THE BEST COFFEE
Coffee. Nectar of the Gods. The ingestible equivalent of a blood transfusion at 7am every morning. Whatever you call it, a good cup of coffee could be the difference between a smile and a snarl, so when you find a well-made cup of joe: share it with your friends.
Enter the Brooklyn Roasting Company, Kitahama, Osaka.
Overlooking the Tosabori-gawa River in Kitahama, Osaka, this trendy little hipster cafe made the best almond mylk latte I’d had all trip.
In fact, I believe it was the first of only two almond mylk latte’s up until that point – the second being a fantastic cup from Aussie-owned Bills Omotesando in Harajuku.
Japan’s Coffee Culture
Japan has a surprising coffee culture, with trendy little cafés spilling out of hidden laneways of major cities. Cappuccino’s with foam so thick it’s basically a meringue, shaped into a variety of adorable animals flood instagram. They’re so cute and skillfully poured that you’d have a hard time drinking them.
But there’s one unfortunate problem: I’m lactose intolerant, and the majority of cafés I’d ventured into only supplied cow’s milk. Not even soy!
It was pretty disappointing. I used to be content with a long black, but after dealing with the fallout of caffeine withdrawal that lasted two weeks, I haven’t had a taste for them.
Scarce Resources: Almond Mylk & Breakfast
So when I stumbled across a café that used not only almond mylk but also had a small breakfast menu, I was overjoyed. Breakfast, in Japan, is a scarce resource; almond mylk even moreso.
I ordered their delicious homemade granola with almond mylk and grabbed a pre-made tuna sandwich for the Shinkansen (bullet train) back to Tokyo. Although the breakfast serve was small, it was also just enough, delicious, and thoughtfully presented on a tray with a generously-filled jug of mylk.
The tuna sandwich was on a fresh baguette, and was super simple and minimal; ideal for the train ride home.
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Not So Hipster
The flagship store in Japan, the Brooklyn Roasting Company cafe in Kitahama, Osaka, is a sweet find. Although it looked like a very cute little unique hipster joint, I later learned that it originated in New York (although the name did give it away). They have nine cafes scattered around Brooklyn, and somehow ended up with three throughout Japan.
The interior had a grungy hipster vibe that was quite cosy and chill. With a bicycle mounted on the wall next to pressed flowers and well-worn leather lounges occupied by readers and writers, it was a nice place to relax and enjoy the refreshments. The large, open door leading onto the deck let in ample sunlight, preventing an otherwise dark space from feeling claustrophobic.
TIP: Splurge on the almond mylk for an extra ¥100
(even if you can stomach regular milk!)
Coffee & Cake
Ideally, you’d sit down in the sunshine sipping a coffee and snacking on one of the delicious pastries from the cake cupboard. Filled with donuts, scrolls and croissants, it was hard leave without grabbing a treat.
The cherry on top? The prices across the board were also pretty sweet. Even with the additional ¥100 for almond mylk, the price was on par with my other option: Starbucks (whom I grew to love).