Coffee is beloved the world over, but sometimes it's hard to find a good cafe, especially if you're not a local. Next time you're in Kyoto, you won't have that worry. This article introduces five popular cafes in Kyoto that come highly recommended by many. You'll find a wide variety of stores, from stands that offer house-roasted coffees, up to places that offer more than just coffee and even a few that serve Kyoto-style (cold-brewed) coffee.
1. SONGBIRD COFFEE
This is a popular cafe within walking distance of the World Heritage Site, Nijo Castle. It is run by a husband and wife team. The husband is an interior designer, while the wife is in charge of the cafe. The third floor of the building is the office and furniture showroom of the interior design firm that manages the cafe. The coffee served here is an original blend (500 JPY (incl. tax) each), created under the concept of "songbird" by a roaster for four popular shops in Kyoto and Nagoya. The food, such as curries and sweets, are also popular. A variety of miscellaneous items, including original goods like coasters and incense holders, are sold on the second floor where the cafe is.
This shop is run under the concept of "a coffee stand and a household tool store". Its hand-dripped coffee called Gobai (400 JPY/hot, 450 JPY/ice) is made with beans from five popular coffee roasters in Kyoto. By using freshly ground coffee and serving it hand-dripped, customers can enjoy the delicate flavor and rich aroma. It can be ordered for take-out or consumed on-site. The shop also sells products handmade by craftsmen around the country. A variety of items, such as leather products, woodworking products, and ceramics are sold. In addition, exhibits and workshops are regularly held.
3. Kaikado Cafe
This is a cafe run by Kaikado, which is a shop established in 1875 that is famous worldwide for its handmade tea caddies made out of materials like copper. Kaikado products can be purchased at this cafe. The Kaikado Blend Coffee (820 JPY (incl. tax)) is an aromatic cup that’s made with an original blend by the famous roaster, Nakagawa Wani Coffee. They also serve Cold-brewed Iced Coffee (820 JPY (incl. tax)), often referred to abroad as Kyoto-style coffee, that makes use of this blend. With coffee drippers, cups, and saucers all made by famous Kyoto craft stores and pottery stores, this is a cafe where you can experience every aspect of Kyoto's craftsmanship.
4. WEEKENDERS COFFEE TOMINOKOJI
WEEKENDERS COFFEE is a purveyor of coffee beans to numerous shops, primarily cafes in the Kansai region. This famous roaster opened its second location, comprising of a store decorated in a Japanese style and coffee stand, in July 2016. The main store is dedicated to selling beans and tools, making this the only branch where you can actually enjoy their coffee. Enjoy drinks like Drip Coffee (470 JPY) at its counter. Although many Kyoto cafes serve dark roast coffees, most of the coffees here are lightly roasted. They have fruity aromas and a bright acidity. It also serves Kyoto-style coffee, popular overseas, for 550 JPY.
5. Ichikawa-ya Coffee
This popular cafe resides in a renovated home that was built approximately 200 years ago. There are three types of coffees that are roasted in-house, including the Ichikawa-ya Blend (470 JPY). It is characterized by a soft sweetness that one doesn't tire of. The Seasonal Fruits Sandwich (980 JPY) is another extremely popular item. The fluffy bread, slightly sweet whipped cream, and juicy fruits blend well together and go perfectly with coffee.
These unique cafes not only serve wonderful coffee, but also offer opportunities to discover fantastic goods. Be sure to stop by when in Kyoto!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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