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Experiencing the Tranquil Coffee Culture at the Speakeasy-esque Cokuun

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“Coffee is all about art and science,” Hidenori Izaki says. “Now, I’m trying to create the fine-dining version of the coffee experience to show the true value of the drink.”

At Cokuun, the reservation-only coffee bar that the acclaimed barista and coffee consultant opened last year, Izaki presents his vision for the future of the brew. With an unmarked entrance hidden inside a building complex on the backstreets of Tokyo’s Omotesando district, the bar could be easily mistaken for a contemporary art gallery. Behind the glass door, you’ll see a massive, gunmetal gray orb that recalls the science fiction-esque installations of artist Kenji Yanobe. The sculpture, designed by architect Koki Akiyoshi to resemble a tetsubin (traditional iron teapot), houses a four-seat counter where Izaki and barista Miki Suzuki prepare innovative omakase (chef’s selection) tasting courses.

The sessions showcase rare varieties of coffee produced in miniscule batches and imported exclusively for Cokuun. Izaki’s approach to coffee takes its cues from the world of mixology, where the bean in all its forms is treated as a versatile ingredient. Served in astonishingly precise preparations, the drink is blended with seasonal Japanese fruits, unique ferments and spices to highlight different aspects of the coffee’s character. Original sweets from top Tokyo restaurants such as two-Michelin-starred Narisawa pair with the final course.

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