Cupping Japan Champion’s passion for roasting SHOMA ISHIHARA roaster

Enjoy coffee, amber toast, and peanuts at an old-fashioned coffee shop - Nagoya is known for its unique coffee shop culture. In Nagoya City, TRUNK COFFEE is a pioneer of light roasted specialty coffee with three stores.

TRUNK COFFEE was founded in 2014 by Yasuo Kiyokazu , who gained experience as a solo barista in Denmark and other countries. We are transmitting the taste and culture of authentic European specialty coffee to Japan.

SHOMA ISHIHARA , who worked day and night on coffee as a roaster and barista at TRUNK COFFEE and won the Japan Cup title at the 2022 Japan Cup Tasters Championship, will debut as a roaster at CROWD ROASTER do.

I discovered TRUNK COFFEE through my brother's influence.

ISHIHARA , who was born in Kakamigahara City, Gifu Prefecture, became addicted to coffee because of his older brother. When he tasted the coffee brewed by his older brother, who was participating in a weekly cupping event at TRUNK COFFEE, he felt an unprecedented surprise.

``Up until then, when it came to coffee, I had only bought it at supermarkets and convenience stores, and I wasn't particularly picky about it, but I was shocked to discover specialty coffee that was completely different from that. I started making more friends there, and I started getting more and more into coffee."

Now a fourth year university student, ISHIHARA has free time and often visits famous stores in Tokyo and Kyoto. Even after getting a job at a regular company, he continued to go to TRUNK COFFEE, and in August of his first year on the job, when he was starting to get more particular about brewing, he participated in an Aeropress tournament in Osaka. Although he didn't make it through the preliminary round, Kiyokazu , the founder of TRUNK COFFEE, was in charge of Koike kai at that tournament.

``It was a relatively casual tournament, and I didn't get a good result, but I thought coffee was fun and I wanted to turn it into work. Then, by chance, I happened to be on the Shinkansen with Kiyokazu on the way back from Osaka. I talked to him and he told me that the world was not easy.I still wanted to try it, so after that I asked him to let me work at TRUNK COFFEE.''

Became Japan Cupping Champion in just 2 years after pursuing coffee

After about six months, ISHIHARA quit his job as a new graduate and became fully involved in the coffee industry.He immediately entered the 2021 Japan Cup Tasters Championship (JCTC), a cupping competition. Although he ended up losing in the preliminary round this year, he practiced diligently for a year and won the 2022 tournament. He also participated in the world championships held in Greece and learned first-hand what the world is capable of.

“JCTC does not require as much equipment and equipment preparation as the Japan Barista Championship (JBC) or Japan Brewers Cup (JBrC), and the most important thing is to have a good taste and physical condition to be able to taste accurately during the 8-minute event.However, I had the impression that they were ahead of the top champions from each country in the world championships. Their sense of taste and taste was at a high level, but even in stressful situations, they had a stable mind."

Cupping is the most basic and important technique for not only determining the quality of coffee beans themselves, but also for improving the quality of roasted beans. While honing that technique, ISHIHARA 's goal was to improve his roasting techniques.

“The coffee beans we sell at the store are roasted by our roasting team, including myself, and I can put my cupping skills to great use in creating profiles for the roasting machine to produce TRUNK COFFEE coffee. , I work with the roasting team and barista to find out what tastes best."

State-of-the-art roasting machine "Stronghold" used for special lots

It has been about three years since ISHIHARA started roasting. In addition to the 5kg pot of Probat in the store, ISHIHARA 's favorite is the StrongHold, which is used for special lots of beans.

“Stronghold has been attracting attention around the world for about a year or two, and will be officially adopted at the 2024 World Roasting Competition.We have also introduced it at TRUNK COFFEE, and it has been used by participants in competitions such as JCrC and JBC. We use it to roast special lots for practice and other purposes.”

The sustainability movement that has been spreading in Europe in recent years is the same even in roasting machines where gas is the mainstream. The beans handled by CROWD ROASTER are also roasted using this strong hold.

“Our strengths are that we can roast finely in micro batches and that we can make small changes using three types of heat sources: hot air, halogen radiant heat, and drum heaters. You can make big changes just by doing this.”

Brew tips from ORIGAMI specialists

TRUNK COFFEE is also known for creating the beautiful wavy dripper ORIGAMI. Of course, we use ORIGAMI DRIPPER to hand drip our products at our stores.

We asked ORIGAMI specialist ISHIHARA about his tips for making delicious brews.

"You can use cone-type or wave-type filters, but wave filters create a more stable taste. The filter is in close contact with the dripper, making it less likely that insufficient extraction will occur, so there will be less uneven extraction and a better balance. If you want to get creative, use a cone-shaped cone, which allows the hot water to drain out from the sides, resulting in a clear, refreshing taste.''

ISHIHARA recommends ORIGAMI not only for its taste, but also for creating an atmosphere in which to enjoy coffee.

“Drippers are made of ceramic and plastic, and have unique color variations, looks, and shapes.In addition to drippers, we also have cupping tools, spoons, and cups, so we think even beginners will enjoy them.”

<ORIGAMI dripper recipe recommended by ISHIHARA >

Beans: 15.0g, medium finely ground, hot water: 210ml, 90℃

pouring hot water
1st: 50ml 0:00~0:30
2nd: 150ml 0:30~1:00
3rd: 210ml1:00~2:00

・Using WAVE FILTER is less likely to cause uneven extraction and makes it easier to create a well-balanced taste.
・Before brewing, set the filter, pour hot water to rinse the filter, and warm the dripper thoroughly.
・1st: Quickly pour hot water over the powder and steam thoroughly.
・2nd: Pour into the center and then pour while swirling the whole thing using a thin line of hot water.
・3rd: Finally, pour the powder while gently swirling it so that it is evenly extracted.

Roasting profile also released for purchasers!?

This time, at the CROWD ROASTER roast event, we plan to roast using Stronghold.

“At CROWD ROASTER , you can roast beans that you have never seen before, so I think it will be a fun and playful challenge.Of course, I have researched the profile that will bring out the flavor that I want to create with Stronghold. However, rather than having a stable taste, I feel like I'm taking on a challenge.''

On top of that, if the buyer requests, they will also make the roasting profile available at Stronghold available to the public.

``For example, if someone who has made a purchase wants to see your profile, you can share it on your blog, etc.You may not be able to imagine it just by looking at your profile, but you can drink while looking at it. Isn't it interesting to see it?"

ISHIHARA 's coffee, created with the reliable tongue of a cupping champion and the challenging roasting process using Stronghold, is already on sale as a "commemorative drink comparison set" for CROWD ROASTER . Furthermore, we are already recruiting for the Kenya Tim Factory SL28 /SL34 roast event.

ISHIHARA 's next challenge is to become a roasting champion.

``Since I'm involved in coffee, I simply want to do roasting as well as barista work.TRUNK COFFEE is an environment that doesn't just end with achieving results in competitions, but instead encourages people who achieve results. I'm going to hone my roasting skills so that I can eventually open my own shop.''

ISHIHARA 's first roast event is now underway!
The coffee to be roasted is [KKW] Kenya/Tim Factory/Washed.
First of all, they will be doing TRUNK-style roasting.

If you are interested, please use the CROWD ROASTER app to participate in ISHIHARA 's roast event!

TRUNK COFFEE LAB Higashibetsuin Address: Tsunehiro Building 1F, 1-2-2 Iseyama, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture
Business hours: 9:00-18:00
Regular holidays: Irregular holidays