Unfortunately, Tokyo’s best coffee isn’t Koenji or Asagaya. But it is right next door in Nakano, so fortunately falls within the purview of this site under the “Neighbour Clause” (to occasionally include exceptional nouns within the other Suginami-ku neighbourhoods of Ogikubo and Nerima and the adjacent vicinage of Nakano). Anyways, if you enjoy great coffee and the picture above isn’t reason enough to visit Coffeeya (珈琲や), keep on reading for a few more.
The staff. They actually have knowledge. And care about coffee. They are not only certified baristas, they are licensed coffee roasters. Yes, that’s a real thing and can make quite a difference.
Also, whenever you have the beans roasted in-house (and in front of you) ensures you are getting coffee that has entered the country as a green bean (which has stricter import regulations regarding chemicals, quality, etc.). Visit the All Japan Coffee Association for more info on this.
While you wait for your beans to roast (expect about 20-30 minutes if they’re not busy) they serve you a complimentary cup of freshly brewed coffee (of your bean choice) accompanied by a tiny ramekin of almonds and pistachios to nibble on.
Brewing their in-house cups with the traditional Japanese hand-drip (ハンドドリップ) method, they turn out an exceptional cup of Joe–and I’m a French Press guy at home.
They’ve got a half-dozen tables inside and three two-tops out front on their sidewalk patio, which is obviously great on a sunny day–and not so prevalent in Tokyo. Another thing still lacking (but increasing) among Tokyo cafes is free wi-fi. Coffeeya has it covered, just ask the staff for the wi-fi password.
Price? You’d expect such service and freshness to come with a hefty tab when all is said and done. However, Coffeeya is actually less expensive than most coffee chops and cafes in town. Especially when the free cup while you wait is taken into the tally. I got a cup of fresh coffee, a handful of mixed nuts and 200 grams of fine organic Ugandan beans, French roasted perfectly to my liking, for 890 yen. That’s tough to beat in any city, let alone Tokyo.
PS: They’ve also expanded to open shops in Mitaka and Koganei.
Nakano-ku, Tokyo, 166-0004
Tel: (03) 6318-9415
9:00 to 19:00
Twitter: none found