Unlimited Coffee Bar is almost directly under Tokyo’s famous 643m tall Skytree, which, since 2012, has been Japan’s tallest structure and the world’s tallest tower. Located just across the canal, opposite the Skytree’s southwest corner, it’s an ideal stopping off point for coffee (or lunch/dinner) either before or after taking in the magnificent views across Tokyo from the Skytree’s two observation decks. I’ve visited twice, once during my around the world trip last year, and again earlier this week on my current trip, both times calling in for coffee after a trip up the tower.
In contrast to the soaring tower, Unlimited Coffee Bar, an offshoot of Unlimited Coffee Roasters, is a much more modest affair, at least in terms of its physical extent, occupying the ground floor of a small, three storey building. The unlimited part refers to the coffee, with a selection of five or six single-origins, all roasted in-house, two of which are available on espresso, three on cold brew and all on pour-over via Aeropress, Silverton dripper or V60. Various tasting flights are offered, along with coffee cocktails, while all the beans are available in retail bags. Finally, for somewhere so small, there’s an impressive food menu.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery (all the photos from my 2018 visit unless otherwise noted).
Located on the corner of a busy intersection on the southern end of a bridge over the canal, Unlimited Coffee Bar occupies the ground floor, while upstairs is Unlimited’s barista training lab. Although small, it’s a masterpiece of squeezing plenty of seating in without feeling cramped. It’s also quite lovely, full of wooden furniture and fixtures, the only downside being that it can get quite loud.
It faces onto the bridge, a large picture window on the left, glass double-doors in the middle, and a smaller window on the right at 45° to the front. The counter is on the left, a lovely wooden affair with hexagonal panelling, set back slightly from the picture window, where you’ll find a pair of one-person tables.
You order here, ere at the front of the counter (which threw me *both* times I visited!), where you’ll find the menus and sample bags of the single-origins, complete with extensive tasting notes. Having ordered, go down the right-hand side of the counter, towards the back, past the twin white Mythos One grinders and matching La Marzocco Linea espresso machine. This is followed by a white EK43 grinder for the filter coffee and a pour-over bar with a line of Silverton drippers. At the end of all this is the till, where you pay. Then find a seat and the baristas will bring you your coffee.
As well as the two window tables to the left of the door, there’s a two-person bar to the right, separated from the door by a narrow set of retail shelves. Alternatively, at the end of the counter is a circular section of counter seating that goes around maybe 225° (and which, combined with the counter, forms a question mark). There are two chairs here, then three very comfortable padded metal bars where you can perch. This also doubles as a bar, with beer on tap and a range of spirits.
The remaining seating is in the form of conventional tables in the middle of the space, an open staircase occupying the right-hand wall, leading up to the training lab. Opposite the counter are two five-person tables with stools. These have three stools on one side and two on the other, while at the back, opposite the bar-seating and tucked under the stairs, are a pair of two-person tables.
On both my visits, I was in something of a hurry, so had to forgo the pleasure of the tasting flights, settling, in both cases, for an espresso. On my first visit, this was the naturally-processed Aricha from Ethiopia, pulled as a fairly long double shot. Really sweet on the first sip, then a little more acidic on the second and third sips, it was nicely balanced, but with a complex range of flavours.
On my return this week, I had the Recreio, another natural coffee, this time from Brazil. This was more acidic, but no less impressive, impressive enough, in fact, for me to buy a bag to bring home with me.
|1-18-2 NARIHIRA • SUMIDA-KU • TOKYO • 130-0002 • JAPAN|
|www.unlimitedcoffeeroasters.com||+81 (0) 3-6658-8680|
|Monday||CLOSED||Roaster||Unlimited Coffee Roasters (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||12:00 – 18:00||Seating||Tables, Counter, Window-bar; Bench (outside)|
|Wednesday||12:00 – 22:00||Food||Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||12:00 – 22:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||12:00 – 23:00||Cards||Amex, Mastercard, Visa|
|Saturday||10:00 – 23:00||Wifi||No|
|Sunday||10:00 – 22:00||Power||No|
|Chain||No||Visits||20th October 2018, 4th November 2019|
Liked this? Then take a look at the rest of Tokyo’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Tokyo.
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