Release Date: Aug 25, 2017
First memory of coffee?
My first memory of coffee… I was living in Hong Kong back in 80s and few of my friends from British school came over with a bottle of scotch whisky that they stole from their dad’s cabinet. We got trashed after drinking half a bottle. One was throwing up so bad that another friend brewed a cup of instant coffee thinking this would residue out the sick whiskey taste. I was told that I threw up 8 times that night (according to my really pissed off mom). I think we were 14 ha ha.
What’s your favourite cafe in Tokyo (besides Chop!)?
Meikyoku Kissa Lion
Favorite cafe in the world?
Back in the early 90s my former art director introduced me to Mr. Shozo from Shozo Cafe in Nasu. He built the entire cafe and town around it by himself. People didn’t have the internet then, they had ideas. Oh and his French Roast is amazing.
How do you take your coffee?
Maximum number of coffees you’ve ever had in one day?
We were shooting a music video a few years back and all the film crews were up 3 nights straight so we rented one of those coffee pot services from a coffee shop. Over the course of the shoot, I had over 20-30 cups each day I think, maybe more… My teeth pervaded in bean grading chart.
Your favorite logo/branding for a coffee shop?
Do people know Penguin Books? In my British school days everybody was reading books published by the Penguin Books. And their logo is some what remarkable because this bulky eyed penguin dude has no relevance to any books they published and yet, it stands out and all books are colour schemed scoring the various type of books. Orange for fiction and green for crime. Not to mention that the logo was drawn by their in house officer Junior Edward Young. I think this was the first logo mark I actually fell in love with. Penguin Books Coffee Shop could have all those books on the shelves engraved in those bulky eyed penguins drink a cup of coffee. Now that’s another coffee shop I wouldn’t mind being part of.
What’s the most expensive cup of coffee you’ve had?
Once I ordered a cup of coffee in an expensive bar and it was as expensive as that glass that held the champagne of that bar.
What’s the best food that goes with coffee?
What type of coffee setup do you have at home?
Just a kono and yukiwa pot.
What advice can you give to people who want to make a better cup of coffee at home?
Get a brilliant grinder.
Where did you have a really delicious cup of coffee recently?
Cafe Bach in Taito-ku
Which cafe embodies Japan for you?
Any cafe really. They are all amazing.
What words would you use to describe the Japanese baristas who work for you?
Precise and Exact Compassion of Love.
What’s the best thing about having your own coffee shop above your office?
Customers often ask why do you have so many books on the shelves and why is there a staircase leading below. We just tell them there is a design company within this shop. Now that’s strange right? That’s like, we are French who also likes to play Cricket… Hmmm… I like weird strange things. I hope people would say weird things about our shop. It would be interesting to read about ourselves in this odd peculiar world of coffee roasting and design.
What was the most challenging part about opening the cafe?
We toggled with this idea of making this coffee roasting shop back several years ago when we first moved here. We even purchased our roasting machine after that. But we never opened the shop. Eventually our roaster arrived from Holland but it had to be kept unboxed for few years just because we weren’t sure if the location was right and we weren’t too keen about third waves. Our shop is really hard to find. Without the help of google it’s virtually impossible. And we were estimating maybe 10 customers a day. But people keep coming in for more coffee. How do they even know that we exist? Now that’s an on going challenge.
Who is someone that you look up to in the coffee industry?
…Black Adder? He is this old medieval character from British comedy back in 80s. He ain’t in the coffee industry but if he were a barista.. I am already laughing my head off.
The coolest movie with a coffee scene in it?
This isn’t the movie but I get a good laugh watching “comedians in cars getting coffee”.
Who should everyone follow on instagram?
The Rolling Home. Everyone in our shop loves camping. And they are the campervan drifters and like us they work in creative industry.
Best background music to play while you’re making coffee?
Smith, The Pixies, The Cure. All this music are more suited to a pint of beer rather. Actually my mom is a piano teacher and my dad is jazz pianist. Them playing while I make the coffee would be a treat.
If you weren’t in the coffee industry, what would you be doing?
CHOP COFFEE information is here.
Interview by Vaughan (@vja)
Photography by Nik van der Giesen (@nvdg81)