To get to ELEPHANT FACTORY COFFEE in a 30-year-old building, one has to find the narrow alleyway where it is located off the ever-busy 河原町通Kawaramachi Street (it’s also close to the 阪急河原町駅Hankyu Kawaramachi Station from 四条通Shijo Street). I went the same day that I went to the timepiece cafe; after getting some stationery goods from the Loft, I took the route from Kawaramachi and passed it several times before giving up and calling the café for directions. This is always the case with me: when I’m tempted to ask for directions, I’m usually only a few steps away from finding it.
Walking in, I was met with the aroma of coffee which wafted throughout the small café. Inside, the atmosphere was quite peaceful with dim lighting and a simple yet cozy interior; it’s hard to believe that it exists in the middle of such a bustling part of town. When I was there, besides the friendly chatter between the staff and a regular, it was quite quiet, great for getting some work done or reading a book of which there are plenty…ideal for someone who comes alone like I did. ☺
The owner inspired by coffee that he had in Italy started this café specializing in coffee. If I remember correctly, besides three foods, everything else on the menu were drinks (tea, juice and alcohol are also served). I had read that the 自家製ミニチーズケーキjikasei mini chiizukeeki (homemade mini cheesecake), ￥400, is good, so that’s what I ordered with an アイスカフェオーレaisu kafe oore (iced café au lait), ￥700..
The cheesecake was written down as 自家製ミニチーズケーキ2jikasei mini chiizukeeki2 (homemade mini cheesecake 2). I asked about the “2” to which I was told by the female staff member that there was another type called “1” before it. I asked how the two cheesecakes were different and she thought about it for awhile before answering, “This one is better.” Good answer! ☺
Although the cheesecake was small, it made up for that in richness. The coffee was very flavorful; although I found the price to be quite high, I didn’t regret getting it. Both should be consumed at a slow pace while enjoying the atmosphere to get the full experience, that’s my advice to anyone who is interested and probably the wish of the owner himself.
Update: After going to café 火裏蓮花❀Karirenge, the owner of a café that I often frequent and I headed to ELEPHANT FACTORY COFFEE, the establishment where he’s been wanting to go the most. When we got there late afternoon, the place was bustling more with customers than the last time that I went but we were able to grab seats at the counter. He knew what he wanted right away, EFブレンドburendo(blend)3, ￥600 (sorry, no picture), and I wanted to try the hot café au lait, so we got to ordering right away. Before we had even gotten our orders, the place was full with people coming in five-minute intervals only to be turned away.
ホットカフェオレhotto kafe ore (hot café au lait), ￥700 (the cafe’s original cup and saucer can be purchased at ￥1500)
Either I’ve become accustomed to drinking strong coffee or the hot café au lait isn’t as strong as the iced one that I had back in April earlier this year and easier to drink. The owner of 969★(CRockstar) Café was also impressed with his cup…guess there’s a good reason the place is so popular.☺
Update: I went back to ELEPHANT FACTORY COFFEE one evening with the staff of a café that I frequent in mid-January of this year…the small café was crowded with people and clouded with smoke and condensation due to the difference in temperature inside and out.
We were seated at the table in the very back. I had the EFブレンドburendo(blend)6, ￥600, which came with chocolate-covered raisins that complemented the coffee perfectly.
As the description said, it really had a clear, easy-to-drink taste.