“Cool!” and “Yum!” sum up my experience at Neighbor Coffee Company, a sweet little cafe located just at the entrance to the up-and-coming “Jeans Street” designer shopping area of Kojima, Kurashiki-shi.
I first learned of Neighbor Coffee Company from Luc Gougeon’s blog. You can read his review here: http://foodietopography.net/neighbor-coffee-company/ As a prelude, Luc’s photos of the shop are really nice–much nicer than mine, in fact, and he obviously knows much more about coffee than I do.
Neighbor Coffee Company is located in central Kojima, on the north side of the Shimin Koryu Center (which used to be the Seto Ohashi Bridge Museum). It’s on the second floor of a corner building and is accessed by a really narrow circular staircase. The cafe doesn’t really stand out when you’re looking at it from the street.
Once you’re inside the cafe, it looks totally different.
The cafe is bright, spacious, and modern but feels very relaxing and inviting. I love the mix of concrete, glass, metal, and wood; the simple lines of everything blend well to great effect. The concrete flooring has a “reclaimed” feel that is inviting. The two main walls are made mostly of glass, and even though the view isn’t especially great, the effect still has that “wow” factor.
At the counter, I was greeted with this sight:
Look at those gorgeous doughnuts, arranged “just so” in their individual paper cups and sparkling like gems in the showcase. I was visiting with a friend, who ordered a Wild Blueberry doughnut and a Mango juice. I chose an Organic Sugar doughnut and a White Chocolate Iced Latte.
I am a freak for white chocolate and forgot that I don’t really like sweetened coffee, and this was pretty sweet. However, it was still really good because the underlying coffee was good–rich and smooth. It had obviously been properly made. The Mason jar-esque mugs were pretty cute too.
The doughnuts were AWESOME. Yes, they were more expensive than the 100 Yen donuts from Mr. Donut or Krispy Kreme but they were really worth their price. My friend and I traded bites, and even though the Organic Sugar doughnut was really great, the Wild Blueberry was even better! If you go to Neighbor, you should definitely try the Wild Blueberry doughnut.
Here’s a photo of the full counter:
Even though Neighbor Coffee Company markets their own coffee, they told me that they buy their beans already roasted from their supplier, who they did not want to reveal.
Even though we were in the cafe for a couple of hours, there was only one other customer on a late Sunday morning. I’m surprised that such a great place isn’t busy all the time.
Outdoor seating is also available (see Luc’s blog, above, for a photo).
+ What I liked about this shop: Awesome interior, nice service, fabulous doughnuts and coffee.
– What I didn’t like about this shop: Not much. No dedicated parking available, but there are two pay parking lots across the street.
Neighbor Coffee Company also offers sandwiches as well as a wide array of coffee and juice beverages, but it was impossible to get a shot of the menu without glare from the glass frame. For menu information, etc. see the website and / or Facebook page, both listed below. The website is minimal, but the Facebook page has nice some photos.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NeighborCoffeeCompany
Address: 岡山県倉敷市児島味野2－2－39 ２Ｆ Okayama-ken, Kurashiki-shi, Kojima, Ajino 2-2-39 2F
Hours: 8:00 – 20:00 Closed on Thursdays
(*NOTE* : This map shows that the coffee shop is mid-block, but actually it is on the corner)
Date visited: July 28, 2013