Bear Pond Espresso (Cafe), Shimokitazawa

The first cafe to be introduced on this blog is "Bear Pond Espresso", a joint that attracts more and more repeaters since it opened last summer, and which has been getting great reviews on both domestic and international quality press. It is managed by the Tanaka couple who used to live in the U.S. for almost 20 years, so no worries as to be lost in translation in this place.
Mr. Tanaka fell in love with Espresso while living in NY, and after learning the abc of the coffee making from his favorite barista, came back to Japan and opened his first Espresso cafe.

I am neither a coffee aficionado nor do I know anything about it, and would rather drink a good Earl Grey than an Espresso, but still, this place has definitely changed my opinion on the drink . It is actually the first time that I've been wanting to try all the different coffees that a cafe serves. Looking at the other Japanese and foreign customers around me who seem to know about coffee and come back day after day, I guess I'm not the only one thinking this place is good.

As I said, I'm not a coffee guy so I always order the "easier", less bitter variations. I've been repeating on the above Cappuccino (¥350) which I find delicious. As you can see on the picture, the milk is surprisingly foamy, creamy in the mouth, and quite sweet on the taste though I do not add any sugar.

It's not the cheapest place around, but if you're looking for a good New York style espresso or its variants, please definitely try this place. Their recommendation is the "Gibraltar". Click here for the menu!

For your information, the Tanaka's are very nice and chatty so if you have any questions, do not hesitate!

"Bear Pond Espresso" is closed on Tuesdays. Open the rest of the week from 10am to around 7pm.

Setagaya-ku, Kitazawa 2-36-12

click here for a MAP


Anonymous said...

haha I know who you are! I was a regular at Bear Pond as well. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

2 out of 3 times I have been to Bear Pond Shimokita Katsu was very rude. But today he was over the top rude, completely passive aggressive over nothing.

In both cases, I politely made an inquiry to certain things in the shop. The first being why is there no espresso after 2 pm? He immediately became irritated and had suggested reasons which didn't make any sense to me, such as: "the air changes after 14:00 and because of the quality of the air after 14:00 we can't serve the same taste so we stop". I too, had travelled far specifically for an espresso. I later made the same inquiry at the Shibuya location, and the staff there had said it was because Katsu only brought in limited amounts of beans daily and it sold out by 14:00 usually.

Today myself and some friends were enjoying ourselves, one of them took a picture. They asked no photos. That's fine. But I tend to be a curious person so on the way out I asked why the no photo policy? Wouldn`t it be free advertising as people talked about being there? Katsu and his wife launched off into a rather rediculous tirade suggesting: I don't know how to follow rules, rules are rules, why do police have rules? What if he touched me, what if he went into someone's house, am I not able to understand rules and privacy!? Eventually his shouting and verbal attacks on all 3 of us had the entire shop cleared out as frightened customers headed out the door. So in the end, he yells at me "you destroyed my business!!".

I think the taste is good, but you'll need to be able to stomach Katus's F*CK-YOU-I'M-FROM-NEW-YORK attitude.

Anonymous said...

I agree. So so so rude. Never going back again. Ever. Many friends have said the same and also banned going back to this place.