Despite living a short train ride away from this dinky but bustling cafe, we shockingly had not visited before. Owned by Tomoyuki Otsuka and opened in June 2011. Sarutahiko Coffee is named after a shrine in Mie Prefecture, reason is unknown…..perhaps he just liked the name?
Sarutahiko Coffee has continued to gain popularity, and expanding to roasting their own beans and even giving advice to Coca-Cola coffee devision. They also have Japan’s 2014 Latte Art Champion on their team, Takayama-san.
So one Sunday lunch time, while Keisuke and I were in Ebisu we popped in.
(Since this trip, I have been back several times.)
The cafe itself, while it does not have a lot of space ( it can only really seat about 8-14) , it certainly has character and makes up for the lack of space by having excellent customer service and suburb coffee. We were lucky and arrived when there were a few seats open. From then onwards, it got busier with lots of people coming in for take-outs.
On their menu they have a variety of drinks from specialty coffees, mocha, honey latte (which I hear is quite popular) cocoa and orange juice. Sarutahiko coffee also sells sandwiches, granola to take home and they also roast and sell their own beans.
The deco is simple and clean, and ties in well with their logo and business card. Their walls are painted with their signature blue/green and there is a lot of wood and brass, bit of a steampunk vibe. Overall the atmosphere was really friendly, bustling and surprisingly quite relaxing.
As for the coffee, as this is a specialty coffee cafe and part of the 3rd wave. I order the Ethiopia Nekisse, which was just perfect! Wonderful balance and such a joy to drink. I usually drink my coffee with milk and a bit of sugar, but since Keisuke introduced me to specialty coffee cafes, I drink it black and actually enjoy it. Black coffee at Starbucks and the likes, tastes awful and burnt, so I always drink some sorta flavoured latte or a caramel macchiato.
Why do I drink it black? Speciality coffee (3rd wave) is about coffee appreciation.
The Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) says….
“Speciality coffee is defined as a crafted quality coffee-based beverage, which is judged by the consumer (in a limited marketplace at a given time) to have a unique quality, a distinct taste and personality different from, and superior to, the common coffee beverages offered. The beverage is based on beans that have been grown in an accurately defined area, and which meet the highest standards for green coffee and for its roasting, storage and brewing.” SCAE
Price wise, it’s simiarly price to many other cafes, roughly 400- 500 yen. We bought 2 coffees and 2 sandwich and it came to 2000 yen exactly.
When I visit cafes, I’m looking for a good atmosphere, friendly staff, reasonable price and good coffee. In my opinion, Sarutahiko coffee has all of this, which is why it is one of my favourite cafes.
How do you have your coffee?
Thank you for reading, and please leave a comment down below.