Cafe Kobe

  • Category:Cafe


A classy break from the Sannomiya bustle

In the bustle of Sannomiya, there's an oasis of calm. Like many of the best places in Japan, it's not in the most obvious of locations. Its name isn't very unique. It's rather small, only seating 13 people. All in all, it has a very humble atmosphere.

To find it, walk along a shopping arcade, Sannomiya Hondori. Find a shop called Unicorn, and a florist called Junkaen. Opposite them, on the second floor, is Cafe.

You walk in, and you almost don't notice its size because it's so light, with big windows looking down onto the shopping street. The air is filled with wonderful smells – no cigarette smoke, because it's a no smoking cafe. It feels exclusive and special.

The menu is also diminutive, but features a choice of teas, coffees and cocoa as well as a selection of cakes, all exclusive to the store. It may be small, but everything is done with a high level of professionalism and perfectionism.

First, presentation. For tea, you can choose any of the beautiful tea cups on the back wall. The glasses, reminiscent of wine glasses, are for coffee and cocoa. As with alcohol, the glass funnels the aroma of your drink, so you can appreciate the full flavor.

Creation is another important aspect. Japan is known for its tea ceremony, but here they have a coffee ceremony. Everything is done with precision and style. Cold coffee comes from a very classy, antique-looking contraption by the window. The cocoa is made like a cocktail – the glass is cooled and the drink is mixed in a shaker.

Then there's the taste. The cocoa is perfect - a hint of bitterness with a rich flavor and texture. It went perfectly with the mildly sweet chestnut tart, an autumn special. I savored every sip and every bite, but I still finished far too soon.

If you want to recreate this sophisticated atmosphere elsewhere, you can order coffee beans or take out some of the fruit cake or madeleine. As for me, I know that I'll be coming back here whenever I visit the area. Once you've tried the best, it's hard for anything else to match up.

By Laura Welch


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