If you’re used to quality coffee, the half-dehydrated pot of tar on the hot plate at your hotel’s buffet is just a cup of bitter disappointment. Stalking the streets on a coffee hunt only leads to frustration as a lot of cafés don’t open until late morning. So what’s a coffee addict to do? Read on for our guide to getting good coffee (not looking at you Starbucks) in Tokyo when you need it — early!

I think we can do better than convenience store coffee… | Photo by Jack Heslehurst

Coffee Aristocrat Edinburgh

Coffee Aristocrat Edinburgh in Shinjuku is a 24-hour café, so coffee lovers won’t ever have to worry about getting up too early for a delicious cup of coffee… as long as you’re nearby! This classically decorated café serves up a variety of hand-picked, freshly ground coffees that are siphon (or vacuum) brewed and served with cream and your choice of raw or white sugar.

Amongst their most popular offerings are Jamaican Blue Mountain and Hawaiian Kona, with staff happy to recommend drinks to less experienced coffee connoisseurs. The tables can be crowded at peak times but settling down with an expertly brewed and personalized coffee is an experience worth waiting for.

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  • Open: 24 hours
  • Price: ¥¥¥

Streamer Coffee Company

Streamer Coffee Shibuya | Photo by Gregory Lane

The Streamer Coffee Company chain prides itself on making each shot of espresso, each cup of coffee, perfect. For those disappointed with their morning brews, they have branches in Shibuya and Setagaya open from 8am, and offer a menu of drip coffees, cold brews, and machine espresso shots from expertly chosen bean blends south of the equator.

If you’re into more novelty and creativity than just the basics, Streamer also has several syrup-flavored coffee brews and a new seasonal latte every month. The café’s casual, laid-back atmosphere with couches and low tables makes it the perfect place to relax for an hour in the morning before getting on with your day.

  • Open: From 8am
  • Price: ¥¥


Fuglen Asakusa | Photo by Gregory Lane

Fuglen is a small chain of a Nordic coffee company that moved into Japan in 2012. As a roastery in addition to a café chain, Fuglen serves their own lightly roasted coffees at their stores in Shibuya, Asakusa, Noborito and Hanegi Park – in “the Nordic way”, to use their own words. They offer a variety of espresso-based lattes and americanos alongside a single Aeropress coffee.

The light roasts used by Fuglen tend to be fruity and acidic, perfect for those who like their coffee bright. Each Fuglen location opens between 7–8am, and has its own unique charm and aesthetic, such as Shibuya’s warm wooden interior with long benches and bar seats. The cozy log cabin atmosphere makes Fuglen the perfect place for a “Nordic” winter morning coffee to light up your morning.

  • Open: 7–8am (depending on location)
  • Price: ¥

Sarutahiko Coffee

A roastery that primarily focuses on selling beans and coffee paraphernalia, Sarutahiko Coffee (Link in Japanese) packs a punch in its coffee game, with their founding statement being simply to serve coffee that people find delicious. (Link in Japanese) To that end, branches in major locations such as Ikebukuro, Akihabara, and Ebisu open from as early as 7am to serve a variety of espressos and pour over drinks, with your choice of beans and roast to ensure a personalized experience.

Like Streamer, Sarutahiko also caters to the more adventurous crowd with seasonal options for lattes. The locations are limited on seating, favoring those who would rather grab a coffee and go. However, if you can grab a seat in the morning, be prepared for a coffee experience that you dictate and that Sarutahiko will deliver.

  • Open: 7am (depending on location)
  • Price: ¥¥

Verve Coffee Roasters

Verve Coffee Roasters | Photo by Gregory Lane

Verve Coffee Roasters are an American brand and roastery from Santa Cruz, bringing what they consider the spirit of California (Link in Japanese) to Shinjuku and Roppongi. From 7am, they offer pour overs with your choice of freshly ground beans, alongside espresso and cold brew options – enough to attract even the most discerning coffee connoisseur.

Verve sources their beans from around the world and roasts in small batches in Kamakura, ensuring freshness and flavor. Their well-lit, open location in Shinjuku’s NeWoman mall and their main cafe in Roppongi add a peppy twist to their light and acidic coffees, making it the perfect place to start a bright, sunny day with a friend.

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  • Open: 7am
  • Price: ¥¥

Segafredo Zanetti

Segafredo Zanetti Nakameguro
Photo by Gregory Lane

The largest chain on this list, the Italian Segafredo Zanetti has 14 locations in Tokyo alone, opening from 7am at the earliest. Offering a wider array of dishes than most cafes, Segafredo nevertheless boasts a strong coffee game with an espresso list mirroring a traditional Italian café. Alongside the regular coffees and lattes, visitors also have more exotic options such as the Espresso Doppio and Mezzo Mezzo.

Focusing on Espresso, Segafredo offers extremely dark Italian roasts in contrast to the lighter brews on this list. The interiors also mimic the traditional Italian café, with bar seats being common, although some locations have tables and terrace seating. Close your eyes while you drink your full-bodied espresso in Segafredo and you might forget you’re not in Milan.

  • Open: 7am (depending on location)
  • Price: ¥

For more about cafés and good coffee in Tokyo, check out the following articles.

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Filed under: Cafés | Eating & Drinking
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