Stepping through the low, marble-tiled entrance, the first thing you’ll notice is the gorgeous tableware displayed behind a long hardwood counter. That’s not to say that the surroundings here outshine the coffee – on the contrary, Satei Hato’s hand-drip offerings maintain the absolutely highest quality. Choose from up to eight varieties of charcoal-roasted beans and watch as the formally dressed staff prepare your treat with almost religious dedication. At ¥850 and up, the coffee here doesn’t exactly allow for everyday consumption, but any true enthusiast will do well to visit Satei Hato at least once.
Long before popular third-wave coffee shops and cafés started taking over the city, Tokyoites got their coffee fix at traditional kissaten tea rooms and coffee shops. Even though many of them also serve light refreshments and simple meals, these Tokyo institutions were more than just a caffeine stop in the good old days. They were the social centres for the community.
Sadly, kissaten are not as prevalent today, but these establishments in Tokyo are still going strong. They offer a quintessential coffee experience in the city. What's more, you'll immediately notice the notalgic vibe here as most of the shops look as if they're stuck in time. Just note that smoking is common in most kissaten.