Irukaya Coffee Shop: A Principled Sanctuary

12.03

CNN Travel recently published a story about a unique (and surely controversial) coffee bar in Japan that is either too new or too elusive to have made Oliver Stand’s Tokyo list. Irukaya Coffee Shop (Google translated to Dolphin?) is a windowless, 4 seat, reservation only shop run by Hiroshi Kiyota.

The shop maintains a strict set of rules on its Japanese Excite blog that include:

- Please refrain from lingering on one order—order again within 1 hour.
- No groups larger than 2 people
- No pictures
- No Smoking
- No mobile phones
- No take-away
- No children
- Reservation only during open hours
- Rule breakers are asked to leave 

The article details the writer, Nicholas Coldicott‘s  visits to Irukaya, including Kitoya’s humble demeanor, the competition-worthy signature beverages on the menu and the extensive list of rare whiskeys that can only be ordered alongside coffee.

Finally, he poured the brew into two cups, alternating so each shared the top, middle and tail of the coffee. He tasted one cup, then served me the other. “Yubisaki,” he said. “Drink it as you would a whisky. It should take around 20 minutes … On paper, the rules look forbidding, but the longer you spend in Irukaya, the more they make sense. It’s not a place you go for a caffeine fix. It’s a sanctuary that happens to serve java. Most of the rules are in place to keep things tranquil. – CNN Travel

While this is sure to ruffle some feathers as being pretentious and off-putting, it sounds like an incredible experience. Where Penny University meets the Soup Nazi, wrapped in Japanese tranquility—sign me up.

Read the full article on CNN Travel

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Irukaya
5-7-39 Inokashira
Mitaka-shi
+81 (0) 90 3042 4145
open 2 p.m.-midnight, closed Wednesday

Photos: Julen Esteban-Pretel for CNN

posted by on 12.03.2012, under Coffee Touring

Learning to love quality

01.26

You can’t take an awful coffee and brew it into a beautiful cup, but you can take a beautiful coffee and ruin it completely.

Great video talking about consumer awareness of higher quality coffee.

via daviddonde.com

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posted by on 01.26.2010, under Misc.