A couple months ago I started following Yozo Otsuki on Instagram. Yozo has an online shop, Kurasu, that sells unique Japanese coffee products and I fell in love with the Tsuki no Usagi (Rabbit in the Moon) kettle. I ordered one and was amazed to have it in hand a few days later. In Kansas City. From Japan. Faster than shipping within the USA, somehow. About a month ago I got an email from Kurasu that they were collaborating with Japan’s Good Coffee in a monthly subscription. I opted for the 200g option, which gives me two 100g packages of coffee from Japan every month. For around $20/month this seemed like a great way to experience coffee from a whole bunch of roasters I wouldn’t have access to otherwise.
I had a few naysayers message me (“All Japanese coffee is roasted really dark” and “Hope you like stale coffee…”) but I had utmost confidence, based on my previous experience with Kurasu, that the coffee would arrive quickly and in good condition. I was not disappointed with the first shipment, featuring Tokyo’s Glitch Coffee & Roasters (read more about Glitch here).
The coffee arrived in my mailbox on October 2. Amazingly, it was roasted on Sept. 26 and shipped from Japan on Sept. 29! I had my coffee in three days from Japan and only six days total from when it left the roaster. Perfect!
The first coffee I tried from this month’s shipment was the natural process from Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia. I have no additional information about this coffee or where it was sourced from. The tasting notes on the package (I was hoping for cool Japanese labeling and stuff, even though I wouldn’t be able to read it! LOL) read, “strawberry, lemongrass, white pepper, complex.” I made a couple pourovers and a couple AeroPresses of this coffee. It’s roasted very lightly (I noticed some hints of peanut butter in the dry fragrance and aroma of the coffee, so any lighter and it would’ve been underdeveloped) and both methods yielded similar cups, although I found myself enjoying the AeroPress better.
Like the Brandywine Coffee Roasters Hambela Estate natural from Ethiopia I reviewed recently, this one from Glitch was really light in body and flavor. In the past, Ethiopian naturals have clobbered my palate with berries and sweetness and acidity, but more recently they have been really light, almost tea-like in body and cleaner. This one had nice light strawberry flavor and lots of florals in the brewed aroma, too. There was a little bit of peanut in the flavor, too, but in this case it gave a delicious peanut butter & jelly character with the strawberry! I’m usually really turned off by that peanut flavor in coffee (usually a sign of underdevelopment) but in this case it worked great!
I’m looking forward to the Rwanda Coko and will be sharing my findings for all these coffees over the coming months.