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!
1. What brought you to the coffee industry, and how did you become a barista?
When I was living in Australia for a year on my working holiday visa I visited Melbourne, and had an incredibly good latte there. That experience encouraged me to choose the career path to work as a barista, and I worked for Starbucks in Kobe for a year and a half, and learned a great deal. Then I moved to New Zealand, sending my CV to cafes all over Auckland. I worked in NZ for 4 years, and brushed up my skills.
2. What made you interested in Kurasu?
When I was in NZ, I heard that there’s a barista position at Kurasu. Colombia Santa Barbara, roasted by Misako (a former barista/roaster at Kurasu) made me set my mind. It was such a beautiful coffee.
3. What is Kurasu’s strength? What makes Kurasu unique?
I love how baristas and the customers are very close.
4. What kind of coffee do you personally drink often?
It depends on the day, but I've always liked having a double shot flat white after dialling in the espresso to perfection first thing in the morning. With a mug in my hand, I would look out of the window, checking the weather feeling all excited about the brand new day. It's exceptional.
5. What type of coffee do you enjoy making?
Calibration. Nothing feels better than the time when I could serve the coffee exactly how I imagined, and when the customer liked it. The best moment to be a barista.
6. What is the most important thing for you when you prepare drinks?
Pouring the coffee with love. I always keep in mind the spirit of "pouring a heart into each cup" learned from the senior staff member I respected when I was at Starbucks, and I try to make sure that the drink I'm making now is the best cup I've ever made.
7. Other than Kurasu, please share your favourite cafes in a) Kyoto, b) Japan and c) Outside of Japan.
海外/Overseas(All NZ)：Espresso Workshop, IMA Cuisine, i press, Red Rabbit, Chuffed, Between… (全てNZ, Auckland)
And many many more- ask me in person when you next see me!
8. Where would you recommend for people visiting Kyoto?
After quickly freshening up at UMEYU’s public bath and sauna, go to
・Kyoto Beer Lab
・Hachi Record Shop
・Craft House Kyoto
and grab a nice craft beer!
9. Do you have something you would like to try at Kurasu? Do you have any future goal outside of Kurasu?
Making a good cup of coffee every day. That’s what makes me happy the most. (sometimes I even actually well-up while making coffee, for how happy it makes me. lol) My next goal is to open my own shop. My wife is a hairdresser so we want a hair salon and a cafe in one place.