Starbucks and coffee nuts alike shouldn’t miss out on this unique, luxurious method of coffee preparation.
GINZA SIX, the largest retail facility in Tokyo’s posh Ginza district, finally opened its doors on April 20th to extreme fanfare. This new shopping and cultural center features over 241 high-end brands, including many international names that are marking their Japanese debut.
Approximately 2,500 people waited in line on the morning of the 20th to be there for the grand opening of GINZA SIX, including our Japanese-language reporter Ahiruneko. Upon opening, she immediately made a beeline to Tsutaya Books on the 6th floor, inside of which is a brand-new Starbucks Reserve Bar.
While Starbucks is a well-loved chain in Japan, with branches in all 47 prefectures, GINZA SIX’s Starbucks Reserve Bar is the first of its kind in the country, boasting rare coffees and even alcohol not found in the chain’s usual lineup. To top it off, this particular cafe also offers a special type of cold-brewed coffee not found in any of its other Japanese branches–the nitro cold-brew.
As Ahiruneko discovered, if you order the nitro cold-brew coffee, you’ll be taken to a counter where the barista will proceed to brew your coffee right in front of you with the help of the shiny apparatus pictured below. But wait a second–didn’t you order coffee, and not a draft beer!?
▼ Is that coffee coming out of this strange nozzle…
▼ …or is it a frothy Guinness?
Never fear; the beverage being prepared is indeed coffee. This particular method involves infusing cold-brewed coffee with nitrogen gas, which is then served chilled without any added ice. Both the act of pouring and the resulting foam-like surface on the top of the glass definitely resemble what you’d expect with a draft beer.
▼ Prices start at 800 yen (US$7.30)
▼ This individual drink was crafted using beans from Ethiopia’s Kayon Mountain Farm.
The barista advised Ahiruneko to first try her coffee without a straw to savor the full flavor and feel of the foam together. Upon her first sip, she was immediately struck by its smooth, creamy texture; the drink also somehow miraculously converted the deep bitterness of the original coffee into a mild, delicious taste. It was indeed unlike any coffee she had ever tried before.
▼ A selection of the merchandise on sale at the connected shop
Along with the delicious flavor of the coffee, Ahiruneko was also impressed by the kindness and expertise of the baristas, who politely and knowledgeably answered all of her specific questions about the drink and its preparation. She left with a deep conviction that this Starbucks is truly a must for any Starbucks fan due to its unique offerings and personalized experience. Thinking of the muggy days of summer just ahead of us now, the nitro cold-brew coffee would be a perfectly satisfying treat for any visitor to the Ginza area of Tokyo in the next few months!
Starbucks Reserve Bar Ginza Tsutaya Shop / スターバックス 銀座 蔦屋書店
Address: Tokyo-to, Chuo-ku, Ginza 6-10-1 GINZA SIX 6F (inside of Tsutaya Books)
東京都中央区銀座6-10-1 GINZA SIX 6F
Open: 9 am-11:30 pm