Harajuku is considered to be one of Tokyo’s top three shopping spots with young hipsters taking over Cat Street which runs perpendicular to each side of Omotesando Avenue. What is Cat Street? The center of Japanese street fashion. Among the many funky shops located on this street, there is a coffee shop that you need to try out.
The Roastery by Nozy Coffee is the outcome of the collaboration between the owner of Nozy Coffee, Mr. Nojiro and TY Harbor (which owns restaurants and cafes around Tokyo such as Ivy Place, CICADA and Breadworks among others). Deeply inspired by the Third Wave Coffee movement, where coffee is treated as an artisanal ingredient, coffee beans brought from around the world are roasted right there in the Cat Street shop. The coffee served at The Roastery is from “single origin”. If this is the first time you’ve heard the term, you might have guessed correctly that it refers to the coffee’s geographical origin. It could come from a single farm, no matter its size, or a specific country.
The menu is simple. Customers get to choose from three coffee items: Espresso, Americano and Cafe Latte. For each of those coffees, customers may choose from 2 kinds of coffee beans originated from two different countries but they change them frequently. Right now, The Roastery has coffee beans from Mexico and Equador. I tried both beans, and found them quite bitter and with high acidity but definitely of good quality.
It’s not only the coffee that you’ll enjoy at The Roastery but the atmosphere as well as the service. Right in the middle of the coffee shop there is a long counter, visible from everywhere, where the baristas get to practice their skills. Customers can sit either at the counter and have a chance to see how their coffee is made - and served within 5 minutes from when they order it - as well as socialize with the friendly staff. The baristas, mostly male, speak English and are up for a conversation at any time. They're young but gave me the feeling that they love their job and they’re constantly trying to become better and better at making high-quality coffee. They’re well trained and well informed about the coffee beans, so feel free to ask them anything. Behind the counter, you can see a huge roaster as well as a tasting corner where you can also buy coffee beans.
A hip place with dim lighting and Norah Jones kind of music playing at a low volume, The Roastery by Nozy Coffee impressed me in every possible way starting of course from the coffee. I have already been there twice and will gladly go again.