My name is Kenji Kojima.
I am the representative of Fuglen in Japan.
Last week, on May 10th, Fuglen Tokyo celebrated its 5th anniversary.
In this News Letter, I would like to look back on the past five years.
Five years ago, on May 10, 2012, with the opening of Fuglen Tokyo, the challenge of spreading Nordic light roast coffee to Japan and Asia began.
My barista career began as a style in Sydney, Australia.
I'm not sure if there is an exact definition of such style, but here's a quick rundown of what I've learned.
Medium-dark roasted coffee beans with low acidity are ground a little coarsely for espresso, and about 22 grams of beans are pushed into a filter basket called a triple basket, and tamped with a strong force to create a liquid that slowly drops like honey. It's a so-called ristretto that extracts about 15 ml in a single.
It was very sweet, slightly bitter and tasted like dark cherry chocolate.
And I'm not too picky about filter-extracted coffee, and milk-based espresso drinks are the mainstream.
After that, I experienced a shocking experience in Oslo, Norway, espresso, aeropress, and even pre-made coffee from a pot, which changed my concept of coffee 180 degrees.
Dashi made from kelp, bonito flakes, and shiitake mushrooms is very familiar and important to Japanese people.
A good dashi may not look like much, but when you drink it, it has a strong, deep flavor.
The coffee I drank in Oslo was exactly like that, and there was even a kind of fruit soup.
When I learned that all of them are the individuality of coffee beans that are derived from the simple process of applying heat through roasting, I thought I could dedicate my life to this drink.
The espresso brewing method in Oslo is the reverse of what I've learned about Sydney style: lightly roasted coffee, slightly less than medium roast, ground fairly finely, packed in 18-19 gram baskets, tamped just enough to keep your weight off. Full shot, it looks like it's going to be a long extract.
At first, it was too different for me to understand.
Through these experiences, I was able to understand the need to change the way coffee is made, depending on the quality of the green beans used and the properties of the water used for extraction.
And I was convinced that the most important thing to make delicious coffee is the quality of raw beans, which is the raw material.
Fuglen in Oslo does not roast itself.
We purchase coffee from four basically different companies in Oslo, such as Tim Wendelboe, KAFFA, Supreme Roast Works (SRW), and S&H.
Nowadays, you can drink different roaster coffee in various cafes, but I think Fuglen in Oslo was the only one that had this style 10 years ago.
When I worked at Fuglen in Oslo, I enjoyed comparing coffees from different roasters every day, learning and enjoying the different bean selections and roasting approaches of each roaster.
One morning, when I was working as a barista, Tim Wendelboe himself came to deliver coffee.
First of all, I was surprised that Tim himself delivered.
And Tim ordered me an espresso.
The espresso served that day was SRW beans.
At that time, I couldn't speak Norwegian, let alone English, but somehow I managed to say in broken words, "It's not your coffee today." I made coffee for Tim for the first time.
He said, "It's delicious!" went to.
It was a short time, but the tension was sharpened just right, and I felt that I had grown.
From that moment on, I secretly made up my mind to aim for this person first.
Until 2014 when they established their own roaster, Fuglen's Tokyo branch used to fly coffee from Oslo roasters just like Fuglen in Oslo.
The coffee we served had a light roast and stronger acidity than any other coffee available in Japan, and most of our customers must have had this taste for the first time.
Since I am also Japanese, I expected that it would take time for this taste to permeate.
Still, I thought that I should not give up on continuing to provide the taste of coffee that I believed in, and I wanted people to experience the cafe in Oslo, Norway, as it is, so I tried to reproduce the Norwegian style as much as possible, including the system and customer service. rice field.
Two years later, in 2014, I was able to create my own roaster in Tokyo.
From there, we began to share the appeal of coffee with our customers even more deeply by releasing our own brand of coffee with the profile of Fuglen.
Various new roasters have started to increase in Tokyo, and each roaster has its own unique roasting method.
What they all have in common is that they are definitely roasted more shallowly than they were in the old days.
Coffee beans become less fruity as they are roasted deeper, and at the same time lose their individuality.
Also, if it is too shallow, the vegetable flavor will remain and the sweetness will not be built up and it will not be delicious.
Now that the route to obtain high-quality raw beans has begun to be established, the point of roasting is how to express individuality.
It can no longer be expressed in terms of light roast and deep roast.
It is no exaggeration to say that the selection of raw beans determines the degree of roasting.
Coffee, a crop that is greatly affected by climate change, does not taste the same every year.
It often happens that the production area that was delicious last year is not so good this year.
Under such harsh conditions, in order to obtain good green beans, it is necessary to visit production areas, drink a lot of coffee, and collect as much information as possible.
When we opened Fuglen Tokyo in 2012, we never dreamed that five years later we would be able to offer coffee purchased from the farms we visited.
We have been able to come this far as a result of sticking to what we think is good and continuing to make it, and having many people sympathize with it.
We will continue to do our best to make delicious coffee, so please take care of us.