For brew-lovers, sometimes finding a quality cup of coffee in Japan requires sifting through more sensationalist options like canned Coca-Cola coffee and perhaps the prettiest Starbucks in the world, but those who commit to the search can be rewarded with a coffee culture that has boomed to provide a lot of quality options. Many cafes cater to what might be Japan's favorite way to enjoy coffee, however, in the form of pour-over-drip-coffee, popularized by its controlled and measured expansion of flavor.

The pour-over method has recently been applied outside the coffee world in Japan, even with curry rice. Now a recently opened Tokyo "cafe" is hoping to break into the company of coffee and tea with a healthy and refreshing alternative with pour-over and drip dashi.

By now dashi, the base for Japanese soup broths, has a pretty well-known presence in the global culinary landscape. Located in Shinjuku, a new store called On The Umami embraces the concept of ditching select coffee beans and brews and instead using carrots, celery, onions, ginger, and potatoes to help unlock the benefits of a nutritious and invigorating drink. To accentuate this, young tuna shavings are placed upon the vegetable filled filter. The idea embraces the scientific concept behind "umami", extracting the tuna's inosinic acid and glutamic acid from the vegetables. Perhaps even more so than coffee, each measured and unique pour of the hot water can release different flavor and aroma combinations.

On the Umami emphasizes that with no caffeine or added preservatives, the beverage offers a sleep-supporting and nerve soothing alternative to coffee and tea, making it good for a morning refresh or a relaxing nightcap. At just 200 yen a cup, it's worth a try to see if this umami-based alternative to coffee and tea is for you. Take home dashi-related goods also appear to be available. On the Umami is located on the fifth floor of the Shinjuku Marui Main Building, and is open from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM (8:30 PM on weekends).

By - grape Japan editorial staff.