ARAS Journal regularly collaborates with chefs to discuss how to use ARAS at home and to expand the range of serving styles. This time, we have a conversation between CAFE FACON owner Kenji Okauchi and Tatsuya Uemachi, representative of secca inc. who designs ARAS. As a collaboration with the new ARAS mugs, we asked Mr. Okauchi to create an original blend of coffee beans to match the three scenes.
Specialty coffee shops in Nakameguro and Daikanyama (Roaster Atelier). Conceptual store design and original menu (home-roasted coffee, homemade sweets, sandwiches). Offering original coffee beans at top Michelin Guide starred restaurants, as well as boulangerie and patisseries of famous chefs in Japan and abroad In October 2019, a produce store will open in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Three colors of mugs: "green-gray," "gray-colored," and "ping-gray-colored."
Become "part of the life" of customers
FACON" means "style" in French. My stance is not to impose my own style, but rather to say, "I think this is wonderful, and I hope you will enjoy it with me. If you don't like your coffee black, you can add milk or sugar. Even with deep roasted beans, for those who prefer a lighter flavor, we will drip brew the coffee to suit their needs, and for those who like their coffee hot, we will serve it hot. It is best to let the person enjoy it in the way he or she thinks it tastes good.
Your standing is wonderful. This place has time and experiences that could only be created by Mr. Okauchi. Not only coffee, but also the opportunity to make people who come into contact with this space happy is scattered throughout. Perhaps this is more important than "taste" when serving coffee to customers. It is a bit presumptuous of me, but I think it is close to what we value.
My ideal café is one that anyone can come and enjoy. A space where everyone, from children to grandparents, can come and enjoy themselves. In fact, I have even had couples who used to frequent the cafe come in to tell me that they are getting married. I want to be that kind of place that becomes a part of my customers' lives.
This time, Mr. Okauchi blended coffee beans for three different occasions: "to start the day," "as a companion at work," and "when you want to take a breather at night.
There are many varieties of coffee beans, and their characteristics vary depending on the soil. Each bean has its own best roasting point and is roasted differently according to its character. We determine the degree of roasting and fine-tune the roasting while actually roasting. In the "after-mix" process, each bean is roasted as a single roast and then blended to bring it closer to the flavor you envisioned.
[Claire] Let's start the day off right.
Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica
The medium roasted Guatemalan beans have good acidity, richness and sweetness. The Costa Rican beans, blended in the same ratio, are mild and milk chocolate-like. As it cools down, a fresh acidity like green apple appears. The Colombian bean has little individuality on its own, but it serves to unify the overall flavor. In the morning, I am in the mood for a pleasant start to the day. This blend can be enjoyed with bread without interfering with the taste.
[Claire] As a companion to work.
Ethiopia (natural), Ethiopia (washed), Kenya, Rwanda
It combines Ethiopian washed beans with a base of natural Ethiopian beans. The natural beans are berry-like, while the washed beans are citrus-like. Then we blend in unique beans from Kenya and Rwanda. The Kenyan has a grape-like flavor, while the Rwandan has an orange-like flavor. We use a medium roast to give the fruity taste a mellow and enjoyable taste. During work, I want to refresh myself a little. The aromatic beans are meant to "refresh your mind and get going".
When I want to take a breather in the evening.
Peru, Colombia, Kenya, Ethiopia (washed)
All are deep-roasted beans. When you drink them, they slowly soak into your body. Deep-roasted beans have the effect of aiding digestion after a meal. If it is before bed, you can enjoy it with milk in a café au lait for a more relaxing experience.
CAFE FACON with Kenji Okauchi
How did you get started in coffee?" I could have been anything," Okauchi-san replies. After graduating from university, Okauchi-san found a job and was assigned to the human resources department. As he faced students who wanted to join the company on a daily basis, he felt an uncomfortable gap between his ideal and reality.
The gap between the ideal and the reality was not good at all.
I have seen many people who believed my words and joined the company, but after a while they quit, saying, "That's not the story. For everyone, a "new graduate" comes only once in a lifetime. I felt very sorry. The next thing I knew, I began to think, "I want to do a job where I can make people happy with what I have created.
* "I want to work in a place where I can make people happy.
He resigned from his job of five years and went into the coffee world. People around me were against it. Mr. Okauchi, who was already married, also had the responsibility of providing for his family. At that time, his wife gave him a push, saying, "If you want to do it, you can do it.
The company was a success.
It didn't have to be coffee. It all started when I was an office worker and my boss took me to a coffee shop. I was attracted to it because the coffee there was delicious, but more than that, I wanted to do work that would make people happy.
While visiting numerous coffee shops, one day he encountered a shocking cup of coffee. It had a bitter taste with a sweetness and a fruity acidity. It was clearly different from the coffee I had been drinking. The coffee shop is a home-roasting store that focuses on the beans. A clear idea of what kind of store he wanted to open sprouted in Mr. Okauchi's mind.
After working at several coffee shops, Mr. Okauchi found his way to "Ancienne D'Angle," a famous flannel drip coffee shop.
* "Anseigne D'Angle
Anseigne was a much more demanding environment than I had imagined. The master's meticulous and keen sensitivity is not limited to the taste of the coffee. At first, I couldn't notice the areas he pointed out. For example, the master says "Welcome" at the door of the store. There is no one there, but the next moment, a customer enters. Everything is in such a tone that only the master can "see" it. I was deeply moved by this.
How is it that we can't see it, but he can?"
As I observed the master, I gradually began to understand. There are certain points that I notice, such as the movement of shadows and faint noises. At first, you don't know at all, but as you sharpen your five senses, you start to notice. In addition to his coffee skills, his manners and behavior are also beautiful. I really wanted to be close to the master's sensibility, so I trained myself day by day.
I am very proud of the fact that I have been able to work on my coffee skills and behavior.
When he joined Dangle, Okauchi-san was 32 years old. For the first two years, he worked under the master at the Jiyugaoka store, and from the third year, he became the manager of the Harajuku store.
The first two years, he worked under the master at the Jiyugaoka store.
The Harajuku store was Dangle's first store. It is the place that Master has the most affection for. It was also the time when the previous manager left, and sales were not good. But we had to keep it going somehow. It was a responsible mission.
I was responsible for the store's survival.
The days of struggle continued, but in the third year after moving to the Harajuku store, the number of customers quickly increased. Dangle's master's sense of beauty, his coffee skills and knowledge, and Okauchi-san's strong desire to please others all work in harmony to form a single space called "the store. Word of mouth brings in new customers, and repeat customers increase. After successfully revitalizing the Harajuku store, Okauchi-san decided to go independent at the age of 40, opening the specialty coffee shop "CAFE FACON" in Naka-Meguro in September 2008.
Continue to Part 2