Hi,I’m Keiko from Osaka!
Kyoto’s specialty coffee scene has evolved in the past several years.
Traditionally Kyoto is full of traditional tea houses, serving bitter yet rich matcha (green tea).
As an extension, the coffee scene has developed in Kissaten or Kissa (tea shops) that serve tea and coffee along with light meals.
Many of these Kissaten started to roast their own coffee, developing Japan’s rich coffee culture.
Recently, third wave coffee shops have joined the coffee scene in Kyoto, making Kyoto one of the best places for coffee hopping.
In this article, I will introduce you to the best 5 coffee shops where you can enjoy a great cup of coffee in a great Kyoto-like atmosphere!
Local tells Top 5 best Coffee Shops in Kyoto!Great places for Coffee Lovers!
1.Kissa Ashijima/喫茶葦島Located at the intersection of Sanjo Kawaramachi, Kissa Ajishima is a hidden coffee shop that is passionate about omotenashi (Japanese hospitality).
It claims to meet any preference you may have for coffee.
If you don’t like bitterness, sourness of coffee or if you prefer bold coffee, just say so to the coffee shop staff.
They will brew you a perfect cup for you.
Ashijima has various coffee beans in stock to meet any standard you may have.
The interior atmosphere creates comfortable and relaxing atmosphere.
The customer service is beyond anything you would experience in a regular coffee shop.
The shop serves only coffee and some sweets.
It has various interesting cheesecake selections, however, that you may want to try.
With great coffee and comfy environment, it is understandable that sometimes people line up to for a seat.
Free WiFi is also available in the shop.
The cheesecake tastes also great!
2.Rokuyosha Chika ten/六曜社 地下店Rokuyosha is a popular coffee shop of long standing.
Established in 1950, this coffee shop has been loved by coffee connoisseurs, artists and movers of Japan as well as college students and tourists.
The underground floor turns itself into a bar after 6 pm showing a completely different face to its customers.
Mr. Okuno, the owner, has been roasting his coffee 5-6 times a week.
The coffee shop has several kinds of roasted coffee beans from various origins.
Just like other coffee shops introduced here, if you tell him what you like, you will likely get it.
Usually Mr. Okuno himself will brew your coffee one by one.
Don’t forget to have a homemade donut, prepared by Mr. Okuno’s wife, which somehow matches perfectly with the coffee there.
Rokuyosha is located near Kawaramachi Sanjo intersection.
3.ELEPHANT FACTORY COFFEEHidden away on an alley near the popular Kawaramachi street, Elephant Factory COFFEE is a place for you to relax.
The cozy and minimalistic interior provides an unusual break from the bustling streets nearby.
The coffee beans are ground after each order and brewed one by one using a pour over method.
You can choose coffee of various origins and roasting profiles (light, medium, dark).
The coffee shop has many books and magazines you can read or buy, so this is a perfect place to boost your creativity.
This is a perfect mix of Kissaten and Third-Wave coffee shop.
Be careful, it is difficult to find the shop.
Next,let’s go to “air-roast” coffee shop in Kyoto!
4.Ikiteiru Coffee/生きている珈琲Ikiteiru Coffee is conveniently located 5 minutes’ walk from Kawaramachi Station.
Ikiteiru means “living.”
The shop’s name translates to “living coffee.”
The shop air-roasts its coffee beans at the lower temperature, not to “kill” their beans.
This process allows coffee beans to develop full flavors without extracting the burnt notes or bitterness.
Their beans are so popular that people order them from all over Japan.
The shop also carries unique coffee beans such as geisha (known to be one of the best coffee in the world) or Kopi Luwak (known to be the most expensive coffee; coffee that were eaten by civets in berries and part-digested).
Coffee jello here, which uses different coffee every day, is a must try item.
5.WindyCoffee is the only item on their menu.
And the shop has been thriving for the past 45 years.
This should tell you something about the quality of their coffee.
The owner roasts coffee almost every day.
So whenever you go, you are guaranteed to have a freshly roasted and freshly brewed cup of coffee.
Many say that they had their best cup of coffee in Windy.
Coffee that is carefully and lovingly brewed in a nel drip method is like an art.
Though coffee is the only item on the menu, Windy offers various kinds of coffee and various coffee drinks.
So no matter what you like, they will have something you would enjoy there.
If you don’t like coffee that much, you might find their coffee squash (lemon soda with coffee) an interesting and refreshing option.
You can walk to Windy from Shimizu Gojo station on Keihan Line.
Top 5 best Coffee Shops in Kyoto
- Kissa Ashijima・・・Ajishima is a hidden coffee shop that is passionate about Japanese hospitality.The cheesecake here tastes great!
- Rokuyosha Chika ten・・・The coffee shop has several kinds of roasted coffee beans from various origins.
- ELEPHANT FACTORY COFFEE・・・The cozy and minimalistic interior provides an unusual break from the bustling streets nearby.
- Ikiteiru Coffee・・・The shop air-roasts its coffee beans at the lower temperature, not to “kill” their beans.
- Windy・・・Windy offers various kinds of coffee and various coffee drinks.
I hope you’ll enjoy authentic coffee in Kyoto!
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