Recently somebody asked me about my favorite coffee experience. Naturally, first thoughts shifted to visions of "deconstructed" lattes and cups with documented legacies straight out of 23 And Me. But none of those memories really stuck out. That's when I remembered (accidentally) stumbling into Fuglen in Tokyo.
I woke up that morning and realized that I have not charged my Wi-Fi hotspot overnight which meant getting back to the tried and true method of checking the map to determine the basic direction of travel and then doing your best to remember where you are heading. Now, if you have ever travelled with me, you know that I am fairly good at navigating and figuring out how to get from Point A to Point B with or without the use of a map. But Tokyo's layout - and this being my first morning in the city - have proven to be a challenge. I checked the phone, picked a random cafe, committed the map to memory and set off from the hotel. 20 minutes later I was lost.
As I was about to get close enough to one of the ubiquitous 7-Elevens to use their free and password-free WiFi, I noticed a couple exit a shop across the street with coffee cups in their hands. I decided to investigate. I opened the door and walked into the dark space reminiscent of a modernist Scandinavian cabin. I handed my Yen to the barista working hard behind the bar stocked with a handful of beer, whiskey and aperitifs, received my cup and went to sit on one of the couches.
At that moment, the silence - which I haven't noticed until that moment - was interrupted by the opening harmony and groove of The Meters' "Cissy Strut" and all of a sudden this place felt like the most perfect coffee shop in the world.
And the coffee? It was pretty fucking good.
Fuglen Tokyo, 1 Chome-16-11 Tomigaya, 渋谷区 Tokyo 151-0063, Japan