A Toufa Specialty Cafe in Japan: THE CUPS SAKAE in Nagoya

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  • THE CUPS is an extremely popular cafe chain in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. THE CUPS currently has four locations: Fushimi, Sakae, Meieki, and Harbor Cafe. With the success of the first Fushimi location, which opened in June 2015, due to its Insta-worthy appearance and delicious hand-dripped coffee, THE CUPS was able to spread to the three other locations.

    Out of the four locations, the second cafe that opened, the Sakae location, as of September 2018, has been turned into a cafe that specializes in toufa. It is the first toufa specialty cafe in Nagoya, which has captured the attention of many customers. With toufa becoming increasingly popular in Japan, THE CUPS SAKAE’s new endeavor makes perfect sense.

    What is Toufa?

    Toufa, or douhua, is a type of jelly made from soy milk that originates in China. It is also known as tofu pudding or soybean pudding. It is made by mixing soy milk with gypsum powder or sweet potato powder which solidifies the soy milk.

    Toufa has become extremely popular in Japan as of late, and is known as a traditional Taiwanese dessert. It is enjoyed as both a savory and sweet dish depending on the region or country. As toufa is made from soy milk, it is extremely healthy and low in calories, making it especially popular amongst young women, although its popularity spreads to all genders and ages.

    You can enjoy toufa in both the summer and the winter as it tastes wonderful both cold and hot.

    THE CUPS

    THE CUPS cafes are known for their photogenic interiors that are designed in the image of a terraced cafe near the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. This oddly specific yet still endearing design choice creates an environment that is welcoming and comfortable to stay in while enjoying the delicious treats and coffee THE CUPS has to offer. The interior is mostly white based with industrial furniture such as metal chairs.

    The cafe, to the enjoyment of those looking for a place to study or get some work done, has free wi-fi and outlets so you can make your stay at THE CUPS a productive one as well as an enjoyable one.

    THE CUPS SAKAE

    There are mainly three types of toufa available at THE CUPS SAKAE: PLAIN TOUFA, THE CUPS TOUFA, and FRUITS TOUFA. There are also limited seasonal menus. One of the current seasonal menu is an ice STRAWBERRY TOUFA, which features a sweet and tart strawberry sauce, fresh strawberries, and white tapioca balls. This item is usually available between the months of May and September. The other menu available is the ANNIN TOUFA.

    Annin usually points to almond pudding, and the ANNIN TOUFA is pretty much a toufa version of this traditional dessert. One of the previous seasonal menu items was the MANGO TOUFA. PLAIN TOUFA and THE CUPS TOUFA are available in either hot or cold. All of the toufa at THE CUPS SAKAE are made from soy milk produced in Aichi Prefecture.

    PLAIN TOUFA (486 yen)

    The PLAIN TOUFA is just as the name suggests: a very traditional and plain toufa. It you’ve never had this dish before, I highly recommend trying the plain one at least once as I’m sure you’ll fall in love with this dish as many other people have. The PLAIN TOUFA is topped with a jasmine tea flavored syrup and brown sugar which brings out the taste of the toufa itself.
    THE CUPS TOUFA (702 yen)

    THE CUPS TOUFA is one of the original menus along with the PLAIN TOUFA and is extremely popular. THE CUPS TOUFA features a lot of toppings: taro balls, coffee jelly, red azuki beans, sweet potato, lotus fruit, rice-flour dumplings, tapioca balls, and a special topping that changes every day. The toppings are flavored with a brown sugar syrup. The coffee jelly used in the PLAIN TOUFA is especially worth mentioning as it is made using Italian coffee beans called Milanis. This is a voluminous dish that is perfect for brunch, especially if ordered with a cup of coffee.

    FRUITS TOUFA (972 yen)

    The FRUITS TOUFA is a dish literally covered in various types of fruits: strawberry, kiwi, mango, blueberry, joined with tapioca balls and adlay (a type of barley) that add extra textures to the dish. This menu item is perfect for all of those fruit lovers out there.

    While THE CUPS SAKAE has become a cafe that specializes in toufa, they still offer the delicious coffees and original gelato that is extremely popular at the other locations. THE CUPS has a wide range of coffee available, and all of them are hand-dripped by a skilled barista in-house.

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    THE CUPSさん(@the_cups_official)がシェアした投稿 –

    The types of coffee beans differ at each location, and so I recommend visiting the various locations to find your favorite type of coffee. For those who are not coffee fans, they also offer a wide range of other drinks such as hot/iced chocolate, chai lattes, smoothies, and fruit juice (and many others). You can also order gelato or get it sunk in a cup of coffee as an affogato.

    The gelato at THE CUPS is known to be extremely rich yet low in fat content and calories, so it is friendly to those of you who might be a bit worried about indulging in a dessert. The two popular flavors are pistachio and hazelnut. The nuts used are imported from Sicily, which ensures the rich flavor of the ingredients used.

    The latte art is super cute and most definitely insta-worthy. Why not take a few snaps of your toufa and coffee with the aesthetic background of the interior to match?

    If you are worried that you won’t be able to visit the cafe because you are too busy during the day, no worries! THE CUPS SAKAE is open every day from 10 AM and closes at 11 PM from Monday to Saturday and 8 PM on Sundays and holidays, so you can visit them to try their delicious toufa and coffee even after a long day at school or work.

    THE CUPS also has an online shop where you can get THE CUPS merchandise, ranging from t-shirts, phone cases, day-packs, and coffee mugs

    The Cups Official Website 

    The CUPS Official Instagram Page

    The Cups Online Store Official Website