Stockholm Roast, a street-side coffee operation inside the Tobacco Stand, was a chance discovery during my second visit to Tokyo in 2018. Due to its location (close enough to the office that I could reliably pop out and back during coffee breaks), very friendly staff and, of course, excellent coffee, Stockholm Roast became my go-to spot during that week.
It was another 11 months before I returned to Tokyo on the first of this year’s two visits. Imagine my disappointment when I turned up to the office for the first of two week-long meetings only to find that Stockholm Roast was closed! However, my disappointment was short-lived. The next day I noticed someone working in the kiosk and was relieved to learn that the closure was temporary. The Tobacco Stand, Stockholm Roast’s long-time host, had closed, with Stockholm Roast taking over the whole operation!
Two days later, on Thursday, 5th September, Stockholm Roast opened its doors as a stand-alone operation for the first time and, I’m pleased to say, I was the very first customer!
You can see what I found after the gallery.
When it comes to the coffee side of the operation, not a lot has changed, the main difference being that the Tobacco Stand has gone, a consequence of the Commune, which the kiosk is part of, having decided to go smoke-free. This means that you can now enjoy your coffee without the risk of coming away smelling of smoke. Although it’s still primarily a takeaway operation, if you’re staying, there’s the same choice of sitting inside at the counter, or outside in an expanded seating area.
This is perhaps the biggest difference: the single three-person table on the decking to the left of the kiosk has been joined by a three-person wooden sofa and an armchair, separated by a coffee table, plus there’s another three-person table. There are also a handful of tall stools and a low bench by the serving hatches. Inside, naturally enough, all the tobacco-related material has gone, replaced with coffee-related merchandising and, of course, retail bags of coffee. Stockholm Roast has also extended the counter to the end of the kiosk, so whereas it was once L-shaped, providing seating along the back and right-hand walls, now there’s just a pair of stools on the far side of the counter.
Little has changed on the coffee-side of the operation, with the beans still coming from Stockholm. There are two blends (Tokyo and Transatlantic), plus two or three seasonal single-origins, all of which are available as pour-overs through the V60 (hot or over ice), with the Transatlantic Blend available via a concise espresso menu, all the shots pulled on the bright red La Marzocco Linea Mini.
As well as my visit in September, I was also back in Tokyo last week, when once again Stockholm Roast was my go-to coffee stop, both on the way to work for a flat white in my HuskeeCup, and for various pour-overs in my Global WAKEcup. I also had a shot or three of the espresso.
I’ve been consistently impressed with the Transatlantic blend (a mix of two Brazilian beans), both from 2018 and during my two visits this year. Although the darkest roast on offer, it’s not very dark and goes really well in milk, producing a very fine, smooth flat white, milk and coffee in perfect harmony. On its own, it’s a well-rounded, well-balanced, full-bodied espresso with classic notes.
The pour-overs are even better. When I was there in September, the blends were joined by two naturally-processed single-origins from Ethiopia and Colombia, which I tried along with the Tokyo Blend (Ethiopian plus Brazil). I enjoyed all three, but the Colombian was the standout. It had a really fruity first hit and just kept improving as it cooled.
On my return last week, there were two single-origins, the same Ethiopian Guji Highland heirloom, which was offered in two roasts, medium or light, plus a Brazilian natural. I tried all three, preferring the light-roast Ethiopian, a subtle, sweet, fruity coffee. I’m looking forward to returning next year to see what’s on offer!
|3-13-246 MINAMIAOYAMA • MINATO-KU • TOKYO • 107-0062 • JAPAN|
|Monday||09:00 – 20:00||Roaster||Stockholm Roast (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||09:00 – 20:00||Seating||Counter; Table, Benches (outside)|
|Wednesday||09:00 – 20:00||Food||Cakes|
|Thursday||09:00 – 20:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||09:00 – 20:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||11:00 – 20:00||Wifi||Free|
|Sunday||11:00 – 20:00||Power||N/A|
|Chain||No||Visits||Original: 24-26th October 2018|
|Update: 5-6th, 9-13th September
5-8th November 2019
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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