The next #KurasuPartnerRoaster is NAGASAWA COFFEE in Morioka, Iwate. This is the second time we have had the pleasure of partnering up with Nagasawa-san, the roaster and the owner of NAGASAWA COFFEE, which pioneered specialty coffee scene in Iwate. Since November 2019, when we previously partnered with them, a lot of things have changed. We interviewed Nagasawa-san to find out how they have been, and what’s been on his mind during these turbulent times.
“We’ll stay being the safe place for everyone”- what has and hasn’t changed during the pandemic
Nagasawa-san is known for his vigorous traveling, attending numerous festivals and events around Japan and overseas. It has been our great pleasure joining coffee events in Kansai area alongside Nagasawa-san, but when we asked how he has been lately, he told us that those opportunities to travel are currently virtually none, which leaves him staying in Iwate, near to the north edge of the mainland.
“I just love entertaining people with my coffee, and I’d go absolutely anywhere for that. That’s why I have attended so many events in the past, and by doing so and gaining popularity outside of Iwate, people in Iwate will also see the value in the brand. However, with all the festivals and events cancelled, I have been mostly at my cafe and it almost feels like I’m on a remote island”, Nagasawa-san explains.
“(During the pandemic) I have felt the warm support of the local customers so much. I also learned that even though people can’t visit cafes as often as before, they still want to have a good cup of coffee- there are more and more people enjoying coffee at home, and I’m packing and sending a lot more coffee than before from my online store”, Nagasawa-san looks back.
It’s been a while since we walked into the situation where no one can predict the future, even a week ahead- while the world is in chaos, Nagasawa-san essentially returned to the roots for his initial concept of his cafe by providing a safe, comforting place for everyone.
Nagasawa-san’s goal for his cafe has always been to provide a place where people can count on having a good coffee and a good time. For Nagasawa-san, coffee is a daily essential. That’s why he feels the importance of keeping his cafe open more than ever, serving people their everyday cup.
Searching for “the usual” at NAGASAWA COFFEE
For the subscription package, Nagasawa-san will roast NAGASAWA COFFEE’s classics, Ethiopia Gedeb and Guatemala Las Limones.
The Ethiopian coffee in particular is Nagasawa-san’s top favorite, his full confidence in consistent quality grew even stronger after visiting the washing station several years ago. “I don’t change the variety of coffee I offer very often- I choose something I can fully trust, and when I purchase it I purchase it throughout the year”, he says.
Both coffees have been passionately supported by the regulars at NAGASAWA COFFEE as their “usual” cup- they would visit the cafe to restore the comfort of reliability and routine, which has somewhat become hard to come by. In times of unpredictability and chaos, Nagasawa-san makes sure to secure that safe place for everyone with a cozy space and a delicious cup of coffee, and that has always been and always will be, his ideal place for his cafe to be.
“I hope people can feel like they are travelling to Iwate, drinking my coffee here at NAGASAWA COFFEE”, he smiles- while it is an unfortunate reality that the days we can freely travel again are still not near, we too are looking forward to delivering the taste of that happy feeling in the coffee bags to you all.