Travel

No cake. No Wi-Fi. Just coffee. In early twentieth-century Japan, dark, smoky coffee shops called kissetan were the norm. Café de l’Ambre is really the last of its kind in Tokyo—not much has changed since 1948, which is fine with us. Owner Sekiguchi Ichiro is a centenarian who advocated the unusual practice of aging premium coffee beans—sometimes for decades—before roasting and grinding them to serve. Ichiro discovered this deep, robust aged flavor when a shipment of his beans from Europe got derailed during the outbreak of World War II. When the coffee eventually arrived in Japan five years later, Ichiro roasted the beans anyway, and the flavor took off. Sitting at the old curved bar watching the barista—or Ichiro himself if you’re lucky—hand-drip coffee probably harvested in the ’70s through a sieve is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Images courtesy of tokyocoffee.org

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