tokyo: blue bottle café opening

© blue bottle / photography: andrew curry

founded in oakland in 2002 by entrepreneur james freeman, blue bottle has become a cult protagonist of quality coffee, opening a number of popular cafés – some even with an on-site coffee roastery – on the u.s. west and east coast. totally fussy about coffee, blue bottle's appeal is based on a product that's superfresh, and served in cool setting that has the feel of a neighbourhood's extended living room. a cool extended living room, to be precise. the company has now ventured abroad for the very first time, introducing its coffee retail concept to tokyo's discerning palates. occupying a 7,000 sq.ft. [650 sqm.] ground floor space of a converted printing factory in the kiyosumi area, blue bottle's newest outlet is certainly big enough to include a roastery, ensuring a daily supply of the prized black liquid. the interior design is courtesy of jo nagasaka of schemata architects, a tokyo-based practice familiar with and known for an austere, industrial aesthetic. not surprisingly, much of the printing factory's original elements have been retained, and next to the aforementioned roastery and a coffee bar, it features a kitchen and office space. blue bottle's new roastery will serve as the base for future expansion in the greater tokyo area. mind you, an additional café is slated to open in leafy aoyama later this month, while in daikanyama a coffee corner is planned. location: 1-4-6 hirano [kiyosumi].

© blue bottle / photography: takumi ota + andrew curry