Have you ever secretly wished your coffee to be more artistic and colorful than usual? If you have (believe me, I have), then I know the perfect spot in Tokyo where your most colorful and imaginative coffee dreams can come true in the form of a rainbow latte brewed from top-quality specialty coffee beans. The name of this unique café in Tokyo is as impactful as its breathtakingly beautiful latte art: ROAR Coffeehouse and Roastery. The word 'Roar' is a testament to the fact that, just like a lion's roar, their freshly roasted coffee has a bold taste and flavor. Although their rainbow latte gets featured frequently in social media and news outlets, it is not the only reason Roar is so famous. Beyond its show-stopping latte art, Roar Café offers various unique drinks and food items, including drip and espresso-based coffee drinks.
The coffee beans are roasted in-house every weekend, with six different types of single-origin beans. These are some reasons ROAR coffee house has continued to flourish and stay popular for many years, even in the highly competitive Tokyo coffee scene. I am excited to share everything I know about this unique café in Tokyo with my readers. It will introduce you to a different side of Japan's diverse specialty coffee culture.
You will find ROAR Coffeehouse just a 3-minute walk from Tokyo Chuo City Hatchobori station, a busy train station bustling with office goers from early morning until late at night. This area is highly commercial and is a perfect spot for ROAR coffeehouse, as their concept is to brighten up the day of office-going people and give them a dose of good energy through ROAR café's impactful coffee. Since they are primarily a commercial-area café, they are open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Address: 2 Chome-19-11 Hatchobori, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0032, Japan
ROAR coffee’s motto is
"We want every cup of our coffee to be an energy source for your daily office life."
As mentioned, Roar Café is located just a stone's throw from one of Tokyo's busiest train stations, primarily used by office-goers. When you think of a quick pick-me-up coffee, you think of a super-fast, machine-brewed coffee that comes in a boring paper cup, made without much thought or dedication. However, that's where Roar Coffee is different from the others, and hence it has many loyal customers who keep returning to ROAR Coffeehouse. Even though most of their orders are takeout orders, they put a lot of care and hard work into making top-quality specialty coffee. In addition, they offer a mind-blowing number of options to choose from when it comes to drinks, some of which are pretty rare to find in Japan (more on this later in the article).
Their takeaway cups also have eye-catching designs; for me, they would be too lovely and artistic to throw away after I finish my coffee! They have tasteful drawings of animals roaring, such as lions, bears, cheetahs, etc., with the word "Roar" written in bold fonts. Having that cup with a roaring animal on your desk would motivate you to get through your busy office day.
Not only in real life, but Roar Coffeehouse has been a hot topic in the virtual world, mainly since their visually satisfying rainbow latte art is frequently featured in social media, and people cannot give up on the temptation to put up a photo of the Instagram-perfect rainbow latte art when they visit Roar Coffeehouse. Roar coffee house has also been featured in the renowned global magazine "Timeout" Tokyo’s esteemed list ‘Tokyo Best Café 50’.
Interior and Atmosphere
Despite its small size, Roar Coffeehouse has a very welcoming and warm atmosphere, right from its doorstop to the coffee counter. The interior features comfortable wooden furniture, an arch made of brick at the entrance, a handwritten menu board, and a beautiful coffee roaster standing near the entrance as a testament to their dedication to roasting fresh beans every weekend.
Although most customers order their coffee to go, the counter and the few other tables are perfect for a quiet and relaxing time with your coffee during an office break.
One of the biggest strengths of Roar Coffeehouse and Roastery is its impressively diverse menu of coffee and non-coffee drinks. They also offer delicious bites to fuel your office life. As they provide a variety of non-coffee drinks, Roar Coffeehouse is a place you can enjoy even if you're not a big fan of coffee. I will introduce some of their most popular menu items below.
I cannot talk about Roar Coffeehouse without mentioning its iconic Rainbow Latte. Although this spectacular drink has contributed largely to Roar Coffee’s popularity, it actually does not exist on their menu. So, it is like a secret menu item that can be made on request.
As you can see in the photo, Roar Coffee's rainbow latte is a work of art and a beautiful representation of the barista's craftmanship and latte art skills. Sometimes the design is a multi-colored rosetta, and at other times it is a phoenix spreading its colorful wings inside your cup. Ordering your rainbow latte and waiting to see what shape and design the barista will make for you is exciting.
The taste of the latte is just as good as your usual latte, with Roar Coffee's signature bold flavors and strong espresso taste balanced by perfectly steamed milk. As the food colors used to make the rainbow latte are tasteless and flavorless, they do not alter the original flavor characteristics of the coffee.
Another fabulous thing about Roar Coffee's Rainbow latte art is that you can choose the background of the latte art to be brown (the usual coffee color) or white. As the rainbow latte art colors are more accentuated on a white background, many people prefer the white version. But why is it white? Does it not have coffee in it? What they do is for the white rainbow latte art, they give you the double espresso shot on the side so you can enjoy the beauty of the latte art as much as you want, snap as many photos as you want for your Instagram posts, and then add the espresso to the drink. Japanese customers tend to prefer the white background version, whereas foreigners prefer the usual coffee-brown background, which has the espresso shot already added to it.
The white version is called "White Latte" (白いラテ), compared to the regular "Brown Latte" (茶色のラテ). I think it is an interesting idea to have espresso on the side and mix it yourself.
Dedication to coffee quality
Roar Coffeehouse is popular for its beautiful drinks and delicious quick bites. However, this should not make us think that they only care about how their drinks 'look.' They dedicate a lot of time and energy to making coffee that looks good and tastes good. Their coffee beans are roasted in-house every weekend, so you are sure to have a cup of coffee brewed from fresh coffee beans.
Aside from espresso-based drinks such as americano, latte, and cappuccino, they offer cold-brew and pour-over coffee (hand-drip, hot or iced). The pour-over coffee is made fresh upon order by a barista. In addition, they offer six different kinds of single-origin beans to make your pour-over coffee with:
- Costa Rica Honey: Tarrazu Los Santos, El Vapor Farm, Pulped Natural
- Ethiopia Washed: Yirgacheffe Town, Resti Region
- Guatemala, Agua Blanca: Fraijanes area, Washed
- Ethiopia Natural: Yirgacheffe Kochare region, Aricha area
- Colombia Los Idolos AAA: 64 small local producers working under Villa San Agustin, Fully Washed
- Guest Roaster’s Coffee Beans
- Dark Roasted Coffee Blend: A recommended blend for those who like dark roasted coffee with a bold and strong taste. Flavor notes of bitter chocolate
- Japanese blend Coffee
As most prefer a strong cup of coffee, all their espresso-based drinks are prepared with a double shot of coffee.
EINSPÄNNER (Viennese specialty)
This is a rare drink to come across not only in Japan but anywhere else other than in Austria or surrounding regions. It is quite impressive that Roar Coffeehouse is serving this Viennese coffee special and has perfected the art of making this gorgeous drink.
As some of you might already know, Vienna, the capital of Austria, is one of the cities in the world where the coffee-house culture first flourished and has a rich history and traditions when it comes to unique coffee brewing techniques and coffee drinks. One such coffee drink to have originated in Vienna is "Einspanner," named after coachmen who used to operate carriages drawn by one horse.
Einspanner is a mix of half coffee and half whipping cream.
Roar Coffeehouse’s Einspanner has a captivating signature look where the white part (whipped cream) cascades slowly into the dark-brown part (espresso shots).
The drink is also unique in the sense that you can enjoy the taste and texture of smooth, delicious cream, bold espresso coffee, and the sweetness of sugar granules. A very indulgent sensory experience! Due to the fact that the drink has cream in it, you might be worried that it will be too heavy. However, it is not overly sweet and is surprisingly refreshing.
Below are the Einspanner variations you can enjoy at Roar Coffee House:
- Einspanner with Matcha cream and caffe latte (hot or iced)
- Einspanner (Made with homemade cream and original coffee) (hot or iced)
Unique Espresso-based drinks of Roar Coffeehouse
Roar Coffeehouse has some extremely ingenious coffee drinks on its menu, which are rare gems to come by, especially if you are an adventurous coffee lover who is always on the hunt for exciting new drinks. Some of them are so rare to come by that it's worth visiting Roar Coffeehouse just to try out their unique coffee drinks, as it is seldom that a café offers such a wide variety of drinks, all of which are equally delicious. Below, I will introduce some of their most creative signature drinks.
- Lemon Coffee (Hot/Iced): You might have had lemon tea, but lemon coffee?! That's something new, even for me. This drink is made by adding homemade lemon syrup (自家製レモンシロップ) to Roar Coffee's espresso. I have also heard that this is an extremely popular menu item among foreigners who visit their café. According to Roar Coffee, one guest from New York even asked them for the recipe, as he was certain this drink would be a big hit in New York.
- Black Charcoal Latte: This latte is made by mixing activated charcoal powder (totally safe to drink) with espresso and steamed milk. The latter has a stylish grayish-black background rather than the usual coffee brown.
- Butter Coffee
- Berry Berry Latte
- Salted Caramel Latte
- Honey Latte
- Coco Matcha: Matcha Latte with Coconut Milk
- Espresso Tonic (Iced): choice of syrup from Cassis, Raspberry, Pomegranate, or Mint
And, of course, they also offer classic espresso drinks such as
- Caffe Latte
- Flat White
Another section of the Roar Coffeehouse menu where you can see the barista's imagination bloom is their Frappuccino. It is great that they have a wide variety of Frappuccino for anyone who is not a big fan of coffee, and children can also enjoy their visit to Roar Coffeehouse.
- Espresso Banana Mocha Frappe
- Mango and Pineapple Frappe
- Berry Berry Frappe
- Matcha Frappe
- Pumpkin Frappe (Interesting!)
- Purple Yam Frappe (The purple color of the frappe is so pretty)
- Pudding Frappe (Dessert, anyone?)
- Rum & Raisin Frappe (YUM!)
- Amaretto Nuts Frappe: Amaretto is a liqueur that is often combined with coffee to make delicious bittersweet drinks. It finds its origin in Italy and is made from apricot kernels. Amaretto has a nutty, almond-like flavor and tastes sweet with a subtle bitterness.
- Kirsch Cherry Frappe: Kirsch or Kirschwasser means "Cherry Water" in German, and it is a liquid made from Morello cherries.
Besides their Frappuccino, you can also have other types of drinks such as Coffee Float (different kinds of coffee and tea drinks with an ice cream float), homemade lemonade with different flavors, and finally, their "Protein Drinks.
Roar Coffeehouse Protein Drinks
Similar to most other parts of the world, Japan has also seen a boom in the fitness industry in recent years. More people are going to the gym and prefer protein shakes and drinks instead of drinks heavy in sugar and fat. For all those café-going fitness enthusiasts, Roar Coffeehouse has a special section on their menu dedicated to Protein drinks. It is also nice that they mention the amount of protein in these drinks.
- Protein Drink: You can choose the flavor from three different options: strawberry, vanilla, or chocolate. This is the drink they recommend if you are not sure which Protein drink to get, as it promises an impressive 30g protein content and is made with simple, classic flavors.
- Low-carb, low-fat protein drink (strawberry, vanilla, or chocolate): This is for those times when you are on a diet and want to go as low as possible on fat and carbs. This is their low-fat, low-carb version of their classic Protein drink and has 30g of protein in one serving.
- Extreme Muscle Shake (Strawberry, Vanilla, or Chocolate): This is their Protein drink for those extra gains. Rich in carbs, fat, and protein. The protein content in this drink is 42.5 g.
Roar Coffeehouse "BARK’ tea
Some animals roar, whilst some animals 'bark. Roar coffeehouse's tea section is called 'Bark,' and they offer a selection of tea drinks from a luxurious premium quality tea brand called 'Sirocco.' Sirocco is a Swiss Tea brand with a rich history of more than 100 years. It was founded near Lake Zurich by a man named Alfonso Kuster in 1908. Since then, they have been selling premium-quality tea and coffee all over the world. Roar Coffee House offers a variety of teas from this brand.
- Pina Moringa (hot or iced) (Moringa leaves with bits of apple and pineapple)
- Black vanilla (hot or iced)
- Moroccan mint (hot or iced)
- Black chai (hot or iced)
- Almond oolong (hot or iced)
- Gentle Blue Earl Gray (Hot/Iced)
Mouth-watering food at Roar Coffeehouse
I cannot wrap my head around how Roar Coffeehouse is able to offer so many variations, not just in its drinks menu but also in its food menu! They have a wide selection of both quick bites perfect for office takeouts, and proper, fulfilling meals such as Dry Curry, Locomoco Lunch sets, and taco rice.
Hotto Sando (Hot Sandwich)
Hotto Sando, a classic Japanese café food, is a next-level sandwich. When you think of a sandwich, it's usually a quick, pre-made, cold meal that might not always be fresh. But that's not true when it comes to Hotto Sando or Hot Sandwich. The Sandwiches are prepared on order and toasted so the Cheese inside melts; the bread has a delicious crust on the outside with signature brown grill marks and is soft and fluffy on the inside. A hot Sandwich is warm and delicious, and although it's still a quick bite, it is more rewarding than a cold sandwich.
- Ham and cheese Hotto Sando (Camembert cheese and roasted ham)
- Cuban Hotto Sando ((Roast pork, marmalade, pickles, cheese)
- Quattro Cheese Hotto Sando (Blue Cheese, cheddar, camembert, and mozzarella)
- Proscuitto and Truffle Butter Hotto Sando (Proscuitto, truffle butter, cheese, and egg)
- Dashi Maki Hotto Sando (Made with Japanese style Dashi stock-based omelet)
- Anko and Cream Cheese Hotto Sando (Anko is a traditional Japanese sweet red bean paste)
Roar Coffeehouse Desserts
For those times when you are looking for something sweet instead of savory, Roar Coffeehouse also has you covered with its Dessert menu. One thing I should mention, though, is that most of their dessert items are only available to be enjoyed freshly prepared in-store and not for takeout. This is because they want their desserts to be enjoyed as freshly as possible, when they are the most delicious.
- Rich & Smooth Pudding (Served In-store only): A rich and smooth homemade pudding in a bittersweet caramel sauce made from burnt caramel.
- French toast (Served in-store only): Melting butter on piping hot, freshly toasted French Toast? Say no more.
- Single-Origin Coffee Jelly: This is the classic Japanese coffee jelly dessert taken to the next level by making it with single-origin coffee beans. They use coffee beans with fruity flavor notes, so you will surely be able to enjoy layers of flavor and taste that come directly from the beans.
- DIY Toasted Marshmallows (Served in-store only): This is a very fun dessert to order as they serve the untoasted marshmallows and bamboo skewers, and you roast the marshmallows yourself, as the name says "DIY." It will take you back to campfires and nostalgic memories of toasting marshmallows around a bonfire.
With so many creative ideas for their menu and their absolute dedication to serving top-quality coffee and food, I am sure Roar Coffeehouse is here to stay for a long time and will keep us coming back for more. Whether it be for your office break, a pre-workout energy boost, or a relaxing time with a friend, Roar Coffeehouse is one of the best rare gems of Tokyo that cannot be missed out on if you are in the vicinity.
Address: 2 Chome-19-11 Hatchobori, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0032, Japan