tram no. 28 to Alfama and find yourself in a nostalgic village within a city with streets surrounded by brightly painted houses, azure tiles and tangled stairways. While travelling to Lisbon and Porto, I had a quest to find coffee shops with hipster retro-design and nostalgic atmosphere.

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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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …