Blue Bottle Coffee Japan has added another member to their Tokyo family and has brought some much needed specialty coffee to the Shinjuku Station area. This new location is housed within the recently opened NEWoMan Shinjuku luxury department store located outside of the station’s south exit. The opening day was met with a warm reception from excited Tokyoites who jostled to be the first to grab a taste of coffee from this fashionable chain. The baristas, both newcomers and seasoned vets, kept their cool under the pressure of never ending lines and continued to serve up quality espresso and pour-overs from their sleek new coffee bar.
The cafe itself sits in a large open space on the ground floor of the department store, which lies between the shopping areas and a large glass wall looking out on to the busy side streets. In the center of the shop you’ll find a square island workspace with multiple points of sale, a pour-over station, and two La Marzocco FB80 espresso machines. Surrounding this central hub is customer seating. The only internal wall features Blue Bottle Coffee goods and coffee merchandise. True to form, this location has a simple and clean design in which blonde wood, stainless steel, and clean white play major roles. Like the other cafes in Tokyo, this location was designed by Jo Nasaraka of Schemata Designs.
This Blue Bottle Coffee, minutes outside of the world’s busiest train station, could be their most frequented cafe yet, but quality control manager Kevin Thaxton says they are up to the challenge. The Blue Bottle Coffee team have a number of systems and practices in place to constantly check and maintain their quality in each cafe, and simultaneously share their notes and data between locations. The lessons that they’ve learned from their unexpected popularity and from opening two cafes miles apart in the same year will come in handy as well. This new location could even help improve their operation: The added volume may help with consistency in their roast profiles, says Thaxton.
Shinjuku is one of Tokyo’s most popular areas. Be it for business or entertainment, millions of people pass through these streets each day. Until recently the third-wave style has been absent from this metropolis. An influencer like Blue Bottle Coffee could help to spread specialty coffee culture and introduce the unique flavors of this industry, which is a very good thing if you ask me. Blue Bottle Coffee, for their part, will continue to do their best to bring high quality coffee to anyone who enters their doors. As founder James Freeman has said, “We don’t want to just maintain quality. We want to make things better.”
Blue Bottle Shinjuku is located at: 4-1-6 Shinjuku Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Open 8am to 10pm everyday