Roaster Tomomichi Morifuji never ends in pursuit of the “ideal cup”

[Modern Artisan] RED POISON COFFEE ROASTERS Interview with Tomomichi Morifuji

RED POISON COFFEE ROASTERS '' is a roastery run by Tomomichi Morifuji , who was fascinated by the charm of coffee and turned from a jewelry designer to a roaster.
The impressive name of the shop ``RED POISON'' refers to Morifuji 's pursuit of a clear, fruity red, sweet, and addictive coffee. Coffee enthusiasts from all over the country flock to this shop in search of that exquisite cup.

What is delicious coffee? The beginning of the quest

Morifuji , who has had a strong passion for making things since he was young, studied metalwork at the design department of an art university. It's a so-called jewelry design.

“Manufacturing can range from huge structures that teams work on to small items that fit in your hand, but I wanted to do it myself from start to finish.”

After graduating, she got a job as a jewelry designer and gained over 10 years of experience before going independent to launch her own brand. One day, I had a shocking encounter with the world of specialty coffee.

``I've always liked coffee, but one day I went to a cupping event. Out of all the coffees I tried, I was asked to raise my hand for the one that tasted the best.'' Everyone raised their hands on what they thought was the least delicious coffee.What they thought was delicious was the cheapest, commercial coffee.Others raised their hands on a specialty light roasted Kenyan bean. did"

Morifuji experienced a culture shock and wanted to be able to appreciate the deliciousness himself, so he became certified as a Q Arabica Grader. This is the only international coffee appraiser qualification that allows sensory evaluation of coffee in accordance with the standards set by the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI).

``No matter what I do, I tend to get hooked after being shocked.It's my nature to want to understand more.''

At first, out of curiosity, I tried roasting it with a shichirin and a hand net, but I couldn't get the flavor I wanted. At a certain stage, I realized that I needed a commercial roaster to get the proper flavor, so I decided to buy one. I didn't set out to start a coffee shop, I got it to study roasting.

However, as he researches roasting every day, he is unable to distribute the coffee he roasts to his family members alone. Therefore, we started selling online as ``MORIFUJI COFFEE.'' At that time, I had not yet considered roasting as a career.

Designed original roasting machine “SOLID”

At the time we started mail order, third wave coffee shops had arrived in Japan and light roasts were starting to become popular. However, at that time, light roasting techniques were not yet widespread, and the coffee was just sour and tasteless. There, my desire to pursue delicious coffee grew even stronger.

“The main reason I decided to create an original roaster was because I wanted to be able to create flavors that go beyond the capabilities of existing roasters.”

From here, we will work on creating the original roasting machine ``SOLID'', which is packed with all the details, with the aim of achieving the ideal roast. It seems that they are particular about doing everything from design to design themselves.

``I've always liked customizing cars and motorcycles, and roasting machines are an extension of that.There are various reasons in the world of roasting, and for example, if you're told that Probat makes delicious roasts, you might wonder why. I want to thoroughly understand what is going on, and if someone tells me that something with higher heat storage is better, I naturally want to check it out.''

He spent about 200,000 yen to make an original cylinder to test its heat storage properties, but ``I knew after the first roast that it was no good (lol).'' We also repeatedly verified the differences in formats such as open flame, semi-hot air, and hot air. It took three years to complete the original roasting machine "SOLID".

"Roasting whether you're asleep or awake"

Morifuji 's ideal coffee is extremely simple. ``Coffee that people think is delicious without being difficult.'' To do this, the creator sometimes needs to think difficultly.

In a world of taste that is constantly evolving, our commitment to brushing up on our roasting techniques remains unchanged. However, unexpectedly, what made him want to master the art of roasting was learning about the history of a famous chain coffee shop.

``When I went out to drink at famous chain restaurants all over Japan, I realized that because I was the one doing the roasting, I was able to create a taste that any Japanese person would be satisfied with. So I researched the history of the shop, and found out that the founder was a roaster, and he couldn't roast properly, so he spent every waking moment roasting.It was similar to what I do now. I thought it was true.”

"If I try my best, someday..."

At the root of this idea was the original spirit of manufacturing.
"I had originally intended to start a jewelry brand, but before I knew it, coffee had replaced it. However, the idea was the same, just the items were different. The jewelry I wore became the jewelry I drank."

In search of the ideal cup you haven't seen yet

It's been about five years since he opened his shop, but Morifuji remains committed to roasting techniques and research to create the ideal cup.

"Times are changing faster and faster. We've had the coronavirus for the past few years, and we don't know how the world will change five or 10 years from now. Similarly, we're always trying to provide delicious food to our customers. In order to roast coffee that people will appreciate, you have to evolve the taste or you'll get tired of it.Even if it's delicious and you think it's 100 points at this moment, if you drink it every day it will drop. I’ll put it away.”

When I asked him what he was going to do, he answered in one word.

“I just aim to be more than that. I feel like I can only stay the same if I keep trying.”

Stoic all the way. Don't allow yourself to be convinced that "this is fine".

``I'm a person who makes things, so I don't want to be complacent.Ever since I was a jewelry designer, I've always believed that there's no point in being happy that I've completed something on my own.''

At this very moment, Morifuji and his partner SOLID are having a heated conversation in search of the ideal drink.
On my journey to pursue that ideal, CROWD ROASTER will be accompanying me for a little while. Morifuji roasts beans that Red Poison Coffee Roasters doesn't normally try, in the ideal way he thinks. It would be a very valuable opportunity to be able to taste such a cup.


Address: 2-2-20 Sagamino, Zama City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Business days: Irregular holidays, check on official website, etc.