Tokyo Espresso: Beans and Brews From Across the World

From the kissaten type pour-over to the third espresso wave of pretty lattes and energizing espressos, the Tokyo espresso scene retains getting richer and ever extra various. Japan is without doubt one of the world’s largest espresso importers and shoppers, and together with the espresso beans totally different espresso cultures have additionally trickled in. From Turkey to Taiwan, listed here are some totally different espresso beans and totally different espresso drink preparations.

Turkish Espresso at Mosque Espresso

This espresso is wealthy and fragrant, an ideal deal with. Predominantly referred to as Turkish, it’s a shared tradition with the international locations that used to make up the huge Ottoman Empires, in addition to the international locations within the Center East. Subsequently, you’ll be able to typically discover it in numerous ethnic eating places in Tokyo. Nevertheless, for a real espresso tradition expertise, it is best to attempt it at a devoted espresso place and Mosque Espresso is Tokyo’s greatest.

To not be confused with the precise Turkish mosque Tokyo Camii in Yoyogi Uehara (which, by the best way, is the most effective place to purchase packs of floor Turkish espresso to make it at dwelling), this espresso store began as a cell espresso truck in 2020 in Senrogai, Shimokitazawa. Since July 2022 it has moved into its personal area close to Shimokitazawa’s Reload.

The proprietor, Masanori Koyama, has a ardour for Turkish espresso that has earned him the utmost respect and patronage from Turkish residents in Tokyo. He makes espresso the standard Turkish means, by burying the pot in scorching sand. He affords flavored Turkish espresso too, corresponding to coconut and hazelnut, a development that’s nearly beginning in Turkey. Equally uncommon, you’ll be able to attempt Turkish espresso latte right here too. Koyama retains up with tendencies with the assistance of his contacts in Turkey, but in addition makes his personal. He has devised a method to make iced Turkish espresso, remarkable in Turkey.

Koyama has imported the entire distinctive furnishings from Turkey, from the indispensable cezve pots (a number of dozen hanging above the counter) to the classic desk made out of an iron stew pot. He handpicked the cups and saucers on his journeys to Istanbul too.

Vietnamese Espresso at Dothi

Vietnam is the world’s second-biggest espresso producer, predominantly the Robusta selection. Robusta is robust, darkish and daring. Brewed the Vietnamese means it retains its wealthy physique. It’s because the Vietnamese drippers are steel so the espresso retains its oils. That darkish nutty Robusta brew goes completely with condensed milk making the balanced mellowed-out Vietnamese-style iced espresso. So, it is an iced latte with numerous character and a punch of deliciousness. You’ll find Vietnamese iced espresso at most Vietnamese eating places and Bahn-mi sandwich locations in Tokyo.

Far rarer in Tokyo is Vietnamese egg espresso. This espresso is made with egg as a substitute of milk, an invention pushed by necessity in occasions when milk was scarce in Vietnam. The ensuing drink is nice and custardy and above all, very tasty. One of many few locations that provides the drink is Dothi, a Vietnamese cafe in Takadanobaba. It is served over a burning candle so it stays heat. Dothi additionally has iced Vietnamese espresso, in addition to tasty meals and desserts.

Indonesian Espresso at Kopikalyan

Likelihood is you have had Indonesian-grown espresso earlier than in specialty espresso outlets. Indonesia is a giant espresso producer, however surprisingly there’s just one devoted Indonesian espresso store in Tokyo. Kopikalyan is a trendy Harajuku store that’s devoted to solely Indonesian espresso beans. They brew all of the traditional espresso drinks — espresso, latte, drip, chilly brew — and still have rarer Indonesian drinks on the menu. There’s palm sugar latte, which is sweeter and earthier. There’s additionally Nasi Kencur latte made with an Indonesian kind of ginger for a drink with a kick.

On prime of all that, Kopikalyan is understood for its lovely espresso jelly with palm sugar cream topping and pandan cake. The welcoming area has free Wi-Fi, outside seats and the occasional exhibition inside. In case you just like the beans there’s a complete wall lined with luggage on the market, alongside merchandise.

Thai Espresso at Akha Ama Espresso

Tasty, sustainable, natural espresso and welcoming area, Akha Ama Espresso is pure perfection. The one Thai espresso store in Tokyo, Akha Ama has a particular reference to a neighborhood within the Thai mountains. All of the beans come from a small farm within the north of Thailand, close to the Myanmar border. The espresso is grown by the Akha tribe, who initially got here to Thailand as refugees. Akha Ama is the Tokyo department of the corporate owned by Li, who’s the primary college graduate of the village. His mom grew espresso to assist increase him and ship him to highschool. Now they’re bringing jobs and prosperity to the village collectively. The “Ama” in Akha Ama means “mom” and the brand drawing relies on Li’s mom.

Akha Ama Espresso is a trendy welcoming area in a quiet backstreet in Kagurazaka. The employees will fortunately clarify all in regards to the espresso and its origin. You should purchase espresso beans and t-shirts with conventional Akhma designs. The espresso itself is expertly made, whether or not it is a traditional espresso, macchiato, latte or a rigorously made pour-over. For a Thai espresso tradition sip, attempt the Thai iced latte made with candy cream or the cardamom latte. Relying on the season, there’s additionally Manne Mana, a foamed double espresso with orange peel. The desserts are beautiful, with the carrot cake and the vegan fig and walnut brownie being huge favorites.

Taiwanese Espresso at Liwei Espresso Stand

Liwei Espresso Stand is a wedding of the tastes of Taiwan and Japan constructing upon a western espresso tradition base. It is run by married couple Liwei Hsuan and Haruko Kamimura who each love espresso and one another’s dwelling nation. So, they incorporate a little bit of each of their store. The espresso cups and plates are a mixture of Arita ware and works of Taiwanese artists. The traditional kissaten pudding is soaked in Taiwanese oolong tea syrup. They maintain discovering methods to intertwine cultures and tastes.

All beans are roasted in-house as each house owners are espresso professionals. Hsuan is a latte artwork champion, whereas Kamimura honed his abilities in a few of Tokyo’s greatest specialty espresso outlets. Liwei Espresso Stand affords glorious espresso in a trendy area in Takadanobaba. One of many signature drinks is a black latte made with bamboo charcoal.

You should purchase Liwei’s espresso beans in-store or on-line, alongside distinctive merchandise and occasional tools.

Pictures by Zoria Petkoska