What happens when a third-generation coffee expert adds his experience and ideas to a decades-old coffee company with deep roots and a strong following? You need only look as far as Nagoya prefecture to find the answer to this question, as it is the home of this month's featured roaster: Golpie Coffee (http://golpiecoffee.jp/).
This roaster actually came to life before WWII under the name of Matsuya Coffee, a company that specialized in coffee wholesaling within Nagoya. Their home region had (and still has) and a strongly-embedded culture of kissaten, or traditional Japanese coffee houses. In time, Matsuya Coffee branched out and began selling products and amenities for kissatens throughout the city.
Now, many fruitful years later, third generation Kawai Yuya san takes the wheel of the company bringing with him many years of experience and wisdom gained from his time spent at a well-known coffee company in Tokyo. Kawai san has also brought about some changes.
Under his guidance in 2015, Matsuya Coffee became Golpie Coffee in a rebranding effort that would make specialty coffee the key focus of the company. The purpose of the new direction? According to Kawai san, the aim is to connect new people with specialty coffee, providing new excitement for coffee drinkers as well as education into the finer aspects of his trade. Of course, he plans to accomplish these goals with full respect to the existing kissaten culture that Golpie's home region holds dear.
In pursuit of creating these new connections between customers and great coffee, Golpie Coffee actively actions rare selections of beans from around the world. They're also fond of actively visiting the source regions, that they may make personal connections with the farmers and producers. These trips allow for a better understanding of the process behind the beans, which in turn reveals the optimal way to roast, brew, and serve the final result to customers.
In addition to this remarkable dedication to the “seed-to-cup” ideology, Kawai san also holds workshops that help to match differing coffees with the tastes of the customers. One couldn't ask for a more skilled guide into the world of specialty coffee, as Kawai san has recently won the 2015 Japan Coffee Roasting Championship, and will soon be moving on to compete in the world championship!
We at Kurasu are excited to be working with Kawai san and Golpie Coffee, and we know you'll be thrilled to experience their contribution to the the Kurasu x Good Coffee subscription service!
When and how did you first start roasting professionally?
I started to roast about five years ago. The main motive was from my previous job when they transferred me to their quality control department, where I was in charge of the whole process from purchasing to producing coffee beans
What do you consider most important in the process of purchasing, roasting, extracting, and providing the coffee to the customer?
When you ask about the “flavor of coffee” it's something a Japanese can usually envision easily. In recent years however, the extreme growth and development of specialty coffee is turning this usual “flavor of coffee” that everyone imagines into something much more surprising and exciting. With that in mind, we think it is important to serve consistently high-quality coffee but also we want our customers to feel the potential coffee has to surprise and astonish with our bean selection, roasting, and extraction process.
What emphasis do you put on roasting? (For example, light roast or dark roast?)
I try to roast coffee so that even regular customers who are not professionals can grasp the characteristics of coffee. The bean may look lightly roasted but it is roasted with weight and without imperfections.
What is the recommended extracting method/menu?
Hand-drip is recommended but using coffee maker is another method I recommend. The major premise is to enjoy drinking coffee every day so finding the way to make coffee every day without a hassle or boredom is important. Coffee makers now are very well researched and affordable. Using the coffee maker on busy mornings and using hand-drip on the days off depending on your lifestyle, it is best to find a way to continue to enjoy drinking coffee.
What made you decide to partner with kurasu x Good Coffee for our overseas subscription service?
I was thankfully chosen as the Japan Coffee Roasting Champion of 2015 this year. This oppertunity gave me the perspective to start thinking how our coffee would be evaluated by people around the world. That is when this partnership opportunity popped up and I didn’t have any reason to resist.
Any words for the awaiting overseas customers?
I selected this coffee after being the judge at the Cup of Excellence and discussing with tasters and roasters around the world, and thought this flavor would be enjoyed by many international coffee drinkers. Please let us know what you think of the coffee through Instagram, Facebook or email.
What's your recommendation/favorite roaster or cafe?
Kaldi Coffee Farm
Who do you respect as a roaster/barista?