Coffee Valley | Tokyo Travel Diary

Coffee ValleyCoffee Valley | 2-26-3 Minami-Ikebukuro, Tokyo, 03-6907-1173 | Website | Nearest Station: Ikebukuro

This is a bittersweet post to write, as I sit here sipping coffee in my London apartment. Only a couple of weeks ago I was walking around the backstreets of sunny Ikebukuro, searching for this elusive spot. I actually discovered Coffee Valley whilst reading an old issue of Vikka magazine. The feature was pretty tiny, but the emphasis on good coffee and natural food caught my eye. It may sound silly but this little cafe was on my list of must-visit spots whilst we were in Tokyo.

How is the coffee and food?

We arrived late afternoon to find a queue of around 10 people. As a Londoner, this is nothing for me. People seemed curious about us. Maybe because this well-loved spot isn’t exactly on the tourist map. I don’t know. Either way we happily waited with everyone; which consisted of mainly dates and friends. After around 15 minutes we were directed into the cafe. We were spoken to in fluid Japanese, and told to find a table (spread out over 2 floors) before ordering at the counter on the ground floor. The menu here is small, just a coffee list and the daily sandwich, French toast and cake. Don’t worry though if you don’t speak Japanese. It’s all pretty straight forward, the food is displayed on the counter – so you can easily point – and the staff are very friendly.

We ordered two of “today’s sandwich” whilst I had a flat white, and Ben a drip coffee.  Our egg sandwiches were seasoned well with pepper and small bits of vegetables, which created a nice blend of textures. The sandwiches also came with a side of various pickled vegetables to continue the theme – my favourite! The bread was fresh and soft, and the filling was very tasty. I really appreciated the use of natural, wholesome ingredients. The best way to describe the food here is: simple flavours, done well.

As for the coffee, well it was great! Just as good as my favourites in London. They used freshly roasted beans, with a couple of options of origin. I tried some of Ben’s drip coffee, which was smooth and full-flavoured. If I hadn’t been after a slightly milkier alternative, I would have easily chosen the drip.

Final thoughts on Coffee Valley…

For me, Japanese cafes are in a league of their own. Coffee Valley is no different here. Not only is their branding on-point, but their ideology is too. For me food and coffee should be simple at heart, and transparent. By that I mean the use of fresh ingredients which you can trace back to their source. Again, this is something independent cafes in Japan do well. I hope I’m not coming across as pretentious, but at the end of the day Coffee Valley offers up great food, and even better coffee. So if you find yourself in Tokyo, looking for a chilled cafe, make sure you pop by.

You can find out more about Coffee Valley here (non-Japanese speakers can this Google translate version).

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Introducing… Drip App

drip appDrip App | The Prepaid Coffee App | Available on: iTunesGoogle Play

“Coffee is a language in itself” It may sound silly, but I think Jackie Chan was on to something when he commented on his love for caffeine. Coffee brings people together, whether it’s literally at a cafe, at work, or just a like on an Instagram photo. Coffee’s hold on people is undeniable. I discovered coffee at 15, when I was working in a tea room. I helped grind the freshly roasted beans, and drank only the best. But only a few years later I stopped drinking caffeine. I missed coffee a lot, especially the smell (it’s heavenly). So when I started drinking it again after moving to London, it was as though a veil had been lifted from my eyes. My true love was back.

What is Drip App?

Enter Drip App, a new London-based prepaid coffee app for your mobile. I’ve seen my fair share of pre-paid beverage apps, but I soon realised that Drip is a little different. Drip allows you to buy a Drink Plan – credits that allow you to purchase your favourite drink at discounted prices. Coffee isn’t a cheap habit, so this was a massive draw for me. For £9 I can get 4 drinks (£2.25 each), or for £21 – 10 drinks (£2.10 each). When I thought about it, my average drink was costing £3-£3.20, and if I bought a coffee everyday that’s over £21 a week. So already I’d be getting 3 free drinks. If you’re like me, you may even want to consider the Unlimited Coffee Plan – at £89 a year, you can buy all the coffee you like – at less than £3 a day! The math is pretty simple really. If you love coffee, you’re going to save.

But do they have my favourite coffee shop?

Probably. The list of cafes and coffee shops on Drip is constantly growing, and I’ve already found several of my favourites on there. One of the perks is that it helps me discover places in my area that I didn’t even know about. Sure they don’t all work out, but when the coffee is this cheap, I can’t complain.

I should also point out that whilst the app is aimed at coffee fans, it does offer other drinks such as tea, matcha latte etc.

Fancy a free coffee…

Get £4 free credit on Drip with my code ‘EXG878’ and a 20% discount on any plan with code ‘BLOOMZY20’.
Download the app on iTunes and Google Play.

You can also follow my Drip adventures on my Instagram.

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