Since I’ve been back in Australia I’ve spoken to countless people about the specialty coffee scene in Tokyo. I liken it to Melbourne about 10 years ago – there’s an innate love of coffee in its people, there’s no market saturation, however there are a select few roasters that are pumping out some truly awesome beans and a community of baristas passionate about their extraction. My experience of the Japanese culture is one of perfectionism in process, there is great pride taken in making things in the most correct way possible. Specialty coffee is undoubtedly a craft that rewards this kind of approach and this is just one of many reasons why I think Tokyo is set to become the next big coffee city, the next Melbourne. That, and the fact it’s a caffeinated city of 13 million people with access to the world’s best public transport system.
If you’ve followed The Directory Coffee for a while you may already have read about the guys at Onibus. Atsushi and his team are also the crew behind About Life Coffee Brewers (easily one of the most photographed coffee shops in Tokyo), Ratio Coffee and Cycle, and they also supply beans to a number of other great cafes around Japan. With growth comes the need for more space and Onibus have just upped the ante again with the opening of a new roastery in Nakameguro. This latest incarnation of the brand is another level up from their more humble origins at Okusawa, yet it still retains the same community charm that made their first store such a friendly place to sip a brew in.
There was a heap of local artisan involvement in the fitout with artwork from Chalkboy and those gorgeous ceramics by Yumiko Iihoshi. If you ask me, Onibus are currently leading the way in the Tokyo specialty coffee scene and have done a lot of groundwork by introducing the city to the brighter side of coffee roasting. Trips to origin sourcing greens, reconnaissance missions to other coffee cities around the world and a dedication to making cool things (just check out their website and merch), these guys get it.
Onibus – growing up and getting better.
Location: Google Maps Link
Meguro-Ku, Kamimeguro 2-14-1
Tokyo, Japan, 153-0051