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darestore (Miyagi) : 2022 March #KurasuPartnerRoaster

“What brews better matters more than what cups better.” – Yusuke Ishiyama

Recently opened their second shop, darestore Coffee & Eatery with even more delicious dishes on the menu, they are the talk of the town of Sendai more than ever- and we are so happy to partner with them not just once but twice, and also to get to interview their roaster, Ishiyama-san.

Ishiyama-san’s quote at the beginning tells us his balanced view on coffee experiences. When we think of a coffee roaster as a profession, words like “connoisseur” or “craftsperson” may come to mind that can imply a stoic, even stubborn individual. As quality control is essential, every roaster cups their coffee to calibrate.

Most of the time, if a coffee performs well in cupping it brews well too- but not always. If a roaster gets caught in the closed world of self-belief by purely sticking to roasting and cupping, they can miss the whole picture. Ishiyama-san realizes the danger of being bound by one’s own value, and calibrates the coffee based on how it will be brewed by whom, and how his attitude towards coffee ultimately affects the future of the entire industry.As important as cupping goes, for Ishiyama-san it is only one of the approaches to achieve the most important goal- for everyone to be able to brew it well, and enjoy the cup.

For our subscription, Ishiyama-san chose coffee from Indonesia and Rwanda. Traditionally, Indonesian coffee is known for its heavy and bold texture -Sumatra and Toraja would be good examples- , but Ishiyama-san is confident with this coffee for its beautiful, clean texture that surely changes your mind if you are not a fan of Indonesian coffee already.As for the Rwandan coffee, we are so lucky to be receiving their very first Rwandan coffee! After several years of steady improvement they have seen in the coffee, they finally decided to give it a go-ahead. Unlike other African coffee such as Ethiopian or Kenyan with vivid characteristics, tender sweetness is the beauty of this Rwandan.

“The idea of people trying out our coffee always excites me, and I’m so happy that our coffee is enjoyed in many different ways”, Ishiyama-san smiles. He’s such a charming person and we did not want to stop interviewing him at all- but his coffee will definitely tell you the rest of his philosophy.