Good coffee takes time, my friends! (Photo: Christie Petrakopoulou)

Elephant Factory Café in Kyoto

A hidden tiny cafe with excellent quality coffee beans

Good coffee takes time, my friends! (Photo: Christie Petrakopoulou)
Christie Petrakopoulou   - 3 min read

Can you keep a secret? Somewhere in downtown Kyoto, close to Kawaramachi station, on the second floor of an old building, there is a tiny café that serves wonderful coffee, and every coffee lover should visit. It’s name: Elephant Factory.

At first, when I arrived at the address that my friend gave me, I thought he was joking. In a narrow alley close to the always crowded Kawaramachi Street, my first impression was that once again I had gotten lost. Well, I didn’t. On the second floor of an old building there is a wooden door that everyone who appreciates good coffee should open. Inside is a tight space with a few tables, wooden furniture, dim lighting and soft Jazz music. Since it’s such a small café, you might need to wait a bit to get a seat but it’s definitely worth the wait.

Inspired by the “Third Wave of Coffee”, a movement that believes in high-quality coffee and treats coffee beans as an artisanal ingredient with the goal to improve all stages of coffee production, Elephant Factory pays attention to every single detail before a cup of amazing coffee finally reaches its customers.

Choose among different blends from countries such as Colombia, Guatemala, Tanzania and Rwanda. Roasting varies from “very dark” to “medium” and this will eventually affect the bitterness of your coffee. I tried the “Very dark Roasted Coffee” which is a limited edition and the “Featured Coffee of the Month” (you need to ask what that is) that was a special blend from Colombia with amazing aroma and kind of a bitter taste.

Elephant Factory also serves tea, black or green, with special tastes. I recommend the “Trois Fruits Noir” that is a blend of black tea with blended blueberries, blackberries and cassis, and “Equinoxe”, green tea with the flavor of mirabelle and prune. The coffee beans come from a roaster at Bihoro in Hokkaido in the north of Japan.

The closest train station to the cafe is the Hankyu Kawaramachi Station. It is open from 1.00 pm till 1.00 am

Even though the space is very tight and the tables full, there’s still some kind of calmness that creates the perfect relaxing environment. You should definitely give it a try when you're in Kyoto.

Christie Petrakopoulou

Christie Petrakopoulou @christie.petrakopoulou

Hi! My name is Christie and I’m a journalist/blogger. Originally from Athens, Greece but living in Stockholm, Sweden I’m doing my Masters in Media and Communication Studies at Stockholm University. For one year I’ll be living and traveling around Japan in search of new challenges and experienc...