TOPTokyo LifeGuides & Insights10 Places for Refreshing Iced Coffee in Tokyo

10 Places for Refreshing Iced Coffee in Tokyo

Iced coffee is a non-negotiable this summer

By Vivian Morelli

It’s safe to say that Tokyo is no longer the new kid on the block when it comes to coffee. The metropolis now boasts some of the top-notch café (and baristas) virtually everywhere. With the scorching heat on our tail, anyone can bet that an expertly whipped-up iced coffee is the crème de la crème of a complete hot summer vibe. Here’s a roundup of where to get our favorite iced coffee in Tokyo.

1. Eight Coffee

This small Shinjuku Gyoen coffee hatch is a little hard to find, but worth the search. Serving small cups of strong black coffee, caffe lattes and delicious homemade cookies, the store has a long solitude bench running along its wall for customers who want to sit and drink their coffee. The seating creates a great in-store environment and encourages conversation with other regular customers and first-timers to the café alike. The coffee beans are freshly milled before brewed in order to create a cup of joe with the maximum amount of flavor.

Where: 1-15-5 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku

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2. Fuglen

A café by day and a cocktail bar by night, Fuglen is practically a household name to hip locals. Their beans are lightly roasted, which is a daring leap in a city that prefers its coffee dark, but that’s what gives their coffee drinks their light, clearly beloved aroma. The shop, located off-the-beaten-path not so far from Yoyogi Park, has an extra feather stuck in its hat, too — it’s an overseas branch of their original coffee shop in Oslo, Norway. Don’t be surprised to find the place resembling a cozy Norwegian cabin. With its dark wood interior and Scandinavian-style decor, it’s no doubt a comfortable nest to escape the heat. Their Fuglen Cold Brow is the go-to choice to cool down, but their cardamon bun is a total winner, too.

Where: 1-16-11 Tomigaya, Shibuya-ku

3. The Roastery by Nozy

T.Y. Harbor’s latest venture lives up to all their other quality joints, and we love that this one focuses on coffee. The brewery teamed up with Nozy Coffee to give the fashionistas of Cat Street a little java break during their shopping spree. Instead of a usual barista counter, a large island takes up space and tempts coffee-lovers and newcomers alike to order an iced coffee in the dark, trendy interior. The shop only sells single-origin coffee and proudly roasts their beans in-store for an excellent selection of americano and lattes — the perfect summer-beating essentials. Pick a seat on the outdoor terrace to see and be seen. Their coffee beans are also available for purchase.

Where: 5-17-13 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku

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4. Jaho Coffee at Plain People

Between the line of trendy boutiques and fashion stores along the Nakameguro River sits Jaho Coffee, an eye-catching café attached to the apparel brand Plain People’s concept store. Their carefully brewed coffee has the fruity and acidic tone suitable for this upcoming hot and humid weather, but their menu expands beyond caffeinated beverages. The coffee shop has health-boosting smoothies and summery seasonal fruit tarts. There is a big center table and ample counter seats for anyone feeling to stop by and browse the in-season catalog. Don’t be surprised to see dog owners with their four-legged best friend stopping by for a cup of coffee.

Where: 1-16-10 Aobadai, Meguro-ku

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5. Glitch Coffee

Two tables, eight stools and limited outdoor seating mean this isn’t the best option for long study sessions in Tokyo’s book district Jimbocho. That said, it’s clearly doing something right as self-proclaimed coffee geeks flock to this trendy café. For someone new to the scene, it can be tempting to stick to the good old latte. Yet, after a thorough explanation from one of the baristas, you may be feeling more adventurous. It’s a great chance to sit back, relax and enjoy an impeccably roasted and exotic Kinto pour-over coffee alongside a flaky almond croissant. Heavenly. 

Where: 3-16 Kanda Nishikicho, Chiyoda-ku

6. Switch Coffee

They have two locations in Tokyo, with the newer one nestled in Yoyogi-Hachiman Station. Either way, all of their beans are sourced from local farmers in Kenya. Their original outlet in Meguro doubles as a small coffee shop and a roastery. The menu and shop layout are simple, but they don’t need to pump up any decor to prove a point — their good quality coffee already speaks for their brand. Most of their drinks can be made hot or cold: cappuccino, latte and drip coffee. While you can never go wrong with iced coffee or latte for a quick pick-me-up, you’re certainly missing out on their specialty beverage. Their espresso tonic, which is iced coffee with rum, dominates the center stage and a definite summer trend this year.

When: 1-17-23 Meguro, Meguro-ku

7. Streamer Coffee Company

Owner barista Hiroshi Sawada was the first Asian to become a world champion at the 2008 Free Pour Latte Art Championship, which means your latte will not only be delicious but adorned with beautiful art. However, even without the art on the iced latte, the creamy taste hits the spot for the hot months. Make sure you get there early enough to try one of their military doughnuts, which are almost too nice to eat.

Where: 1-20-28 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku

8. Koffee Mameya

With a location in brand new Toranomon Hills and a branch in Kyoto, nothing beats the small traditional Japanese house and garden shop located in the depths of Harajuku. The original Omotesando Koffee was closed, but the owner had revamped the building and built Koffee Mameya in the same location. They have brilliantly curated selections of coffee that range that cover all the taste wheels, and their menu is simple: coffee, espresso. Nothing else. Their cold brew (you can pick your bean-of-choice) is the ideal drink for a hot day.

Where: 4-15-3 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku

9. Be a Good Neighbor

The tiny kiosk has locations in Sendagaya, Roppongi and SkyTree, and although each shop can barely fit more than a handful of people, it’s worth squeezing in to try one of their specialty coffees. Try their blended iced coffee, latte or mocha. Don’t be afraid to linger about of a bit, as the friendly baristas will happily share interesting details about their beans.

Where: 3-51-6 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku

10. Bear Pond Espresso

Tokyo coffee list would not be complete without Bear Pond Espresso, one of the pioneers of specialty coffee in Japan. Although their Flower Child espresso blend is what they’re most famous for, we recommend the iced latte jar to cool down — and yes, they used jars way before it became a ‘thing’. Just make sure you resist taking photos.

Where: 2-36-12 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku

Bonus: At-home Iced Coffee

When the heat turns unbearable, stay inside and always brew your own coffee. Chill it for a bit, then pour over ice for an afternoon treat. If you’re a coffee connoisseur who likes to tune your craft at home, you’re most probably already armed with the right equipment, not to mention grit. You can never go wrong with the foolproof traditional Japanese iced coffee. Better yet, go clever with a refreshing coffee lemonade. Old-fashioned or with a twist, we have just a few perfect coffee recipes to recreate at home.


Looking to explore more coffee shops in Tokyo? Here are more café recommendations:

 

This article was originally published in August 2014. It was updated and republished by TW staff in June 2021.