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    Kurasu Baristas Talk: Barista Blend 1/2

    Hey everyone!


    We hope you have enjoyed our 10-week project, Barista Blend as much as we did!

    To wrap up this special event, we interviewed our 5 baristas who made their own “Barista Blend”. 

    It was supposed to be a quick, casual one but we sure did have a lot of things to talk about! So here’s the first half of our conversation, reflecting on their unique journey.  


     【First Half】


     Great work on this long 10-week event everyone! Could you give us a quick note on how it was for you?


    ーーーAyaka, could we start with you?


    Ayaka:It was so worth it and I genuinely feel that way, it was great!


    ーーーYeah! How about you, Hitomi?


    Hitomi: It was fun! It was simply a great project, and I feel so lucky to be able to take part in it. Great opportunity.


    ーーーIndeed, making a blend named after you isn’t something you get to do everyday. 


    Kume:I loved calibrating espresso for each blend, I had so much fun every morning for the last several months. Thank you so much Kosuke for your hard work!


    ーーーHaha, I can totally see you having fun calibrating! How about you two, Tsubasa and Mizuki?


    Tsubasa:There are 5 of us and we had 2 weeks each, so I thought wow, 2 and a half months is such a long time- but at the end it just feels like it finished too soon!


    Mizuki: Same here, it didn’t feel like 2 weeks.


    ーーーFun time always passes too quickly. We also had customers regretting not joining the event early enough- what can be a better review than that? 


    Other than yours, which blend stuck in your mind the most, and why?


    Ayaka:Tsubasa Blend. My second brew was so much different to my first take, and I was very impressed by how the aroma burst in my mouth when I had it as an espresso. 


    ーーーAgreed, I too remember thinking “wow! This espresso!”.


    Kume:I’d sayMizuki blend. How it aged and developed every day was so interesting. 


    Tsubasa: I lovedMizuki Blend too!


    ーーーWow! 2 votes for Mizuki Blend, very popular!


    Tsubasa: It was just so delicious. It was the closest thing to my ideal, perfect espresso blend, and the moment I sipped I thought “Damn!” lol (Obviously in a good way!)


    ーーーThat’s a very encouraging thing to hear, especially coming from our manager! How about you, Mizuki?


    Mizuki: I would say Kume Blend.The ratio he chose was so bold, and it was something I’d never dare to choose and it was mind blowing! The package design alone excited me even before I actually drank it, and when I did, it made me so happy. 

      

    ーーーKume Blend and Hitomi Blend had the 2 most memorable package design. Hitomi, what’s your pick?


    Hitomi: Ayaka Blend. On the very first sip at the cupping, I thought “this is what a blend is, it’s the definition of it.” It was amazingly delicious. 


    ーーーIt was very tasty. It was also very different from your Hitomi Blend- I’d say Ayaka’s blend was very mild. It was so interesting that each 5 blends turned out completely differently, even though we had a limited combination variation. 



    It was so nice that many customers visited us to enjoy your blends throughout the project. Was there any memorable moment or conversation you had with them? Any comment from them?


    Ayaka:Many people said my blend was very easy to drink and well balanced so that was nice. Also my sister and my friends who live far away from Kyoto purchased the coffee online and it made me so happy.


    ーーーAgreed with the well balanced comment! It was mild but rich. The story about your sister made me so happy too.


    Kume: It was “Whaat! I’ve never had such a flamboyant latte, so gorgeous!” and  was like “Whaat! that’s such a nice thing to say!”


    ーーーHaha, must be talking about the explosion of Ethiopian aromas, I know. It was so you, full of energy.


    Tsubasa: During the event,I remember that many people told me that it was their first time drinking espresso on its own. For a coffee professional, espresso is something special and important. It’s the base of many things, but not many people actually drink it on its own. I always make sure to calibrate a perfect espresso every day, and when someone orders a shot it freshens up my mind. It brings me back to basics. 

    So I was very happy to see that this event encouraged many more people to try espresso, and that we could serve them many different types of espresso!


    ーーーI love coffee but ordering an espresso sometimes takes some sort of courage. It’s great that we could encourage people to try a shot to truly appreciate the flavor of each coffee despite that, and I think that’s a real indication of how people were interested in your blend. 


    Mizuki: There was a customer who tried several different blends to compare and said, our individual personalities are well expressed in each. Somehow it was embarrassing, like I felt a bit exposed and I didn’t ask any further about specifically what kind of personality they could taste in my blend. lol 


    ーーーI know! I could taste different personalities in each blend, expressing everyone’s characters very well. I need to talk to that customer and compare our notes. lol


    Oh, and Kosuke commented that my blend is a “want-it-all” kind of blend, haha. 


    ーーーI interviewed Kosuke the other day, and he was mentioning that Mizuki Blend is the most memorable blend among all, and he said it was a blend that’s very feminine and something he can never make. How about you, Hitomi?


    Hitomi: I received many positive feedbacks from people like “this is my best favorite!”, “I love it so much and I will need to make it last as long as possible”, or “my mom loved it!”, and some visited the cafe so they could try my blend brewed by me. Many other friends who live outside of Kyoto or Japan bought my blend online, and I felt so blessed to be a barista. It was so nice to welcome people who visited us and gave us feedback. 


    ーーーI can see that customers’ feedback is very important and welcomed for baristas. I like how you enjoyed communicating with customers- it’s very you, Hitomi. 


    ================

    That’s the first half of “Kurasu Baristas Talk: Barista Blend”- we hope you enjoyed it! 


    This conversation made me want to drink each blend all over again. If you have tried all 5, please share your comment and feedback with the community!


    It was so ncie talking to our lovely baristas and see how they have such a wonderful relationship with our customers. Thank you so much all for being a wonderful part of our community, as always! 


    For the second half, we talk about our new house blend light which is the goal of this entire project- stay tuned!