Written by Ramona Taranu
Coffee no Kaori: A Tokyo Cafe Inspiring Creativity And Imagination
Coffee no Kaori is a cafe in Tokyo's Kodaira City that is loved by the locals for its thoughtfully brewed high-quality coffee. The interior of the cafe is decorated with stained glass lamps and art, allowing customers to relax and reattune themselves to their own creativity.
A Secret Place, Just for Yourself
Do you have a favorite place where you go when you feel the need to gather your thoughts and recharge? Whether it's a place with fabulous scenery in the heart of nature, somewhere by the sea, or, why not, even one's own room, probably all of us have a place that we can call our "oasis."
My own oasis is Coffee no Kaori, a cafe in Tokyo's Kodaira City. Besides being a location with excellent coffee, it's a place one can turn to for inspiration. Let me tell you what makes this coffee shop so special.
Coffee no Kaori - A Coffee-Lover's Oasis
Coffee no Kaori, also called Arome de Café, is located near Kodaira Station (Seibu Shinjuku Line), right along the way to Rune Kodaira, the Kodaira Citizens Cultural Hall.
This store is part of Nagata Coffee Club, which includes two other coffee shops at the South Exit of Kodaira Station - Nagata Coffee and Poem, and the Nagata Coffee Roastery located at the North Exit. Nagata Coffee Club started out of the owner's love for coffee culture and their wish to create a space for visitors to unwind with a good cup of coffee.
Their dedication can be felt in every detail of Coffee no Kaori, which opened in 1993. The quality of the coffee and sweets served here also speaks of their passion.
A Space that Stimulates Imagination and Creativity
The moment you step into Coffee no Kaori, you'll notice the very special atmosphere of this place. It's like entering a room that has its own laws of space and time.
The elegant wooden interior is decorated with stained glass lamps. In fact, there is a lamp on each table projecting beautiful mosaics of light all around.
The cupboard behind the counter is full of precious porcelain cups, one more sophisticated than the other.
Beautiful artwork is displayed on the walls, compelling the onlooker to detach their thoughts from the all-too-worldly for a while.
The music in the background further enhances the dreamy atmosphere of this space. If you come on a weekday, you'll hear classical music. On weekends, holidays, and days with a full moon, it's a tasteful jazz selection.
The full moon is celebrated each month at Coffee no Kaori with lit candles placed on each table. This special way of observing the rhythm of nature has been practiced for over twenty years, turning into the store's own tradition.
The dim, warm light, the music, and the artistic touch of this interior create the perfect environment for one to relax and daydream. Leave your thoughts to wander freely for a while and you might experience a burst of creativity. I can't even mention how many times I found myself full of new ideas and inspiration all of a sudden just by spending a few minutes at Coffee no Kaori.
Carefully Brewed Coffee and Refined Sweets
All the stores operated by Nagata Coffee Club use coffee that is selected and roasted with great care. They have a preference for coffee types with strong, distinctive features, as well as for types that are rare and hard to obtain.
The coffee beans are purchased from farms located in countries like Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Brasil, Papua New Guinea, and others. The beans are roasted in the Nagata Coffee Roastery, which also creates original blends.
At Coffee no Kaori, all the blends have original names inspired by an image associated with the flavor. Kaze no kaori (literally "The Aroma of Wind") is a mild-flavored Blue Mountain blend, Sora no kaori ("The Aroma of Sky") is a light blend of Colombian and Mokha coffee with a soothing flavor, Honoo no kaori ("The Aroma of Fire") has a deeply aromatic bitterness, and so on.
If serving coffee can be called an art, Coffee no Kaori is surely a place where one can feel the staff's dedication to this art. Each cup of coffee is brewed with the utmost care, then poured into a cup selected especially for the customer who ordered that coffee.
If you order just coffee, it is served to you accompanied by one or two beans of that particular blend. The beans are edible and allow you to taste the original flavor of your coffee.
If you order the coffee and cake set, the dessert is decorated tastefully with a seasonal flower that makes it a treat for the eyes.
There are eight to ten types of cake that customers can choose from, with organic and vegetarian options available. All the cakes have a mild level of sweetness so that they can be enjoyed by anybody.
At Coffee no Kaori, customers can also enjoy light meals such as sandwiches and toast, as well as several types of confectionery like scorns and cookies.
Allowing Yourself the Luxury to Stop Time
From my experience of striving to remain creative while working full-time in Japan, I can tell you that miracles can happen when you allow yourself the luxury to stop time for a few minutes. This is easier to do in a space that frees you from the every-day flow of time.
Coffee no Kaori, through its concept and intent, is exactly the kind of space that reattunes you to your inner resources of creativity. Enjoying a cup of coffee here reminds you that, just like the staff of this coffee shop, you have dreams you want to pour all your dedication into.
This is how the power to be yourself is restored to you in this space, again and again, every time you need it.
In cooperation with Coffee no Kaori