The Café OB experience begins like any other.
Guests are seated in the wood-webbed café chain and choose their drinks to order.
After the wait staff returns, the diners are presented with drinks laughably large: a peach juice in a pitcher with enough servings for four people or an iced mocha piled high with whipped topping and served in a large bowl.
At Café OB, the drinks are infamously huge—coming in pitchers and jugs with large sizes and low prices offering competition to the summer’s heat.
Nestled outside the bustle of Tokyo, Café OB opened first in a rustic log cabin in Saitama. Much like a lodge in the mountains, OB offers guests the chance to unwind at spacious wooden tables beneath the haze of roasting Blue mountain Jamaican coffee beans—versus some noisy Tokyo alternative.
The café chain has since branched out as far as Nagano and Hyogo, with locations nestled in Kanto from Fujisawa’s OPA in Kanagawa prefecture to Saitama’s “Hobbit house-inspired” Asama cabin.
While café branches sprouted around in department stores and free standing log cabins alike, guests can return to OB’s roots by visiting the OB Coffee Tea Museum and Roasting House located in Yashio, Saitama. Visitors are welcomed home by the sweet smell of beans roasting and the friendly purr of “Chu”, the 15-year-old feline who lives there.
Beans are freshly roasted, freshly ground, and served in soup mugs or larger sized portions.
Some stores are self service, allowing customers to purchase tickets and retrieve their drinks that way, while other stores provide a wait staff and good old fashioned hiragana menus—katakana lovers be warned.
Parfaits pop up at certain OB locations, with light food being served at all. Diners can sample a slightly smaller cup of OB roast coffee and a single sweet pancake with the 500 yen cake set. A hot sandwich of ham, scrambled eggs and lettuce pairs nicely with a brimming jar of pineapple juice. Café OB also boasts savory spaghetti topped with seafood fresh in from Hokkaido.
Admittedly, dessert and dish portions are smaller—but OB splashes out the competition with drink selections.
Diners should make a quick stop at the OB Café website before visiting the store for coupons that can be shown at certain locations. Also, the café website boasts pictures of sweet special offers like the café’s summer concoction of melon soda in a tall pitcher, topped with whipped cream and fruit to embody a sugary Elf parfait.
Summer heat doesn’t stand a sweet chance.