This month’s #KurasuPartnerRoaster is ABOUT US COFFEE in Fushimi, Kyoto. Since our last partnership in 2021, they have grown their presence in the industry as the owner, Sawanoi-san, has won a world championship and now is one of the judges at SCAJ competitions.
In our 2021 interview, Sawanoi-san shared his vision to not only to brush up his skills even further but also to establish reputation and recognition. In just 1 year, he won the top prize of Coffee Collection World Discover 2022, competing with other 50 roasters from around the world.
“The study group with my fellow roasters helped a great deal. Even when I was starting to veer off course in my consistency, there were always others to talk to and discuss necessary calibrations with. That helped me build a core and a clear vision of what I need to achieve, and I got a good grip of what I was doing” he reflects.
If you describe Sawanoi-san’s core value in one word, that would be “a balance.”
Sweetness has been the center of attention in recent competitions’ criteria, but focusing on that is merely a tactic to win that particular game. “The name ABOUT US also represents diversity in coffee. Some of us like dark roast and some prefer it light. Washed process and natural process are loved in different ways, and some would go even more extreme in search for eccentricity and flamboyance. All of those I would like to embrace as a way to love coffee. That’s why I am more interested in highlighting each coffee’s identity than establishing that of my work.”
Sawanoi-san’s idea of diversity in coffee also applies to his approach in business. Not limited to roasting, he is always keen to explore many different ways to be a coffee advocate, and it’s only natural that he seeks the “balance” in what he does.
For now, he is planning to open a new roastery with Giesen 6kg, and build it also as a cafe. His ever developing adventure will surely continue to be a pioneer in the industry, helping us expand our world with it.