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coffee up! (Hyogo): 2024 June #KurasuPartnerRoaster

coffee up! from Hyogo is this month’s #KurasuPartnerRoaster. Located in Kobe, a port city rich in nature between mountains and the sea, coffee up! welcomes everyone that passes by this lively part of Hyogo. “At cafes in Melbourne, baristas would serve coffee saying ‘coffee up!’ when it’s ready. We named our shop after this phrase that symbolizes the final moment of the coffee’s long journey coming all the way from its origin”, Kinto san, the owner, smiles. The Kintos opened their first shop, coffee up! near Kobe station in 2018, and a roastery called “ridge” in 2022, in the Kita ward area of Kobe. We visited them at the new roastery to interview.

The story of coffee up! started in Melbourne, Australia. The owners, Maasa san and Tomoya san, were in Melbourne at the same time on a working holiday. They had no prior professional coffee experience, and met each other when they enrolled in a barista course at the same language school. After that they both had their dream come true and started working as baristas, falling deeper in love with coffee through their job and being charmed by local coffee shops in the area. Their original plan of staying in the country for a year turned into two, and they came back to Japan together with local championship trophies in hand.

Back in Japan, Maasa san gained further experience in specialty coffee shops and cafes before opening coffee up!, with her now husband Tomoya san joining 6 months later in 2019. “The beauty of Melbourne’s coffee shops that inspired what coffee up! to be is that it is open to everyone. We don’t cater only to a specific demographic”, says Maasa san. Young or old, new to coffee or an acute home barista, coffee up! welcomes everyone. Smiling and welcoming barista and their professional but friendly manner, and their bright interior full of sunshine made us indeed feel welcome.

coffee up! had been serving coffees from various roasters for about four years before they started to roast their own. Starting off with knowing and learning many styles of different roasters instead of jumping straight into home roasting, establishing their roasting style became a more balanced, informed process.

The long-awaited ridge by coffee up! (roastery and cafe), was opened where Maasa san was born and raised. In contrast to the lively and busy city center, the Kita ward area has a more lush, mind-nourishing environment. The coffee roasted here with Probat has a clean profile with its mild, growing sweetness- the quality that ensures their promising future for many more people to enjoy.