Stockholm Roast was a chance discovery on my way to the office during my second visit to Tokyo in 2018. It’s located inside the Tobacco Stand, an old-fashioned smoke shack, for want of a better word, which makes its living by selling tobacco, etc. Although in this case, it’s tobacco and speciality coffee. The Tobacco Stand has been going for four years, but it was only last year that it upped its coffee game, installing a La Marzocco Mini espresso machine and sourcing coffee from Stockholm Roast. There’s a blend on espresso and three/four single-origins on pour-over, all roasted in the Swedish capital and air-freighted to Japan.
There’s not much to the Tobacco Stand, just a small, square kiosk with three stools inside at the counter, plus a table outside in a sheltered seating area. There are a pair of takeaway windows, one here, the other on the street, but otherwise that’s it. Be warned: if you don’t like tobacco smoke, this may not be the place for you since customers smoke both inside and out.
November 2019: I’ve updated my piece on Stockholm Roast / The Tobacco Stand. This is the original write-up, published in October 2018. For an up-to-date description, please see the updated post, while you can see what’s changed in my Coffee Spot Update.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Stockholm Roast literally caught my eye while walking past on my way to the office. I’d just come from having coffee at Ratio &C so didn’t stop, instead calling in on the next three days. On Aoyama Dori, just northeast of Omotesando Station and its junction with Omotesando Avenue, it’s in good company: Blue Bottle Coffee, Café Kitsuné and the new Maruyama Single Origin all inhabit the narrow streets just behind Stockholm Roast.
It’s at the start of a long, narrow alley lined with bars, food stands and the like, with plenty of outdoor seating. Like a small street food market, Stockholm Roast fits in perfectly. The location, on the right-hand side at the alley’s entrance, is excellent, catching both passing trade on Aoyama Dori (me) plus those going into the alley.
If you’re in a hurry, there’s a takeaway window on Aoyama Dori (incidentally, the pastries are displayed here), so you don’t even have to go inside. Alternatively, head to the kiosk’s left, where there’s a small, raised, covered terrace with a solitary table (although if you sat at one of the tables in the adjoining area, I doubt anyone would mind). There’s another takeaway window here on the right, so you can order without going inside (handy if you really don’t like the smoke).
Your other option is the door to the left of the takeaway window which leads into the tiny interior. The Tobacco Stand is pretty much a cube, the back and right-hand walls (as seen from the street) lined with tobacco and smoking-related products. Stockholm Roast is in the front left-corner, where a two-sided counter takes up over half the floor space. This runs from next to the takeaway window at the front, via an L-shape, to between the takeaway window and door on the left-hand wall. There’s not much space, so it can be a bit of a squeeze. There are three stools at the counter if you want to sit inside, the perfect place to chat with the baristas.
I visited three times, trying the espresso, cappuccino (both with the Brazilian house-blend, although by now there may be a new Brazil-Ethiopia blend) and a pour-over. I began with a cappuccino on my first morning, the coffee in harmony with rich, creamy milk, but the flavour coming through nicely. I tried the espresso itself on my last day, a beautiful, well-balanced coffee with great mouthfeel and a classic flavour profile.
Finally, there was the pour-over. I had a choice of four single-origins, three naturals, one washed. I selected the Kenyan (natural) and was impressed that, despite the cramped interior, there was no corner cutting when it came to making my V60. The resulting cup wasn’t as fruity as I’d expected from the beans’ aroma, but it was still pretty good, one of the better pour-overs I’ve had in Japan.
|3-13-246 MINAMIAOYAMA • MINATO-KU • TOKYO • 107-0062 • JAPAN|
|Monday||11:00 – 22:00||Roaster||Stockholm Roast (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 22:00||Seating||Counter; Table (outside)|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 22:00||Food||Cakes|
|Thursday||08:00 – 22:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 22:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||11:00 – 22:00||Wifi||Free|
|Sunday||11:00 – 22:00||Power||N/A|
|Chain||No||Visits||Original: 24-26th October 2018
Update: 5-6th, 9-13th September
5-8th November 2019
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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