Tokyo’s newest cafe is adorable, Instagram-worthy and environmentally conscious.

A new cafe that recently opened in Tokyo’s trendy Harajuku neighbourhood is offering customers the opportunity to have their coffee served by a fluffy bear paw. The cafe is called Anakuma Cafe (‘Bear Hole Cafe’), as visitors receive their drinks through a hole in the wall.

After you place your order, a fluffy bear paw will pop out from a hole in the cafe’s wall and give you your food and drink. A total of seven different bears will be working at Anakuma Cafe, including the cafe’s ‘manager’, a bear called Bols. Each of the seven bears has distinct personalities, and the schedules of each bear will be posted on the cafe’s website so customers can visit when their favourite bear is working.

The business model seems to be based off of Osaka’s Kuma no Te Cafe (Bear Paw Cafe). In the Osaka cafe, the ‘bears’ were actually people recovering from a variety of emotional disorders, who were working towards reintegrating themselves into society. But while Kuma no Te Cafe helped people who were battling with mental health related issues, Tokyo’s Anakuma Cafe hopes to address a different subject — deforestation.

According to the store’s lore, store manager Bols is a bear that left the forest where it lived due to deforestation and came to human society, and opened the cafe to get to know and befriend humans in order to protect the forest. The store’s location was chosen because of the area’s surrounding greenery, and Anakuma Cafe’s colour scheme is a vivid forest-like green.

The bears are in turn working for the sustainable conservation and regeneration of forests by providing humans delicious food and drinks, and in keeping with this lore, a portion of the store’s proceeds will be donated to a charity that helps protect the rainforest. The cafe also serves coffee made with fair trade coffee beans.

But just what kind of drinks are a bunch of bears serving up? Let’s have a look.

Anakuma Coffee is the store’s in-house specialty and Bols’ personal recommendation. It’s made using coffee beans carefully chosen by coffee experts with the utmost care.

The Bear Honey Lemon Tea is a lemon tea drizzled with honey, a bear’s favourite food! The blend of the mild sweetness of the honey and the lemon’s aroma and acidity are a perfect match.

The Honey Banana Milk Bearccino is a frappe with a mellow aroma of banana and the gentle sweetness of honey. It’s refreshing and delicious, and is loved by humans and bears alike.

As well as drinks, the bears at Anakuma Cafe also have a number of dessert sets listed under their ‘Forbidden Sweets‘ menu. Included in the ‘Forbidden Sweets’ menu are these Forbidden Canelés, which are not only tasty but colorful and photogenic. There are six varieties of canelé — chocolate crunch, nutty chocolate, lemon, matcha, strawberry, and chocolate fondant.

Also available are these Forbidden Doughnuts, which also come in six flavours — roasted nut crunch caramel chocolate, old fashion glazed, strawberry chocolate, kinako (roasted soybean flour), roasted nuts, and matcha chocolate.

Last on the list of the Forbidden Sweets series is this Forbidden Fruit, said to be a rare fruit collected in the bear world. The Forbidden Fruit is set to go on sale in November, and currently there is no information about how it tastes, but it certainly looks mysterious and eye-catching!

And for anyone who buys a dessert set, Anakuma Cafe is holding a special promotion daily during October, where the first 20 customers to beat the bears in a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors will receive a set of coupons worth 3,000 yen ($20.60) that they can use on their next visit.

So if you want to enjoy some environmentally friendly coffee with a bit of fun, head on down to Anakuma Cafe. They currently only have their Harajuku flagship store, but the cafe’s owner hopes to expand the store to many more locations in the future.

Cafe information
Anakuma Cafe
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Jingumae 1-23-28
Open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. (may close earlier if items sell out)

Source, images: @Press
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