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What’s Third Wave Coffee All About?

Mar 29, 2018

Try Third Wave Coffee in Shinjuku!

The current "coffee generation" is referred to as the "third wave". The first wave was the era of instant coffee from the end of the 19th century to the 1960s. That was followed by the second wave from the 1960s to around the year 2000 when Seattle-based coffee chains exploded in popularity. The third wave is characterized by the careful selection of bean by origin, roasting in-store, and the use of the pour-over method for precision brewing.

Tokyo is an excellent city for third wave cafés. In this article we will introduce some cafés that specialize in third wave coffee that can be found close to Shinjuku Station.

Verve Coffee Roasters

Based on the American West Coast in San Francisco, Verve Coffee opened a location last year in NEWoMan Shinjuku, a commercial facility connected to Shinjuku Station via the New South Exit. After being purchased from farms around the world, the coffee beans are roasted in California and then quickly shipped by plane to Shinjuku where they are carefully brewed by the baristas. As the shop maintains that "coffee is a fruit", Verve Roasters delivers fresh java with a slightly fruity aroma.

Address: 2nd Floor, 5-24-55 Sendagaya Shibuya-ku Tokyo
Hours of operation: Everyday, 8:00AM-10:00PM

Paul Bassett

Owned by World Barista Championship winner Paul Bassett, this café is located in the high-rise district of Shinjuku.
Sharing space with an Italian restaurant, Paul Bassett has an atrium-style roof for an open feeling. They roast and grind their coffee beans in-house.
The menu is filled with interesting drinks. One of the options is the flat white, a favorite in Australia. Once your order is taken, a seasoned barista will make your beverage behind the open counter, and may even carefully create some latte art for you. Watching the process is almost as good as drinking it.
Beyond espresso beverages, Paul Bassett also has desserts and entrees; so many that you may have trouble deciding what to order. When out for a stroll in Shinjuku, consider stopping by for a break.

Address: 1−26−2 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Hours of Operation:
Monday-Friday: 7:30AM-8:30PM
Saturdays: 8:00AM-8:00PM
Sundays and Holidays: 9:00AM-7:00PM

4/4 Seasons Coffee

Read as "All Seasons Coffee", this café located close to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden has a simple and relaxed interior. They offer coffee from carefully selected beans - you can get genuine pour-over coffee here! They also sell carefully selected single-origin beans that have been roasted in-house. Their top recommendation is Perla Negra, a micro-lot bean that comes from the Las Lajas Farm in Costa Rica and that is specially produced and processed only in small quantities. Their desserts, which are made daily, are also popular.

As they have a large foreign clientele, the 4/4 Seasons Coffee has an English menu and all employees speak English. When near Shinjuku Gyoen National Park, stop in for some java!

Address: 2-7-7 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Hours of Operation:
Monday-Friday: 8:00AM-8:00PM
Weekends, Holidays: 10:00AM-7:00PM
Closed: Tuesdays

Blue Bottle Coffee - Shinjuku

Known as a driving force behind the coffee boom, Blue Bottle Coffee landed in Japan two years ago and its popularity has not waned since. This location is their third in Japan and can be found in the popular NEWoMan shopping complex. You can have excellent Blue Bottle Coffee without going all the way to the first Japan location in Kiyosumi-Shirakawa.
Since their founding, Blue Bottle Coffee has adhered rigidly to their core principle of making their pour-over coffee with beans that have been roasted within the past 48 hours. They also sell beans to go, which makes a great gift for others or for yourself to brew at home.

Blue Bottle Coffe is another excellent example demonstrating the appeal of third wave coffee. Easy to get to, the Shinjuku location is a great place to take a break between the office and shopping.

Address: 4-1-6 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Hours of Operation: Everyday, 8:00AM-9:30PM