Chatei Hatou

Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0002, Japan
Average: 3.5 / 5 stars, based on 1 reviews.
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Positively reviewed by the New York Times, (http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/16/ristretto-tokyo-coffee/) Chatei Hatou isn’t an espresso shop - it’s more of a traditional Japanese Kissaten, and the coffee is prepared in a drip-style, but with intense care and an odd, highly complicated brewing procedure. The atmosphere is defined by the assorted porcelain they proudly display - and classical music. It’s dark, and during the time I was there, quite smoky.

I first ordered their recommended blend. It came black, and was surprisingly flavoursome, but without much aroma. Though it contained no sugar, it had an ever-so-slight sweet aftertaste - not unpleasant. Pretty solid, and certainly the best coffee I have ever had in Japan.

Don’t expect to get a frothy, milk based coffee when ordering a ‘Cappuccino’ - their interpretation is closer to dessert, like an affogato without the ice-cream. Instead of milk, they flavour it with a dollop of frothy, whisked cream - into which they place a sliver of grapefruit zest. It’s served with a cinnamon stick to stir, as is apparently common. Fairly sweet, but balanced by the coffee itself - a slightly bitter concoction. If you like affogato, you’ll like this.

I also ate a delectable Croque Monsieur (‘Kuroku Munshuu’).

Not a typical espresso joint, but worth it for the experience. The price of the coffee is a bitter aftertaste - astronomically high at between 800-900円. (About $11 AUD at the time of writing.)

‘Cappuccino’ picture: http://img.ly/crtv
House Blend: http://img.ly/crtI

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