I found Be a Good Neighbor after going into “good coffee” withdrawals. After visiting some really great shops in Tokyo, I wanted to find a more local, domestic roaster within my district on the east-side of the city. Someone recommended that I check out Be a Good Neighbor. Luckily there was a location just one stop away at the new Skytree, which I still had not visited.
The modest kiosk, with its small bar and a few tables, is on the second floor of the large shopping mall at the foot of the Skytree. It was quaint to say the least, with an ideal location at the top of the escalators, situated between eager customers and the main shopping areas. The staff greeted me warmly as I examined the set up. Offerings included a very straightforward coffee and espresso, along side a very shiek all-in-one brewing system that does excellent pour overs. Visually, it had some artistic flair while still catering to a more mainstream audience. I was also happy to see a Synesso, all the way in Japan nonetheless! After speaking with the barista, he told me he loved the machine, though it is difficult to master. We had a good tech chat, despite my limited Japanese, which was quite an interesting experience.
This very modest young man, I feel, reflected the understated quality of this establishment. While patronized by single mothers and young folks out shopping rather than coffee aficionados, the drinks were top notch none the less. Since I was 35 C and 80% humidity that day, I opted for a pour over in lieu of my usual cap; milk and hot days are not my favorite. My Honduras was solid, perhaps not noteworthy or special, but tasty, well roasted, and expertly brewed.
The drink , however, was not really what made the trek worthwhile. This little oasis in the bustling mall had fantastic view of the Tokyo skyline and served as a pleasant space to relax and enjoy a good drink. The staff were no doubt keen to “Japanese quality service” and some of the friendliest people I met in the Tokyo coffee scene. Even by my interpretation of Japanese standards, I venture to say they were excellent, hospitable hosts. While I might not go out of my way to claim they are a “coffee destination,” if you were on the east-side of the Sumida, it is probably the best brew you are going to get.
- The view
- Service and hospitality
- Understated and low-key
Be a Good Neighbor, Skytree Kiosk