The heat is on.

I know, I know – it wasn’t as if no one said Tokyo was going to be this hot but still – every time I set outside I am a little amazed at the feeling walking into a wall of moist heat.

Getting over the jetlag now, and feeling ok.  Yesterday was a gentle introduction to the city (we are staying in Ginza).  I was amused to see the Cup of Excellence logo up outside a coffee shop and when everyone else flagged and went napping I wandered back for my first cup of coffee in Japan.

I chose the Guatemalan CoE offering they had and settled back to watch them brew from afar.  The cup was well brewed, but tasted a little lacking – could be the beans were a little old (at least they were ground to order in a nice old Santos) or that the greens are now over a year old (I only noticed halfway through the cup that the sign was dated 2006).  I had hoped the caffeine would help me last a little longer but it failed miserably and I crashed out.

This is a coffee blog, so I am not going to bore you all to death with the touristy things we do and all the things on sticks I am eating (I have no idea what most are, and for the most part they’ve been very tasty).  The only coffee highlight so far today has been visiting one of the Paul Bassett cafes.  We stumbled upon it by accident and were quickly ushered to a seat.  I think staff have probably been warned that this week they better be on form.  It was interesting, and inspiring, to see that when you order and espresso they pull a test shot, then pull your single and taste the other one.  The espresso I had was very antipodean in style (as you’d expect) – a lot of coffee in the portafilter and a short, short shot.  Interestingly clean at first sip, the full coffee hit didn’t get you til the finish.  The milk drinks Stephen and Jenny had were very tasty though.

Hopefully we’ll manage to hook up with some coffee folks tonight and catch up over something deep fried (how I love thee tempura) and a few drinks.

In other news – I am first up on the second day with a 9.00 am prep time.  I have long since given up on whether the opening slot is good or bad, or any slot for that matter.  Looking forward to performing.

4 Comments The heat is on.

  1. JIm


    Thanks for keeping us in touch. I’ve enjoyed your blog and photos for a while now and always find myself checking back. Keep it up. I hope you’re having a blast … how hot could it be?

    Best of luck to you.

  2. luca


    Lovely to see that you’re keeping your blog updated. I’m not going to be at this year’s WBC, but I know that Dave and Peter will be looking forward to running into you at some stage.

    As for me, the hunt for a consistently excellent tempura recipe continues …

    Cheers, and best of luck,


  3. Grendel

    You’ve been engaging in Tempura surfing Luca?

    James – very interesting to have a small taste of what is going on in Japan. Enormous potential there for great coffee once things get going.

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