siphon coffee seems like it is becoming the next big thing in the coffee world. which is great. the alchemy and the romance of the old-fashioned siphon coffee is almost enough to make a dedicated tea drinker like me consider a switch to the bean. almost, but not quite.
siphon coffee has been a feature of coffee shops in japan forever. the 喫茶店 (kissaten) of japan are so wonderful. they all share certain features: older, coffee connoisseur regular customers, a darkened 70s-style interior, sometimes wooden carved chairs with leather seats, sometimes chairs of curved tubular steel. there is always the gleaming siphons, glossy pot plants and understated sugar bowls, cups and saucers. there might be a neat stack of papers, or a tumbling shelf of manga and records. and japan being the smokers' haven - the cut glass ashtrays for the seven stars butts.
kissa are often hidden away up a narrow staircase, or behind streetfront lace curtains or faux stained glass, and i am unspeakably happy to find this treasure trove of photos of the kissa of kyoto in flickr by a.iwatani. just so very very great.