Discover MU Coffee At One Of These Vegan Cafes | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan
MU Coffee Staff and Vegan Cafe

Discover MU Coffee At One Of These Vegan Cafes

By Aimee Morales May 29, 2024

Are you a coffee enthusiast? Have you found your favorite spot to get your fix of coffee? Is there a certain blend or company that you get your beans from? As you may have noticed, several coffee shops are scattered around Tokyo and Japan. In recent years there have been plenty of vegan cafes that have also popped up. Each has its unique appeal, which garners a loyal clientele. But maybe you’d like to try something new?

Who Is MU Coffee?

Vegan Cafe with MU CoffeeImage Credit:Sota Nakano

Have you ever had beans from MU Coffee? It’s a coffee company started by Yuta Matsumoto and his business partner, whose curiosity led to the discovery of what is now MU Coffee. Ever since Yuta was a student, he’d been working as a barista, learning at a young age, he carried that knowledge and continued to admire the industry. Throughout his career, he kept up with Matt Perger, a world-class barista champion, through his blog which provides educational articles on coffee. 

With his fascination growing, he decided to pack his bags and make his way to Melbourne, Australia, where he worked with the St. Ali Group. As luck would have it, Yuta also met the team behind the Woodberry Coffee Company, who were in Australia to learn more about coffee. Through these connections, he was able to help Woodberry open a coffee stand when he returned to Japan. During this time, he had also reconnected with a university friend, who would later become his business partner.

How Did MU Coffee Start?

Upon returning to Japan, Yuta found it hard to find good-quality coffee beans that were to his liking. He began to experiment with different beans, specifically decaffeinated, to measure his coffee intake. He also knew that decaffeinated coffee was not the best, as it contains a lot of chemicals and is mostly made from low-quality coffee beans. He stated that many baristas hate decaf, which is something he wanted to change. He shared his results with his coffee enthusiast friends through trial and error, who found the taste enjoyable. 

Yuta characterizes the impulse he felt to begin MU Coffee as an “itch.” The name “MU Coffee” came from the Japanese kanji for “mu [無]” meaning “no” or “nothing”. Mu for Yuta means many things, it means “no faulty flavor, purity of the flavor, no bulls–t, like myths within the industry about coffee.” 

His approach to coffee-making avoids egotistical and scientific explanations, stating, “if I can’t explain why the approach works, then I won’t explain it.” This also correlates to the Japanese word “muga [無我]” which means “no ego”. MU Coffee initially started as non-caffeine coffee but transformed into something bigger, so it’s hard to put the meaning into one concept.

MU Coffee is a specialty online coffee shop that focuses on top-notch quality by semi-directly working with farmers to obtain their high-quality beans. This, in turn, encourages farmers to find sustainable practices to better the environment. As a result, it promotes fairer trade and helps protect biodiversity. Although “FairTrade” coffee may initially sound promising, it provides a modest fixed bonus to the standard price regardless of the farmers’ dedication to bean quality. Unfortunately, this approach limits the potential for farmers to enhance their income or elevate coffee quality. Consequently, it tends to prioritize quantity over quality. However, there’s ample room for improvement in promoting sustainable farming practices. 

Find MU Coffee At One Of These Vegan Cafes

Yuta has been lucky enough to find people and places who share the same ideas and sentiments regarding coffee. So far there are several places you can try MU Coffee, Yuta also happens to be vegan so we’ve listed the vegan cafes where you can enjoy his work along with his favorite dish. We’ve also included a cafe that is non-vegan but serves his specialty decaf coffee blend. But if you prefer to have your cup at home, you can also purchase beans through their website

Anthrop Cafe

Vegan Cafe in ShimokitazawaImage Credit: The Author

As a vegan, you’ve probably researched the best vegan cafes. If you’ve visited Shimokitazawa then you may remember a place called Espresso. You may not know that Espresso was downsized and became what now is Anthrop Cafe. Keeping the same vegan and sustainable food theme, Anthrop Cafe still holds the same values as Espresso once did. Having a vegan and gluten-free menu with sustainable ingredients, it’s a vegan’s paradise! If you would like to enjoy a cup of MU Coffee, you can head to Anthrop Cafe and enjoy the great atmosphere and food alongside your coffee.

Owner’s recommended menu item: Peanut Butter Cream crepe (pancake version also available)

Find Anthrop Cafe on Google Maps


I’m sure you’ve walked by this stylish cafe on your way to Yoyogi Park. It is described as an art restaurant made possible by the creative company NAKED, INC. Not only is the cafe Instagram-worthy but did you know that it’s also vegan and sustainable!? It has a great selection of lunch items and drinks which happens to include MU Coffee. Both the first and second floors serve as the cafe, while the first floor is also pet-friendly. If you happen to get hungry, stop by and have a go at MU Coffee and choose from a great selection of food items. They also serve an art dinner course, which is said to be a unique dining experience, but that is through reservation only. Be sure to add TREE by NAKED to your list of vegan cafes to visit!

Yuta’s recommended menu item: Pancakes

Find TREE by NAKED on Google Maps


For those who have never been to TOKYO JUICE, the shop’s name and reputation may imply that they only serve delicious fresh juice and smoothies. The menu at Azabudai Hills has food and other beverages including MU Coffee’s specialty coffee available hot or cold and if you’re not a fan of black coffee you can also enjoy it with almond milk. This shop is owned by a couple, sourcing locally to ensure a fresh taste with each sip. They are part of the sustainable lifestyle movement and continue to promote it through their shops.

Yuta’s recommended menu item: Acai bowl 

Find TOKYO JUICE on Google Maps

Long Weekend (Non-Vegan)

Long Weekend CafeImage Credit: The Author

Long Weekend is a small coffee shop found in Sangenjaya that recently opened in 2023. Although Long Weekend isn’t vegan, they do happen to serve MU Coffee’s specialty decaf coffee. For those who can’t or don’t like to consume anything with caffeine, make a stop at Long Weekend and have an excellent quality cup of decaf coffee. And if you are wondering if there are any vegan items on the menu, Yuta swears that the Avocado Toast from Long Weekend is the best he’s ever had. If you do go, let us know your verdict!

Yuta’s recommended menu item: Avocado Toast

Find Long Weekend on Google Maps

Visit Yuta’s Favorite Vegan Bakery

Universal Bakes Nicome

Although Universal Bakes and Cafe doesn’t serve MU Coffee, Yuta wanted to share one of his favorite vegan bakery shops so that other vegans alike can enjoy great quality bread, sweet and savory. They serve seasonal flavors as they follow sustainable practices. All items are vegan while also catering to those who are gluten-free. Universal Bakes Nicome can be found in Shimokitazawa while Universal Bakes and Cafe (this can also be added to your vegan cafes list) can be found near Setagaya-Daita station. 

Yuta’s recommended menu item: Vegan croissant, Seaweed Bun

Find Universal Bakes Nicome on Google Maps

Find Universal Bakes and Cafe on Google Maps

Stop By These Vegan Cafes And Have A Cup Of MU Coffee

If you are ever in the mood to try something new or are simply curious about MU Coffee, be sure to visit one of the vegan cafes that serve it. Whether you are a coffee enthusiast or simply enjoy drinking it, it’s worth trying. You never know, you may just find your next favorite spot!

Visit the MU Coffee website here

Related Articles:

Top 6 Vegan Restaurants in Tokyo

Featured Image Credit:Sota Nakano