チタチタ喫茶Titatita Kissa is a small coffee shop located close to the 堀川丸太町Horikawa-Marutamachi intersection, tucked in at the corner of one small street west of 堀川通Horikawa Street and one small street north of 丸太町通Marutamachi Street. Although “titatita” appears to be an Indonesian word for “夢yume“, or “dream”, there is another reason behind the coffee shop’s naming, to be revealed by the owner upon asking…I haven’t gotten around to asking yet😅. I first heard of it in one of my Kyoto guides, the July 2012 Leaf but was unable to go until late November 2014…I was actually on my way to THE GRAVY at the time from JR二条駅Nijo Station cutting my way through the small streets of Kyoto when I accidentally came upon it; considering this to be a turn of fate and not sure that the coffee shop would be on the forefront of my mind the next time that I was in the area (with my continuously growing list of establishments to visit), I decided to drop in, especially because it seemed to be empty of customers (you know me and wanting to have a place all to myself😉).
At the bottom of an apartment complex, the exterior is simple and blends in to the neutral backdrop of the Kyoto townscape with only the signs providing color to indicate that a coffee shop is in business.
When I walked in, the female owner greeted me in a quiet voice, which appeared to have an aloof tone at first, before proceeding to get my water after which she retreated to give me time after I asked for some to look at the menu on the table. Since I was planning to eat at THE GRAVY afterward, I decided on coffee and something sweet.
I was indeed alone for the first part of my stay during which time I took the liberty of taking pictures while sitting in the booth seat of the table that I chose which looks out at the front of the coffee shop (of course I asked permission first).
the area at the front
the kitchen and counter area
the rest of the table seating
The interior is a simple retro-like style and gives off the air of a long-running coffee shop in Japan although it’s been around for over eight years (since mid-September 2008), the kind of establishment that men and the elderly enjoy frequenting, but with the female owner and the occasional modern and feminine touch, female customers would have no trouble making themselves at home here.
my order: ブレンド珈琲blended coffee, ￥400, in the shop’s original logo cup, and オレンジ風味クリームブリュレcrème brûlée with a hint of orange flavor, ￥380
The coffee wasn’t as dark a roast than the ones that I usually drink but still cured my coffee fix nicely and went especially well with the perfectly torched crème brûlée which was fantastic with the scent of orange in every spoonful.
The longer that I stayed, the more apparent that it became that the owner is quite reserved; when she didn’t have a task at hand, she was reading a book behind the counter. Halfway through my peaceful visit, either a male friend or a regular came in and sat at the counter for a coffee while smoking…ah, so she does know how to smile and chat jovially, it just depends on the person.😅
When I went up to pay before leaving, I told her the crème brûlée was fantastic and that I enjoyed the coffee at which she gave a shy smile and thanked me for coming.
I told the owners at 喫茶オルガンcafe Organ that I went to Titatita Kissa and having been a regular there, they confirmed that the owner was quite shy but kind. They recommended the “Mexican chicken” if I was ever interested in dining there; they find it amusing that the owner makes it even though she’s allergic to chicken, although they aren’t sure how long that she will keep it up.😅
So the next time that I made it there, in mid-March 2015, I made sure not to eat beforehand so that I could order the メキシカンチキンセットMexican chicken set, ￥800…thank goodness that it was still on the menu.☺
I believe the use of Mexican-style spices, similar to that used in タコライスtaco rice, gives the grilled chicken dish its name. Considering I was the only customer, I found over 20 minutes to be a bit long before being served my meal, until it arrived looking more appetizing and filling than I had suspected; if it takes that long for the chicken to be perfectly grilled, by all means take the time.☺
I ordered a カフェオレcafé au lait,an extra ￥200 when ordering a meal; I took it after I finished eating.
Halfway through partaking of my café au lait at the same table where I sat the first time that I visited, either a neighbor or a regular (maybe he was both) came in for a coffee and a smoke…they talked about how his mother had celebrated her 100th birthday and had received a certificate for the occasion from Prime Minister Abe. I tried to mind my own business during their conversation and got up to pay and leave since I had to be somewhere right after but looking at me briefly two tables away, he offered me a handmade basket by his 100-year-old mother (proof of her health and active lifestyle) and a copy of the certificate that she received. Bewildered, I looked at the owner and she just nodded gently with a soft smile, so I heartily congratulated him while showing my gratitude for having been included in such a happy event despite being a complete stranger.
This time I went away as a fan of Titatita Kissa and renewed faith that generous and friendly people in the world can definitely cancel out all the bad.☺