Release Date: Apr 11, 2018

Paik, raised and educated in British Hong Kong, is one of Tokyo’s most in demand art/film directors, having worked with Yohji Yamamoto, UNIQLO and SMAP to name just a few. Even so, he has somehow found time to build two coffee shops in the Harajuku/Omotesando area over the last 18 months, and still allocates time each day to the coffee roasting process. We visit his home to watch how he rises and shines.

A long day is on the cards, but the day usually begins on the rooftop at 5:30am with 15 minutes of Qi Gong (a Chinese practice of physical exercise and breathing control) to get rid of all the tense feelings in the morning. “Qi Gong allows me to scan every part of my body while bringing energy from top to bottom.” Qi Gong is new to us at Good Coffee, so he relates it to something we’re a little more familiar with. “Basically, it’s like coffee. It’s never about tomorrow, right? It’s about being in this moment… kind of like feeling each and every cup that we brew.”

Paik likes to keep it as simple as possible when it comes to coffee at home. “I’ve tried almost every dripper and kettle there is. Over the years however, I’ve come to realize that the delicate parts of coffee equipment are limitless. It’s like driving someone else’s car – you can’t control things easily.” Paik seems to have settled with the Kono Meimon dripper and Yukiwa pot. His pour over style is unique. He “throws” the water into his dripper, which helps ensure the coffee grounds are completely soaked.

Paik enjoys his coffee in the morning out of a Bacccart crystal whiskey glass. “I am king of breaking things and have a tendency to lose things around me. Nothing lasts. So, someone gave me a heavy Baccarat glass, which I’ve already dropped it several times. It’s unbreakable.” Paik also mentions that seeing the color of his coffee is a bonus.

While Paik needs coffee to kick start the day, his wife prefers a smoothie, as she gets dehydrated easily. Recently it’s ginger, carrot, turmeric, lemon and manuka honey… all of which he picks up at the Farmer’s Market in Aoyama. “The famers market is walking distance and I like the crowd.”

Paik is an avid reader, usually always taking time to read over his morning coffee. He just finished Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. “I thought this was some remarkable book but half way through I realized that this book is about raising a child. I don’t have any kids, nor do I own a Ferrari – so I’ll just have to use what I’ve learned to advise someone to shave their head and sell their Ferrari to kids or something.” Recently, he started reading Queen Margot for the second time.

Paik also makes sure to take Tora, his eight-year-old Chihuahua, for a brief walk outside, before heading to work. “He is a bit stubborn so sometimes I have to carry him.”

Thanks Paik for sharing your morning with us at Good Coffee. For a limited time, we’re excited to have gotten our hands their COSTA RICA beans which you can purchase here, roasted by Paik himself.


Visit Chop Coffee Omoteando and Chop Coffee Cat Street

Paik Design

Chop Coffee

Follow Paik on instagram here: @paik_paik_paik


Interview by Vaughan @vja
Photography by Nik van der Giesen @nvdg81

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