Tokyo Cafes: The Cream of the Crop Coffee

In a city as convenient as Tokyo, the best places are often take a bit more effort to get to, ensuring only the most determined customers come. The Cream of the Crop has settled a twenty-minute ‘trek’ from Kiyosumishirakawa Station, perhaps so they can focus on their roasting.


It’s effectively a transparent roasting loft lined with 3 benches, a sofa, and an assortment of fold-out and stackable chairs for the weekend crowds. In this converted warehouse, the brewing is stripped to the bare essentials: a grinder, a counter, three filters and pourers, a scale, and take-away cups. The message is plain: we’re confident techniques from roasting down to pouring are good enough for you. If you really want milk and sugar, find it on the tiny fold-out counter.


When there’s no line-up, at least one of the guys is roasting, sorting, and packing the beans. You’ll often hear the vigorous hum of the roasting machine that is the heart of this operation. The guys don’t mind if you stand and watch the green beans slowly turn to shades of chocolate. On a winter day, it’s the perfect heater. The bags they pour into the roasting tray then become the décor in the upper areas.


Even though there’s no Wi-Fi, this make a cozy, chill, weekday office. In the summer, the you can make an open-air office out of the two tables outside, in the shade facing the street. In the winter, the leather sofa is a nice, quiet corner.


Usually the seats are empty on weekdays even though there is a steady dribble of tourists and regulars ordering beans and a cup to go. They usually have about 4 roast offerings, and while the explanations are in Japanese, the origin of the beans is in English.

Normally I prefer single origin coffees, but today I tried their house blend, which is fresh. It probably counts as a medium roast, with a full-bodied and balanced flavour. This place is definitely worth a swing by whether for take away (and a stroll in the canal jut behind) or for a short break.


Good For:

  • Coffee: Drip Coffee (No Decaf)
  • Work: One table outside and the sofa inside
  • Friends: Hangouts & catching up
  • Chilling and reading
Address: Shirakawa 4-chome 5-4, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Hours: Daily: 10:00-18:00
【毎日 】 10:00~18:00

If you liked this post, check out the full list of Kiyosumishirakawa’s Cafes.

Athena Lam

A content marketing strategist and consultant. Passionate about storytelling for great teams and products. Co-founder of Business 3.0 (, Personal blog at

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