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Hey Joe – Nagoya’s Best Coffee Shops

February 21, 2018

While stereotype would have it that the Japanese are all nothing but green tea fiends, if you just look around there can be no doubt that the nation is in fact run on coffee, with everyone from salarymen to schoolgirls (there goes those stereotypes again) chugging down the stuff all throughout the day.

In the past coffee in Japan was considered a medicinal pick me up rather than something to be enjoyed, but in recent years, with chains such as Starbucks, Pronto and Doutour found on every high street, and with convenience stores and even vending machines dispensing it on every corner, coffee culture has exploded in Japan, and there is no shortage of joe to go around.

However, for those of you who think that you can’t call canned coffee coffee, or if you have a Kleinian aversion to large multi-national chains, then it’s been pretty difficult to get a decent cup. Fortunately the tide is changing as the last couple of years has seen something of a coffee revolution in Japan. And even in Nagoya, where for so long Komeda has been king, there are some excellent coffee shops to choose from. Below are a few of our favorites.

Trunk Coffee Bar

There are three branches of Trunk so far (they seem to be in constant expansion) but in my opinion the original in Takaoka is the best. Using single blend beans from some of the world’s rarest, top quality beans Trunk roasts their beans in house for guaranteed freshness. The decor is sort of ramshackle in a charming, homely way, but the best thing is that many of the staff speak English. Oh, and you can get Japanese craft beer too.

The Cups

Boldly claiming to brew ‘the best coffee in town’, there are three The Cups around the city, in Nagoya Station, Fushimi and Sakae, and another on the Yamazaki riverside. While the latter is amazing for cherry blossom season, the others are probably more accessible, and Fushimi is the original. As well as hand drip, you can get an excellent espresso, American press and cold brew. I’d recommend getting a double espresso and pairing it with one of their amazing gelatos or parfaits

  • Where: Nagoya, Naka Ward, Nishiki, 2−14−1 X-ECOSQ. (map)
  • Websitecups.co.jp

Morgan Coffee Stand

I’ve not been to Morgan Coffee Stand, but it gets excellent reviews from the JIS office staff. While I’m reliably informed that the coffee is excellent and the atmosphere is very welcoming, it’s the handmade sweets that’s got me excited. I’ll be sure to check it out and get back to you.

Magni’s Coffee Truck

Magni’s Coffee Truck is probably my favorite coffee place in Nagoya, and not just because it’s right next to my apartment. The guy who runs it (and I have to presume his name is Magni, but having been there too many times, its probably to late to ask now, but it’s the guy in the picture at the top of this page) spent four years in Germany where his love for coffee percolated. Upon his return to Japan he kitted out his VW wagon into a coffee and cocktail bar. Drip coffee and espressos are specialities, he makes a mean mojito and has a stock of German  beer. But what I like most is that it is open air in a busy Meieki thoroughfare, so that you can sit outside and meet a whole load of cool guys and girls who rock up. It’s an awesome atmosphere.

  • Where: 3 Chome-11-18 Meieki, Nakamura-ku (map)
  • Websitemagnis.jp

By Mark Guthrie

Image via facebook.com (modified)

Image by http://www.trunkcoffee.com/coffeebar.html (modified)

Image by http://cups.co.jp/about.html (modified)

Image via facebook.com (modified)

Image via facebook.com (modified)

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