Barista Magazine

JUN-JUL 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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River, and a large fl oor-to-ceiling window lets you enjoy the sites of the river as you sip your single-origin V60, roasted in-house. Along with okonomiyaki, Osaka is also known for takoyaki, a round snack made in a special griddle with a fl our-based batter usually fi lled with octopus and garnishes like ginger and green onion. We braved the streets of the incredibly busy Dõtonbori canal area to grab a quick snack (although we were still full from okonomiyaki; somehow, we found room) and then headed to LiLo Coffee Roasters for a late-after- noon pick-me-up. Situated on a super-busy street in the Amerikamura, LiLo Coffee Roasters is regarded as one of the fi rst specialty-coffee roasters in the area, having opened in 2014. LiLo is a place where customers take the lead: You can choose your brew method, and then pick from a variety of coffees from around the world. Some—such as coffee from the Dominican Republic—caught my attention quickly since this isn't an origin I see much in the United States. I ordered the DR as an espresso, and it had an intense berry-like sweetness that I couldn't remember experiencing in any other coffee. I promised myself I'd seek out more coffees from the DR (and look into the reason why the origin is uncommon to see in shops Stateside). On our last day in Kyoto, we found ourselves at Walden Woods, one of the most visually stunning cafés I'd ever been to. I know, I know—I've said that about pretty much every café in this article. But Walden Woods is different. Everything is built out of whitewashed plywood. The lower level is home to the company's roaster and coffee bar, and upstairs is where patrons bring their coffees and sit on stadium-style benches (if you've been to or seen photos of a newly built Counter Culture Coffee training center, you know what these look like). In the center of the room stands one lonely tree, with no leaves, painted white. We entered the space—totally empty except for us and the barista downstairs—and it was like we were entering another world. After Kyoto, we headed to the coast to Kanazawa, a small city known for seafood and its fi sh market. If I'm being completely trans- parent, I wanted to come to Kanazawa because Anthony Bourdain went in his show Parts Unknown with legendary Japanese chef Masa Takayama, and, frankly, I really love seafood. This city quickly became the highlight of the trip. Balancing the quietness of Hakone and the hustle and bustle of Kyoto, Kanazawa is a walkable city with delicious food, amazing parks, and a variety of coffee options. First up for coffee was a kissaten, which translates to a "tea-drink- ing shop," where folks can sit and be served coffee and sweets. Next to us was a table of businesspeople drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes, and our server handed us a menu simply listing coffees from different regions. As I'd vowed earlier, I ordered a coffee from the Dominican Republic, and my traveling bud ordered a coffee from Yemen. Orders were brought to the bar, where one person standing in front of four different Kalita brewers made all the coffee for the entire café. It was also their job to choose the carafe or cup the coffee would be best served in. Along with kissatens, Kanazawa also has some slightly more modern spaces. We landed at Curio Coffee on the recommendation of a friend, and were instantly transported into 1990s Seattle coffee culture. It makes sense—the owners of the café met in Seattle years ago, and were serving classic espresso drinks along with a menu of sandwiches and toast. After a sleepy two days in Kanazawa, we traveled to our last stop: Tokyo. To try to explain just how gargantuan of a city Tokyo is would be underselling it. Tokyo ranks as the largest city by almost every measure: by density, by number of people, by size, etc. Coffee, as you can imagine, is plentiful, and unlike most anywhere in the world, RAMP Up RAMP Up RAMP Up RAMP Up Road tour PREsEnts more info at: @rancilio.usa Sponsored by: | Barista Magazine | Slow Pour Supply | | The Created Co. | Next Wave Equipment. | 48 barista magazine

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