Switch Coffee Tokyo, Meguro

Lovely (and long-lasting) latte art in my cappuccino, made with the house-blend, at the Switch Coffee Tokyo roastery in Meguro.This is the original Switch Coffee Tokyo, a small coffee shop in Meguro, which doubles as the roastery. That said, a better description is a roastery doubling as a coffee shop, the roaster occupying the bulk of the space at the back of the store, with a small counter at the front, where the coffee is served. There’s a second, equally small branch of Switch in Shibuya, by the Yoyogi-Hachiman station.

The principle draw is the coffee, which is just as well, since other than a small selection of gin and wine, that’s all there is. No tea, no food, not even a cake. When it comes to coffee, there’s a house-blend on espresso, plus a single-origin filter, one of the four seasonal single-origins Switch has in stock. In an interesting twist on the batch-brew model, this is made in a large cafetiere then kept warm in a flask.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • A quiet, residential street in Meguro. Not where you'd expect to find a third-wave roaster.
  • Have you spotted it yet?
  • It's down here, next to the roll-up garage doors.
  • Welcome to Swtich Coffee Tokyo, although you'd be hard-pressed to tell that from here!
  • The view looking the other way.
  • The view from the door. Switch is tiny. At least the space for customers is.
  • There's a standing bar to the left between the counter and window, but that's it.
  • If you want to sit, there's a bench outside, but inside it's just the retail shelves on the right.
  • That said, there's lots more space (for the roaster) behind the counter.
  • You'll also find the La Marzocco Linea espresso machine back here on the right...
  • ... while the roaster proper is right at the back.
  • Meanwhile there's an EK-43 grinder on the counter for pour-over and retail bags.
  • The carafes on the counter hold samples of each of the four single-origin filters...
  • ... which you can buy from the retail shelves to the right of the door.
  • The four single-origins: El Salvador, Brazil, Honduras and an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.
  • There's not much else to Switch, although there is a neat bookshelf...
  • ... while the plain walls are decorated, if that's the right word, with messages...
  • ... from various customers.
  • This is probably the best commment!
  • The concise coffee menu is on the counter-top. There's also booze, but that's it.
  • The coffee choices are chalked up on the board on the right-hand wall.
  • I started with a cappuccino, made using the house-blend.
  • This had some lovely latte art...
  • ... which lasted all the way to the bottom of the cup.
  • Switch has an interesting way of doing batch-brew. A large cafetiere of coffee is made...
  • ... left to stand, and then...
  • ... plunged. If it's not served immediately, it's put in a flask to keep.
  • Since it had just been made, it wouuld have been rude not to try it, so I did.
  • I was sufficiently impressesd that I bought a bag (it was the Shekinah from El Salvador).
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Switch Coffee Roasters was quite well-known to me from my first visit to Tokyo in 2017, when I came across Switch’s coffee at Nem Coffee & Espresso and About Life Coffee Brewers. This made Switch a must-visit on my return in July, although, in typical Coffee Spot fashion, I did this in reverse order, starting with the recently-opened Yoyogi-Hachiman branch before visiting the original in Meguro.

Located on a quiet, residential street not far from Dendō Square Park and across the river from the Meguro Museum of Art, it’s not somewhere you’d accidentally wander past (even if you did, you might not notice it). As a coffee shop, it’s tiny, with about the same space for customers as the Yoyogi-Hachiman branch, although overall it’s much bigger: the roaster, which is at back, occupying about three-quarters of the store.

Switch has a single, narrow window in the centre and a glass door on the right. If you want to sit down, your only option is the small bench outside, in front of the window. Inside, there’s just enough space for a small set of retail shelves on the right and, on the left, a stand-up bar, with the counter running the full width of the store.

The coffee menu is just as simple as the layout. There’s a choice of filter coffee, latte or cappuccino, although I suspect you can also order an espresso. The coffee and latte can be had hot or iced, while there’s also espresso tonic and coffee with spirits. I started with a cappuccino, made with the seasonal house-blend, a combination of beans from El Salvador and Brazil. This was excellent, rich and creamy, with the milk holding the latte art pattern to the bottom of the cup. My only regret is that it was a single shot, so I didn’t really get the flavour of the coffee as much as I’d have liked. On the other hand, it was really nice, so maybe I shouldn’t complain too much!

All four seasonal single-origins are available to buy, and, if you want to try any of them, there are samples on the counter in carafes. If you want a full cup, then one of them, the El Salvador in my case, is available as the cafetiere batch brew, which was being freshly made while I was there. As a result, I felt it would have been rude not to have some, so I ordered a cup. This was a little too hot at first, but it matured as it cooled, ending up as a very fine, well-rounded, well-balanced cup of coffee. I liked it so much that I bought a bag to take back home with me.

1-17-23 MEGURO • MEGURO-KU • TOKYO • 153-0063 • JAPAN
www.switchcoffeetokyo.com +81 (0)3-6420-3633
Monday 10:00 – 19:00 Roaster Switch (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 10:00 – 19:00 Seating Bench (outside)
Wednesday 10:00 – 19:00 Food No
Thursday 10:00 – 19:00 Service Counter
Friday 10:00 – 19:00 Cards Cash Only
Saturday 10:00 – 19:00 Wifi No
Sunday 10:00 – 19:00 Power No
Chain No Visits 25th July 2018

If you enjoyed this Coffee Spot, then take a look at the rest of Tokyo’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Tokyo.


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6 thoughts on “Switch Coffee Tokyo, Meguro

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