A review of an independent coffee roaster, Snow Beans Coffee in Shinagawa, 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.
Opened in June 2016, Snow Beans Coffee sits in a new development area between Gotanda and Shinagawa.
When I arrived, about half the seats were taken by couples out on a sunny weekend and young families. Every minute or two, families with strollers would stop at the entrance and consider walking through the sliding doors. In warmer weather, the patio would have been a lovely place to people watch.
For people looking to work, you’ll spot plug and Wi-Fi stickers on the sliding door you walk through. Plugs are located discretely under the booth seats and at least one visitor was working for a few hours.
The cafe seats close to 30 people indoors and is brightly lit with its wall of windows facing the street. Visitors can choose between people watching, barista watching, or individual tables for a catch up with friends. The patio outside can accommodate two groups.
The cafe roasts its beans in-house in a small glass room beside the entrance. Personally, I would recommend their single origin beans over the latte I ordered. The menu is in Japanese, but the staff are friendly and try to use single word descriptions for flavours in English. I would suggest using a photo translator because the names of the beans are also written in Japanese. Single origin beans can be prepared either with a filter or french press.
For those who have the nibbles, I also recommend the hot dogs, or what North Americans would call Japadogs. I had a Curry hot dog and my friend had the roast beef. The bun can come as either a plain hot dog bun or a French baguet (with a thin, but still crunchy crust). My curry dog came with generous portions of flavourful minced pork. My friend’s roast beef was simple, with smokey semi-rare beef and lightly cooked onions.
Their Story / What I like About Them:
To be honest, I didn’t have much expectation when I first looked up the place because there was so little information and the aesthetic had a suspicious polish. I had prepared myself for a food-serving cafe that had coffee options. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The cafe’s food options are its hot dogs and a few cakes and sweets. The coffee options fill half its book.
If you go in winter, my favourite thing about this cafe was one of their four hot chocolate options. Like the coffees, the chocolates have flavour profiles, which you can look up on their website to translate from Japanese first. What you get is a decadent, thick drink best sipped with a spoon. Milk is heated on the side to dilute and sweeten to taste. The hot chocolate can also be prepared as more of a “shake”, which I assume means a mixed milk drink.
I’ll close off by saying that the staff are attentive and friendly. I arrived early and they didn’t rush me to order while I waited for my friend. In addition, they offered us a small complimentary drink for cleansing our palette first.
This is a spot I’d definitely return.
- Coffee: Pour over, French press, espresso
- Food: Hot dogs, shaved ice, cakes
- Cafe Space: About 40
- Friends: Hangouts, catching up, readings
- Workspace: Window counter, bar counter, individual tables, group tables
- Remote Work: Wi-Fi & Plugs available
|Address:||〒141-0001 東京都品川区北品川5-3-1 パークシティ大崎 ザ タワー 103
5-3-1 Kitashinagawa, Shinagawa, Tokyo
|Website:||Website / Facebook|
|Daily: 7:30-22:00 月〜日|
If you liked this post, check out my list of Off-Centre Tokyo Cafes.