I drank a ton of coffee in Tokyo.  This is because there are some damn well-run coffeeshops in Tokyo.  Here are some of the ones I went to.

Sarutahiko, in Ebisu.  Something about their cappuccinos and lattes.  Incredible sweetness in the espresso.

DSC_0186 DSC_0192 DSC_0191 DSC_0189 DSC_0188IMG_1070And Omotesando Koffee.  Which is another tiny place on the ground floor of somebody’s old house across from a weedy lot.  The layout is incredibly spartan, perfect for a well-lit day like the one on which we visited, with a neat paper-note lamp filled with cheeky polyglot aphorisms.  The coffee wasn’t quite as memorable as my Ebisu cups, but the setting was undoubtedly unique, a successful exercise in careful minimalism and serenity, quite the opposite to many of the trendy stateside coffeeshops that come to mind.DSC_0229

DSC_0219 DSC_0221 DSC_0218 DSC_0224 DSC_0225 DSC_0227On the way back home later, we came across Fuglen, a Norwegian-centric coffeehouse & boutique that also doubles as a cultural (albeit indiscreetly retro) agency, organizing exhibits and events that highlight, you guessed it, Norwegian culture.  Lots of wood paneling everywhere.  But quaint, with a friendly staff behind the espresso bar (which turns into a real, albeit miniature, bar at night).  I couldn’t take any more espresso-based drinks at that point, so I ordered a refreshing iced tea, and chowed down on a shiso-cream-cheese sandwich.DSC_0245 DSC_0246 DSC_0247 DSC_0250 DSC_0253