Kurasu’s Meet Your Barista series will introduce our baristas who make Kurasu special. We will introduce them one by one —you may find something in common with them, or discover something new!
- What brought you to the coffee industry, and how did you become a barista?
I enrolled myself to a barista training course at my school when I was in New Zealand. My dream was to open my own shop one day- the teacher there suggested that I visit a famous Japanese barista to seek advice, and I was blown away by their coffee. I never tasted a difference in coffee until I had that cup- it was so mild and smooth on my mouth. I also loved their personality and barista has become my favorite profession since then.
- What made you interested in Kurasu?
When I was in Canada and working as a barista, one customer told me about Kurasu she was working for. I’ve never visited Kurasu in Japan before so I looked them up- and I was totally hooked by their wide range of business. They are roasting their own coffee, but having great partnerships with other roasters, they have a coffee subscription, they sell equipment, and they are trading world-wide. What they do resonated so much with my interests and goals.
- What is Kurasu’s strength? What makes Kurasu unique?
Great relationship between customers and the staff members. Unique and fun baristas.
- What kind of coffee do you personally drink often?
If I do black, I choose light roast most of the time. I do drink dark roast too- anything tasty, really. I love aromatic coffee and the one with a long lasting, pleasant aftertaste. It’s a nice surprise when I suddenly feel the lingering flavor in my mouth a while after I had the cup.
It’s difficult to articulate, but I’m obsessed with that flowering moment I feel when I have a sip out of a great cup of coffee. The moment when an invisible breeze lifts and plays with my hair, transporting me to a meadow of flowers- like I’m in a Ghibli film or something.
For an espresso drink, definitely Piccolo. I have my particular opinion on Piccolo- don’t get me started! It’s rare to see one on a menu in Japan though. I also enjoy choosing different kinds of coffee to pair with food.
- What type of coffee do you enjoy making?
I get very excited whenever I can bring out the great characteristics of the beans through my calibration (recipe building and flavor adjustment) process. I really enjoy planning how I want to design the cup based on what I discovered about that coffee.
I also love watching the first drip of espresso, and how pour-over coffee dissolves and swirls into water as it drips. It’s my kind of zen.
- What is the most important thing for you when you prepare drinks?
Do my best on each cup no matter how little time I’ve got.
I make sure to serve my cup in a stable and high quality at all times.
- Other than Kurasu, please share your favourite cafes in a) Kyoto, b) Japan and c) Outside of Japan.
Kyoto: Weekenders Coffee
Their flowers and greenery are so pretty- visiting their roastery is such a cleansing experience, and I do that a lot.
Hyogo: Taoca coffee
I love visiting them whenever I go back to my hometown in Hyogo. I admire how they are so loved by the local customers.
Canada: Revolver coffee
If you want to immerse yourself in love for coffee, visit them. They are frequently rotating many great roasters they introduce, they host tasting events, and their staff members have such great knowledge and skills. Love it.
I can’t finish my list if I were to tell you all of my favorites, but these 3 popped up in my mind first.
- Where would you recommend for people visiting Kyoto?
Grab your fav coffee and chill out by the Kamogawa river. Nothing can beat that.
- Do you have something you would like to try at Kurasu? Do you have any future goal outside of Kurasu?
I know it’s difficult to do something like this right now, but I’m craving for some fun time mingling and enjoying coffee with our customers and staff members at Kurasu. Something like a summer music festival. Sitting on the soft grass field, feeling some good music and drinking coffee- anyone care to join me? Or plan it with me? Anyone? (Psst, Yozo!)
My personal goal is to open my own shop, and I’ve already planned most of the things through in my head. All I need now is some funding…ANYONE? (tuning my telepathy to Yozo real hard)
- Any message for the Kurasu community?
We love communicating with our customers online, but if you are in Kyoto please do drop by, chat and enjoy coffee with us to have "Kurasu experience"!