Omotesando Koffee House
Going for a coffee at Omotesando Koffee House is like experiencing a Japanese tea ceremony, only with coffee instead. But like at Japanese tea ceremonies there is one essential thing you need to bring along: time. So if you are in a rush and just need a quick caffeine fix on the go, grab a coffee at Starbucks.
Because time is something you need even just to find Omotesando Koffee house. Hidden in the backstreets of Omotesando, there is no sign leading you to the small, two-story, low-key building. On the ground floor, in a nine square meter box, owner and barista Eiichi Kunitomo himself prepares the coffee behind the counter. The minimalist interior is a mixture between tea house and street kiosk, with all the furniture made of wood.
Once you find it, get in the queue, be patient (and yes, prepare to wait even if there are just a couple of customers in front of you), and watch: most probably you have never seen anyone preparing your coffee with such calmness and passion as Kunitomo. He will first welcome you with a big smile, take your order, prepare your coffee—which is more crafted than made—and then put all the ingredients carefully back. Milk and cream go back to the fridge even though they are likely to be needed for the following customer, because at Omotesando Koffee every item has its place. And then, before Kunitomo serves you the coffee, he gives you another big smile and wishes you a great day.
At the latest now you will find out that it was worth the wait: the coffee is delicious. Choose from espresso (¥250), cappuccino (¥430) or espresso macchiato (¥350)—hot or iced—if you want to go traditional. Or indulge yourself with an iced mochaccino (¥660 yen) with chocolate sauce and cream topping. Make sure you purchase at least one okashi (Japanese confectionary). The cube shaped custard pastry (¥170) comes stylishly wrapped in a brown paper filter. Eat it before before drinking the coffee just like you do at a tea ceremony, during which the sweets intensify the taste of the tea.
The coffee is served in take away cups, but don’t hurry off! Complete your zen experience by sitting down on the small wooden bench and sipping your coffee in the super tiny Japanese garden. And once again, do it as if you were enjoying a Japanese tea ceremony: be grateful for what you have. Grateful that this place still exists (originally it was supposed to be a one-year pop-up coffee shop) and grateful that you found your way to one of Tokyo’s most special coffee places.
Address: 4-15-3 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Open: Daily, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.