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 the surroundings here outshine the coffee – on the contrary, Satei Hato’s hand-drip offerings maintain the absolutely highest quality. You get to choose from up to eight varieties of charcoal-roasted beans. However, with prices starting from ¥850, the coffee here doesn’t exactly allow for everyday consumption – but any enthusiast will do well to visit Satei Hato at least once.
The original Fuglen shop in Oslo, Norway is a blend of café, cocktail bar and vintage design boutique, where even the furniture is up for sale. Its Tokyo shop transplants the concept to a backstreet corner not far from Yoyogi Park. Fuglen Tokyo opens at 8am on weekdays, selling tea, coffee and a small selection of pastries during the day. It switches to bar mode in the evenings, offering Japanese and Norwegian craft beers plus a cocktail menu.
Lurking in an alley near Tokyu Hands, this Turkish-inspired café comes complete with terrace seating. Most patrons order the blend coffee and some shisha, while alcohol is available in the evening.
Run by the folks behind Setagaya's excellent Nozy Coffee and restaurant impresarios Tysons, this super-hip roastery and café on Harajuku's Cat Street is one of the city's flashiest specialist coffee haunts. You get to choose from two kinds of single-origin beans for your americano, latte or espresso – the latter comes served in a champagne glass (yes, really). Plus, the coffee soft serves and suspiciously Cronut-like NY Rings are sure to satisfy sugar addicts.
The Maison Kitsuné brand has fingers in several pies – fashion, music and, it seems, coffee. Grab a well-brewed cup in the Japanese-style café close to the Maison Kitsuné shop in Omotesando, and browse merchandise such as tote bags and coffee cups. The décor incorporates Japanese touches like custom-made tatami and fusuma sliding doors.
Found directly in front of Aoyama Gakuin University's Ivy Hall, Tsuta occupies the former home of architect and Budokan designer Mamoru Yamada. Opened in 1988, it's a pleasantly quiet old-school kissaten with relaxing garden views. Specialising in high-grade Brazilian Santos coffee, Tsuta is also an 'advocate' of the coffee and cheese pairing trend that's popular in Tokyo.
For those still grieving the loss of Omotesando Koffee, this place is sure to bring respite. Opened by the same man, Eiichi Kunitomo, and located in the exact same place (albeit in a new building), Koffee Mameya is a bean specialist, offering between 15 to 20 varieties sourced from cult roasters around Japan and the world. As the focus is on selling beans, there's no place to sit, but regular coffee and espresso can be ordered to go.
An Italian-style bar and café run by the talented Kyohei Nishiya, this welcoming Shibuya spot has a laidback neighbourhood feel – not least due to the owner-barista's jovial attitude and the fun, retro décor. Nishiya pulls a decent espresso, but his café's real charm lie elsewhere: try the excellent Espresso Banana milkshake or the heavenly creamy custard pudding. And just like in Italy, the drink menu expands to include beer, wine and cocktails in the evenings.
The little café that sits on the forecourt of the Taro Okamoto Museum has the potential to be one of Tokyo's nicest coffee spots. After all, what could be better than munching on homemade cake and knocking back freshly ground joe, all within arm's reach of some of Japan's most famous pop art? The small, well-decorated patio can be a destination in its own right, and many of the customers seem to be here for this reason alone.
Streamer Coffee Company lives up to the hype, especially if you're a sucker for the kind of ornate foam squiggles that are Sawada's speciality. With its unfussy decor and long communal table in the centre of the room, the place might remind Western visitors of coffee shops back home – complete with free wifi. The star attraction on the menu is the Streamer Latte, served in a soup bowl-sized mug so as to give the resident artistes a large canvas.
Find more great cafés
Looking for a relaxing café, the perfect cup of coffee or a superb sweet treat? Look no further – check out our complete Tokyo café guide