April’s #KurasuPartnerRoaster is FINETIME COFFEE ROASTERS in Kyodo, Tokyo. The prize-winning owner and the roaster, Kondo-san is well known not only in Japan but in Taiwan where he won the world’s roasting championship. This is the second time since we had our first collaboration in 2017- we were so excited to reunite and hear all about how his journey has been since then.
“I always love to share information with people and build open and equal relationships”- Kondo-san embodies the ideals of a “cool guy”. He is so enthusiastic about coffee that he hardly stopped telling us all about it- his roasting machine, Diedrich, how other roasters in Tokyo are doing, and his take on what’s trending in the industry. We ended up running out of time we were originally setting for the interview, still with a lot of unasked questions on the list. Then he said on the video call “we’ll talk later” and casually resumed the interview several hours later to spend more time with us.
Generally speaking, when you are an accomplished adult and are talking to someone much younger than you, it’s actually pretty difficult to talk and share about things you love, especially with such engagement and enthusiasm. Kondo-san reflects on his early days about how the industry’s open-mindedness helped him, and now he certainly is a great part of that positive cycle and a wonderful role model.
For our subscription, Kondo-san will roast two types of Ethiopia Worka, washed and natural. “Beans from Worka outperforms others every single year. My love for Ethiopian coffee ended up narrowing the chance of finding the coffee that satisfies me and roasting them to perfection is even more difficult- but when I can get it right, the flavor explodes in such ways that Central/South American coffee can never do”, Kondo-san explains. Diedrich is known for its ability to express sweetness very well- can’t wait to taste it ourselves!
At the end of the interview he said - “I have been cupping the best coffees from all over the world, test them and learn from them, and reflect the findings on my coffee until I feel confident and satisfied with the quality- my coffee should prove itself a good match to the global standard. I hope you all will enjoy my coffee.” A cool, confident and open-minded guy who roasts great coffee- heaven does give more than one thing.