ecoma coffee from Saitama is this month’s #KurasuPartnerRoaster. The owner and the roaster, Yoshioka-san, dedicated his early 20s to a career in music. Yoshioka-san shared his story of how a young acoustic musician had a series of life-changing encounters with coffee and has come to be a roaster.
“When I thought of opening my own coffee business, visiting and having coffee from my best favorite Stumptown Coffee Roasters in Portland felt like a must-have experience”, Yoshioka-san reflects. He then quit his job to stay in Portland for four month- as he strolled through the city, visiting local coffee shops and craft beer breweries, the city has charmed him beyond the great Stumptown cup, and the culture has been influencing his philosophy to this day. You can tell the creative, sustainable, independent but also community-oriented Portland spirit stays strong in him even from a little anecdote like how he heard from his friend about a vintage roasting machine used as a shop’s display, managed to get it, completely dismantled it and fixed it.
For our subscription Yoshioka-san selected coffee from Brazil and Kenya. The Brazilian is of Tsujimoto-san’s (SHU・HA・RI) import, with an intriguing note that says “it has a fruitiness that doesn’t fit into any typical Brazilian trait like nutty or chocolatey”. The Kenyan is Yoshioka-san’s absolute favorite- this is one of the coffees that gave him the epiphany moment. “I had this coffee at this cafe I was frequenting, and was completely blown away- it was so good that I pleaded with the roaster for a training”, he explained. I love drinking someone’s favorite coffee- you can learn so much about the special story, emotions and personality from it, and I’m so happy to be able to share that with our subscription community.
At the end of the interview Yoshioka-san said: there is no rule in how you should drink a specialty coffee. Having it black is of course great, but there are some sides of that coffee you can only discover by adding sugar or milk, or having it in many different ways. During our conversation, he talked about a lot of things outside of the context of coffee- music, beer, Mexican food…but it was clear that all of those interests give him dimensions to his interpretation of coffee, and I thought that’s super cool. Yoshioka-san, thank you so much again!