[Tokyo] The newer things I discovered this trip to Shinjuku Japan are higher-end shopping mall NEWoMan (what a name, by the way), at JR Shinjuku Station New South Exit, Janice Wong’s dessert restaurant, and Blue Bottle Coffee.
Suddenly, Blue Bottle Coffee which has many outlets at Bay Area (SF and Oakland), NY and LA seem so much nearer.
Blue Bottle started life in Oakland, California, and is considered one of the major players in the boom of third wave coffee.
As to how the coffee got so successful, founder and self-proclaimed “coffee lunatic” declared on the website, “I will only sell coffee less than 48 hours out of the roaster to my customers, so they may enjoy coffee at its peak of flavor. I will only use the finest, most delicious and responsibly sourced beans.”
It is Blue Bottle’s policy to use all beans within 48 hours of roasting.
The hipster and executive-type Japanese are obviously into specialty roasted, artisanal coffee, especially with a specific prominent brand.
So much so that they waited 4 hours in line for a cup during the early launch days.
This newly opened (in March 2016) branch in the heart of Shinjuku was brisk, right next to a Le Pain de Joel Robuchon bakery, where many office goers grab-and-go a takeaway cup with that signature blue bottle logo.
My wait during early morning from ordering to getting the coffee was about 10 minutes or so. Trust the Japanese efficiency. (The Shinjuku station IS the busiest train station in the world.)
The interior is almost like a science lab, yet not losing that chic, earthy look. Bright interior, window view, high ceilings, and stylish baristas of native Japanese and Californian expats in denim. Everything is done very orderly.
There is a full menu of drip coffee and espresso drinks – a Blend of Drip Coffee at 450 Yen (SGD$5.60), Single Origin at 550 Yen (SGD$6.80).
I had a Latte (520 Yen, SGD$6.50). This is one of those times I won’t use any of the commonly used words of “strong”, “robust”, “bitter” or “sweet” (sheesh) to describe this coffee.
It was smooth, very smooth, as though every ingredient came together in harmony.
More work needed for the pastries though – the Matcha Pound Cake was kind of dry. It would be okay on its own, but in Tokyo, okay is perhaps not enough.
Blue Bottle Coffee, one of the best coffee you can get around here, and you will probably see more of the coffeeshops around in time to come.
Blue Bottle Coffee
新宿カフェ 4-1-6 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo (Shinjuku Station, New South exit)
Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm
3-13-14 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku,
青山カフェ, 〒107-0062 東京都港区南青山 3-13-14
1-4-8, Hirano, Koto-ku
清澄白河ロースタリー&カフェ, 135-0023 東京都江東区平野 1-4-8