I first came across Tokyo’s Glitch Coffee & Roasters on my around the world trip in 2018. Then, I knew it as a small coffee shop/roaster, with a passion for light roasts and filter coffee. When I returned to Tokyo in September this year, I learnt that there was a second branch of Glitch, in Asakaka, closer to my hotel, so on my final day in Tokyo, I set out to explore.
Glitch Coffee Brewed is in the basement lobby of Nine Hours, a newly-opened capsule hotel, both hotel and coffee shop having opened in May this year. There’s not much seating, just nine stools at a U-shaped counter, with a bench inside and another outside. It doubles down on Glitch Coffee & Roasters’ filter obsession, only offering pour-over (via the V60), with a similar range of beans and tasting flights. If you can’t wait, there’s also batch-brew during the week.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
You need a little bit of faith to find Glitch Coffee Brewed (and the hotel). Located on a typically narrow Tokyo back-street, a short stroll from the bustle of Asakaka, it’s not where you’d expect to find a speciality coffee shop, but there it is, on your right as you walk away from Asakaka. Even then, you need to know what you’re looking for, since only the small A-board on the pavement proclaims the presence of Glitch.
However, look carefully and you’ll see the coffee counter through the windows of the sunken lobby. A broad, sloping ramp runs down the hotel’s right-hand side, with a door on the left at the bottom. This brings you into the back of Glitch, which is off to your left, with reception straight ahead of you, at the back, a corridor to the right leading to the hotel proper.
Not that any of that need bother you if you’re just here for the coffee. Glitch is organised around a U-shaped seating area. A window-bar runs along the right-hand side of the space, continuing along the front, where it joins seamlessly with the counter, which runs down the left-hand side. Seating is provided by nine broad stools, two of which are on the back of the counter, next to the reception desk. There’s also a bench by the door against the back wall, and another, smaller bench outside.
Although Glitch Coffee & Roasters is small, Glitch Coffee Brewed is smaller still, with only a single barista, which means you get a much more personal service. My barista, Miho, the manager of Glitch Coffee Brewed, was very happy to chat, seeing conversing with customers as a large part of her job. Given that I speak no Japanese, it helped that her English was excellent, the result of working in Australia for four years!
The menu is similar to Glitch Coffee & Roasters, with five single-origins on offer (two Ethiopians, washed and natural, a natural Rwandan, a washed Kenya and a natural Colombian Geisha), which can be had by the cup, or in tasting flights where you can compare two or three different beans side-by-side. Although it wasn’t explicitly on the menu, Miho was very happy to serve me the Geisha tasting flight I’d seen at Glitch Coffee & Roasters.
Soon I was tucking into the Colombian Geisha alongside a washed Bolivian Geisha. Compared to the tasting flight at Glitch Coffee & Roasters, I felt there was a lot less contrast between the two, despite the different processing methods. Both were excellent, however, smooth, subtle coffees, although I fear much of the subtly was lost on me! Of the two, the Colombian was my favourite, offering a sweeter cup.
|4-3-14 AKASAKA • MINATO-KU • TOKYO • 107-0052 • JAPAN|
|http://glitchcoffee.com||+81 (0) 3 5545 1565|
|Monday||08:00 – 18:00||Roaster||Glitch (filter only)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 18:00||Seating||Window-bar, Counter, Bench; Bench (outside)|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 18:00||Food||None|
|Thursday||08:00 – 18:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 18:00||Payment||Card + Cash|
|Saturday||08:00 – 18:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||08:00 – 18:00||Power||No|
|Chain||Local||Visits||15th September 2019|
If you liked this Coffee Spot, then check out the rest of Tokyo’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Tokyo.
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