Impressive latte art does not necessarily equal tasty blends, but in the case of Streamer Coffee Company, the quality of the crema and design definitely matches the taste.
Latte art master Hiroshi Sawada is a household name on the coffee scene – he was the first Asian to become a world champion, achieved with the highest score in history and nothing less, at the “2008 Free Pour Latte Art Championships” in Seattle, USA. Two years later, the skillful barista opened his own cafe in Shibuya, and his shop quickly found spots on most “Best Coffee in Tokyo” lists.
The must-try item on the menu is the Streamer Latte, which is served in a large mug, and obviously adorned with intricate, leafy latte art. The coffee is creamy and frothy (perhaps not strong enough for some), and the cup seems bottomless so you can sip on it for what seems like forever. If you don’t have time to sit down you can take out your beverage in a paper cup, which also comes with the art, but sitting in the cafe is half the experience.
The minimalist decor, wooden furniture and great soundtrack is the perfect escape from the nearby Shibuya chaos. You can choose to sit at the large communal table, perch yourself on a chair at the counter, or sink in one of the leather seats – if its not the espresso, the chilled out, relaxed atmosphere usually keeps us there for hours. You can buy their fresh coffee beans, and Streamer-related merchandise such as glass latte jars, notebooks, pens and Sawada’s (autographed) book.
Streamer Coffee Company has another, smaller branch in Harajuku, and even a recent outlet in the trendy Horie district of Osaka. It’s probably the closest to perfection we’ve seen in Tokyo, all around; the coffee tastes great, you can sit and work for hours in a peaceful environment, and it definitely isn’t a stroller parking lot like chains we won’t name. Yet, one big problem makes us cringe: what happened to the free Wi-Fi?
Main image: Nokton/Flickr