Coffee life: Frankie Melbourne Espresso, Shimokitazawa

t’s been over a year since I last squeezed myself into this tiny place, but I really regretted not having dropped in sooner. Don’t be prepared to get a seat – with only 3 tables and a bench outside, and a well-deserved reputation, Frankie’s is a busy. Especially on a mild Sunday afternoon.

If you’re a coffee fan but – like me – really have no idea what all these newfangled drinks really are, having just about managed to work out the difference between a latte and a cappuccino, then Frankie’s has you covered. Cue: an amazing menu that explains all the differences. I ordered an ice double (432 yen with tax) which contained two espressos but less milk than a latte. Don’t ask me how it’s different from a gibraltar.

All I know that this was a standout coffee – one of the best I’ve had this year, if not the best. Rich, mellow coffee rolled smoothly over the milk, and unfortunately made me gulp it down with far too much relish, finishing the affair far too quickly.

My friend got a hot bachelor (don’t we all want one, eh?), which contains a double ristretto, which is the first 20 seconds of extraction, rather than a full 30 seconds for an espresso. This is supposed to result in a sweeter coffee flavour. It didn’t strike me as immediately sweeter but packed a powerful coffee punch, even if it did have a slight grainy finish.

This was combined with their Number One Popular homemade banana bread! It was so moist with the perfect balance of banana-sweet to bread. I don’t even like bananas but this banana bread whispered to softly in my ear. All right then. Take me.

Frankie Melbourne Espresso

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