Forget Your “Iced” Coffee, This Kobe Cafe Serves Real “Ice Coffee”

Kansai Food Kobe 2021.08.11
In the midst of Japan's intense summer heat, these uniquely chilled coffees from Kobe are a hit.
Nishimura Coffee Shop, or Kobe Nishimura Kohi-ten (神戸にしむら珈琲店), is a coffee shop established in the international port city of Kobe, way back in 1948, and this storied cafe has long been popular for its hot drinks and elegant pastries. But this summer, the internet is all abuzz thanks to one very unique new innovation coming from this very old-fashioned cafe. Nishimura is serving up some beautiful and strange iced coffee.
In the classic retro atmosphere of Nishimura's dining rooms, tea and pastries are served on elegant china and hot coffee comes in simple mugs, but iced coffee comes in huge, square blocks of ice. Forget your tall glasses full of coffee poured over a handful of little ice cubes! At Nishimura Coffee Shop, they bore cup-sized holes into blocks of ice nearing the size of a human head, and pour the coffee into that hole to keep it entirely surrounded by the cold.
While this gimmick might seem like it's made for a generation of social media users, there is apparently a method to this madness. In fact, it's not just about the great pictures you can post on Instagram. The magic of using enormous blocks of ice like this, is that they actually melt quite slowly. Ice-cold coffee can be sipped out of the ice over the course of hours without getting warm or watered down (and without the cup melting away, of course).
Of course, it does look fantastic as well, and the popularity of this "ice coffee" has grown in part thanks to posts on social media. With looks like these, it's hard to resist! But for anyone who loves iced coffee and hates when it starts to get lukewarm and watery, this Kobe cafe's unique blocks of ice might just be calling your name.

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