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Being in Japan helped me kick my coffee habit. Not that it was a terribly nasty one – I usually drink two cups a day, which is relatively fine – but the less coffee I drank, the better I would sleep. And if I was going make myself be less dependent on the liquid gold, a good way to do this was to be in a place where good coffee is hard to find.
Japan may not have much of a coffee culture but like many big Asian cities, it’s slowly gaining legs. And by the last week of my Japan trip, I had a craving for coffee. After a quick social media search on where to find better-than-Starbucks-Coffee, I decided to give The Roastery by Nozy Coffee a spin.
Situated on a Shibuya street where quirky boutique stores lure Tokyo’s fashionistas and western tourists, The Roastery isn’t exactly easy to find – I myself walked past it twice. But here’s a tip for you guys: look for the massive Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren store; The Roastery will be tucked away underneath.
The staff here are really friendly and know their coffees; they try to push the single origin thang here but a lot of customers were happy to stick to the lattes. Meanwhile, the setting is very Melbourne warehouse chic (it reminded me of Seven Seeds) but with the lights dimmed down to give it more of a refined feel. Props for a mad soundtrack too – I heard a really sexy acoustic mash-up of Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’ and Billy Joel’s ‘Just The Way You Are.’
Haha! They call cronuts ‘New York rings’ here, which I thought was really cute. They were just like the ones I’ve had back home in Australia – crispy, flaky, buttery and sprinkled with a motherload of sugar. In fact, I struggled to even eat half of mine and had to save the remainder for later. At less than AUD$3.50 though, it was cheaper than a plain cronut from a good bakery in Melbourne or Sydney (where you’d be paying around AUD$5).
I had the single origin espresso from Costa Rica (Salaca red honey) which, strangely enough, came in a champagne flute. The coffee itself was very chocolate-y and punched a punch just like Campos’ Superior Blend but there were also grape notes, giving it more acidity than I would have liked. Personally, I think this coffee would have worked better as a latte (the milk would have evened it out, I reckon) but hey, it was still a good drop to try and definitely the best coffee I had during my Japan trip – which isn’t really saying much considering the only other coffees I had were at fine dining restaurants.