A review of an independent coffee roaster, Verve Coffee Roasters in Shinjuku Tokyo. Notes are by an amateur coffee enthusiast and shoestring digital nomad. Descriptions are equal parts coffee and remote-work suitability. Most photos are shot with a second-hand Fujifilm X100.

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Gibraltar at Verve Coffee — Photo by Athena Lam

Cafe Overview:

Verve coffee shinjuku

So far, not too busy despite being at Tokyo’s busiest train station — Photo by Athena Lam

Verve Coffee Roasters recently opened in the NeWoman building above Shinjuku Station — one of the first independent cafes to open at such a convenient location. The cafe is on the same level as the coach buses, above the ground floor and in a covered area.

Verve coffee shinjuku

Verve is on the street / overpass level of NeWoMan (coach bus) building at Shinjuku — Photo by Athena Lam

I didn’t check if the place has Wi-Fi, but the two walls have 2 plugs for people working by the windows. A note for remote working that the counters are quite narrow, so the central bar table is a better bet if you have a large computer.

Verve coffee shinjuku

The cafe has a few corner plugs — Photo by Athena Lam

As for the drinks, Verve Coffee has single origin beans made with a Kalita Wave or espressos made on the customized Kees van der Westen espresso machine. The espresso menu even has a Gibraltar, which is what I ordered. Nitro brew is also available and Tokyo has a Japan-only Latte Valencia drink.

Verve coffee shinjuku

Pour over single-origins and espressos available  Photo by Athena Lam

The latte art is inconsistent, as one Gibraltar we got was much more photogenic than the other. However, the extraction was decent and the beans have a nice golden acidic note that mixed nicely with the warm milk and wet foam.

Verve coffee shinjuku

Coffee is always better with doughnuts 😛 (like 49th Parallel) — Photo by Athena Lam

The gourmand’s version of the coffee and doughnuts classic is available as well. Camden’s Blue Star Donuts is also a Japan branch of the Portland-original chain.

Their Story / What I like About Them:

Verve coffee shinjuku

Verve Coffee has a “seed to cup” philosophy — Photo by Athena Lam

Verve Coffee is an independent roaster from Santa Cruz, California, that believes in bean-to-cup continuity — aka direct trade coffee. Direct trade coffee is better than Fair Trade because the farmers get 100% reward for their beans, which provides incentive and positive feedback for quality. The company’s blog has one video of some of their bean production, but there isn’t much other information about the farms they work with.

Verve coffee shinjuku

The independent roaster is from Santa Cruz, California — Photo by Athena Lam

Perhaps Verve’s two greatest virtues are its convenience above Shinjuku Station and that it serves decaf, since most places in Tokyo don’t. I’m glad to see more and more independent coffee options around this commercial area.

Verve coffee shinjuku

Decaf coffee beans are available — Photo by Athena Lam

Good For:

  • Coffee: Pour over & Espresso, decaf available
  • Food: Pastries, doughnuts
  • Cafe Space: About 15 seats + standing spots
  • Friends: Quick catch up
  • Workspace: Counters, one long table
  • Remote Work: Bring your own pocket WiFi, plugs available
Address:  〒151-0051 東京都渋谷区千駄ヶ谷5-24 55 NEWoMan新宿
NEWoMan Shinjuku 5-24-55, Sendagaya, Shibuya, Tokyo
Website:  WebsiteFacebook
Hours:

営業日 [無休]

Daily: 8:00-22:00 月〜日

If you liked this post, check out my list of Off-Centre Tokyo Cafes.

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