Opened in late October 2012, アカツキコーヒーAkatsuki Coffee is a small café in 左京区Sakyo-ku on 東大路通Higashioji Street after passing 北大路通Kitaoji Street, quite far from where I usually frequent but a quaint and beautiful area of Kyoto in which I’d like to hang around more. For some time, since about two years ago, I noticed it in a lot of magazines for recommended for coffee and featuring sweets, not to mention a charming interior (the light blue wall got me). When I got off work early one day in late May this year, I decided on a whim to make it up there, by walking from the 五条河原町Gojo Kawaramachi area where I work. Since I reached WEEKENDERS COFFEE first (after an hour and a half walk in the heat, yes, in May!), I took a breather with a coffee there before heading to Akatsuki Coffee…by the way, Akatsuki Coffee uses coffee beans from WEEKENDERS. I got lost a bit in the area (方向音痴hoko-onchi right here) but ended up making it there alright.
the stylish yet homey exterior, a sight for weary eyes
(I took the following two pictures of the inside after many of the customers had left.)
the beautiful blue wall that I saw in magazines
stylish with a rustic sense
It was pretty much a full house when I arrived; although there was a two-seater table (there are three table seats) open, I was asked to seat myself at one of the four counter seats, alas, the fate of a hitori-sama😢. I usually am happy to sit at the counter but since I was a frazzled, sweating mess upon arrival, it was quite uncomfortable getting situated, not even having a place to put my bag…eventually I was brought a basket but ended up using a hook that I always carry for when I need to hang my bag from my table so that I could have easy access to it. I took the second seat closest to the restroom area.
In my hot flustered state I went briefly over the menu before ordering a キャロットケーキとアイスカフェラテケーキセットcarrot cake & iced caffè latte set for ￥970. I was told that it would take some time but I was fine with that; it would give me time to cool off and check out the place. The café is run by a reserved and gentle young couple who seem to barely talk to each other, much less the customers except for the bare minimum, unless they need the other to do something, and they do that in a tone above a whisper. The wife is in charge of making the light sandwich meals while the husband is in charge of brewing coffee or running the espresso machine. My seat afforded a pretty clear view of the action in the kitchen and I could tell the dishes were piling up. When the husband brought over something to be washed and tried to put it on top of everything else, irritated, his wife informed him of the bad decision and advised him on where to put it. I pretended not to have noticed but felt privileged to have witnessed a private moment that many couples who work together go through, something that customers rarely see.☺
Finally with the teamwork of the owner couple, my carrot cake and caffè latte was placed in front of me.
If someone asks me where they can get good carrot cake, I’ll recommend this place. With cream-cheese frosting topped with raisin and a sprinkling of pistachio bits, the nut-filled carrot cake was just the thing to make my visit there worthwhile. And the caffè latte was a mild one but very easy to drink and refreshing after my walk there; I tried to make it last as long as possible.
I was also curious about the テリーヌショコラterrine chocolat, ￥420, (culotte has turned me on to this delectable sweet) which I managed to get without a drink since I still had my caffè latte.
Although culotte’s terrine chocolat has yet to be beat in my opinion, this terrine chocolat didn’t disappoint either. Like a softer gâteau au chocolat, I recommend it for chocolate lovers, not to mention the lovely color close to that of my favorite cake, red velvet.☺
Due to circumstances, the café closed at 4:30 pm that day instead of the usual 6:00, so I only got to stay about an hour before leaving. I left with a good impression of Akatsuki Coffee, though. It was definitely a place I could settle down for hours and bask in the peaceful atmosphere with coffee and nice eats. Next time, I hope to try the sandwich meals.