Maeda Japanese Espresso Bar

There’s a certain style of cafe that’s been popping up around Japan over the last five years. They don’t serve food – just clean, precise espresso and the occasional filter brew (mostly syphon). Their fit-outs are impossibly ergonomic and there’s a simple, understated stylishness to their design that mirrors the professional mentality of their operators.

Visiting one of these cafes in the past has been an expensive quest, falling in the region of $1000 for a plane ticket to Tokyo. Now, however, since the arrival of Maeda in the sullied back streets of Kings Cross, Sydney has landed its very own Japanese espresso bar.

The formula is simple: take delicious specialty coffee – in this case Scottie Callaghan’s Tiempo – a blend of high-scoring seasonal coffees, throw in some rotating single origins, cold drip coffee and imported Japanese teas, then prepare them with attention to detail that borders on obsessive compulsive.

There’s an appealing contrast between the intense professionalism of Maeda and the subtle elements of laidback Japanese culture. It’s a unique vibe that’s well worth exploring, especially if you can’t afford to visit Kyoto.

Updated: May 31st, 2018

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