At the rate of new coffee shop openings in Tokyo, you could probably drink from a different boutique café every day for a month and still not have worked your way through all the hand-drip brews on offer. But we’re not complaining. Our latest favorite is Verve Coffee Roasters, which has arrived in Shinjuku all the way from Santa Cruz.
Founded in 2007 by Californians Ryan O’Donovan and Colby Barr, the brand has up until now always been about “coastal vibes” and a “go west” mentality. So opening a branch slap bang in the middle of Tokyo is a surprise decision. However, chief operations officer Mike Eyre explains that when they thought about the prospect of opening in Tokyo, their first location outside of California, “we realized that going to Japan was actually how a west coast company goes west – you cross the Pacific.”
The Verve Coffee Roasters team is renowned for being involved with every aspect of their coffee production from farm level (buying it) to street level (serving it). They work hard to establish relationships with farms across the world, ensuring they’re sourcing and serving the best quality brews.
Their philosophy holds strong at their new Shinjuku branch, which you can find on the second floor of the recently opened Newoman shopping complex. Even though it’s attached to Shinjuku Station – which we all know is madness at the best of times – they’ve managed to capture at least a hint of their signature coastal outpost atmosphere. Hanging plants, warm tones of wood, and thumbs-up-giving staff all make you want to take a seat and stay a while.
When we visited, we tried a cup of their Ethiopia Layo Teraga blend, which comes from Uraga, Guji and is described with the words “boysenberry, citric, punch.” It was fresh and delicate yet fruity and rich at the same time. Need a snack too? Pair your cuppa with one of their very delicious donuts…
Map and contact details here.