Double Tall, Tokyo

1 April 2010

The second stop on our world trip is Japan. Another fascinating place, coffee-wise and other-wise.

Double Tall, Tokyo

Japan is renowned for importing fantastic coffee. It’s the largest importer of Blue Mountain, by reputation one of the best coffees in the world, and it snatches up loads of renowned kopi luwak too (more on this intriguing coffee in a forthcoming post from Bali).

So where does all this great coffee go?! Even in the great sprawling heart of the country (Tokyo), it’s a challenge to find a handful of places serving really good brews. It seems the iconic vending machine still rules supreme, and good coffee makes as brief an appearance as the equally iconic cherry blossom.

Double Tall, Tokyo Double Tall, Tokyo

I’m sure there’s more to it than that, and in any event there’s so much more to Japan (or anywhere) than coffee shops (ain’t that the truth). And if you want a characterful place to while away the hours, Tokyo has everything you never imagined, from cat cafes (with cats) to maid cafes (with maids) to manga cafes (with manga comics), and a million more quirks and wonders around every corner.

But if you fancy a good cup of coffee in Tokyo, Double Tall, just a few minutes’ walk from Shibuya station, makes for a fine choice. It’s a convivial place, hosting businessman at lunch and shoppers taking a break. As it’s away from the bustle of Shibuya, it’s quiet enough to sit, relax and watch the world go by.

Double Tall, Tokyo Double Tall, Tokyo

My coffee (a latte) was beautifully presented, with flowery latte art. And it was very nice. The written menu will be incomprehensible to most (certainly it was to me), but one handy quirk of Japanese is that many Western terms have been adopted without significant changes to pronounciation.

For example, ask for “hot coffee”, “coffee latte”, “hot chocolate”, “cappuccino” and, with any luck, you’ll be understood. If all else fails, find a photo and point. The wonderfully friendly Japanese won’t mind a jot.

Double Tall, Tokyo

I believe the beans come all the way from Seattle, from a roastery called Caffe D’arte.

Double Tall is one of a small but increasing band of quality coffee shops in Tokyo. In 2008 a barista from Double Tall won Japan’s first ever latte art contest, a fact that bodes well both for Double Tall and for those in search for something different to vending machine fare.

Nearest station: Shibuya (east exit)
Article about 2008 Japan latte art contest (English):

3-12-24 Shibuya
Tokyo 150-0002


We visited on 1 April 2010.

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  • maki 20 February 2011 at 10:56 am

    Do you remember me? I met you in Tokyo last year!
    What a amazing web site!!!
    Do you know I’m a coffee addiction?
    Duncan and I went to the coffee shop right now!
    I hope to drink a coffee with you sometime.
    I told my friends this web site!!!
    See you again here!

  • Cosy Coffee Shops 20 February 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Hi Maki! How could I forget you?! I didn’t know you’re addicted to coffee… you must need a lot of caffeine to get through a day with Duncan.

    I hope we will see each other again in Japan or England!

    Tom xx

  • Duncan 21 February 2011 at 11:49 am

    How did you find this beautiful little place mate? It was in Shibuya but it was in the middle of nowhere!! Which makes me like it all the more. It’s great to get away form the crowds in Tokyo. Maki and I took a trip to the place SPECIFICALLY because we’d read your blog! It was closed …. but we managed to locate another in Harajuku. Great coffee. Great Chocolate cake. Maki said that it was “the best date I’d ever taken her on, just a shame that Tom organized it and not me!”.

  • Cosy Coffee Shops 21 February 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Hi Dunc! Glad to see that Maki appreciates the efforts I go to to keep her happy. A sad indictment, however, on you boyfriend skills.

    I found it with some internet research about cool coffee houses in Tokyo… it wasn’t by chance. What a shame it was closed! Will you go again?

  • 7md 4 June 2011 at 12:20 pm

    I went to the Harajuku branch.
    fantastic coffee and sweets 🙂 the best in Japan from my past experience!
    must for coffee lovers!