While walking around Aoyama & Shibuya with my wife the other week we stumbled upon a coffee shop that, according to many publications in the city, has some of the best coffee in Tokyo. Enter Streamer Coffee Company.
Streamer is tucked away on one of the many back streets in Shibuya. Away from the familiar shopping, restaurants and train stations, in a more office/residential area.
You would easily miss it unless you were looking for it or saw one of their advertisements at an intersection.
The cafe was opened in 2010 Hiroshi Sawada who is one of the most respected latte pourers in the world.
Their focus has been on making the best cup of coffee possible, with each cup having it's own character. The Japanese Wabi-sabi philosophy would be a good description of each coffee, close to perfection, but with imperfections that give it character.
The interior of Streamer is industrial-coffeehouse, surf & skate, "West Coast" style.
Not shown right behind us was a wall of Skateboards for sale from a company in Huntington Beach, Calif.
We sat on a loveseat as we waited for our latte. A coffeehouse just isn't a coffeehouse without a loveseat.
And then it arrived.
We enjoyed watching our latte blend itself before tasting it.
So how did it taste? Well, it was definitely delicious, acidic with a twist of bitterness, but it was an iced latte. It's hard to get a complex flavor out of an iced coffee, it really needs to be hot.
The atmosphere of the shop itself, combined with the coffee made it a wonderful experience. Granted we didn't try an espresso or cup of coffee because it was too hot outdoors. Those are what Streamer is known for. As I mentioned they have won awards for the past 10 years from many of the big publications & media outlets in Tokyo, so maybe we will have to come back when it's cooler and enjoy a shot or a hot latte.
The back streets of Tokyo are filled with wonderful experiences. Even if you are just window shopping, this is where the culture starts. You will find many, many start ups with people putting all of their heart and soul into what they do in order to make it.
Streamer is not cheap, but worth the try. Out latte was $7, which is not uncommon in Tokyo. Coffees & espressos range from $2 to $5. They also have various pastries if you need a snack.
For further information Streamer's website is here: http://www.streamer.coffee/index.html
If you're in Shibuya, check out the back streets. There you'll find plenty of hidden gems like Streamer.