Roaster Daito Hagiwara ultimate goal is to bring out "sweetness" and "clean cup"

THE COFFEESHOP (Tomigaya, Tokyo) Interview with Daito Hagiwara


THE COFFEESHOP ROAST WORKS is located in a quiet area just behind the Komaba Campus of the University of Tokyo. Inside the glass-walled shop is a 12kg PROBAT oven, filling the town with the aroma of fragrant coffee.

In fact, this shop is loved by people who work and live in the nearby offices, and serves as a coffee stand that they can easily drop in to. While you can enjoy your favorite standard brands every day, another way to enjoy THE COFFEESHOP is to try new brands that are added to the lineup almost every week.

THE COFFEESHOP is also very proactive in spreading the word about how to enjoy coffee, making it a coffee shop that always offers new discoveries about specialty coffee.

The man who manages this roastery and works as a roaster is Daito Hagiwara , an up-and-coming roaster who was fascinated by specialty coffee and decided to become a roaster.


A fateful encounter with specialty coffee

Hagiwara , a coffee roaster, had his first experience with coffee in a surprising place: a classic coffee shop in Jimbocho, Tokyo.

"My university was near Jimbocho, so I often skipped classes and read novels at coffee shops. Thinking back, I always had coffee by my side. I think that's what made me want to be on the side serving coffee."

Three years after graduating and starting work at a café chain, he was put in charge of launching a new type of store specializing in hand-dripped coffee. There, he encountered specialty coffee and was shocked.

"Of all the specialty coffee jobs, roasting was the one that I found most appealing and suited my characteristics. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and a bit of a nervous person, but I think roasting, where you endlessly pursue the ideal, is a job that suits me."

Having decided to make roasting his life's work, Hagiwara quit his job and visited various coffee shops that roast their own coffee. He came across " THE COFFEESHOP ," which has the concept of "delivering a totally satisfying coffee experience, from choosing the beans to drinking them," and got a job as a roaster. From there, he began to seriously work on roasting.

I want to bring out the potential of the beans.

Hagiwara 's ideal roasting method is to "identify the potential of the raw coffee beans, maximize it, and propose it."
"We determine from each bean whether the point we want to bring out is flavor, sweetness, or texture by observing the state of the raw beans during roasting and by cupping them. We then decide on the roasting approach and final roasting level that will maximize the individual characteristics of the beans."

THE COFFEESHOP sells COE (Cup of Excellence) award-winning brands and is particular about quality, but Hagiwara says that the value of coffee is not determined by the quality of the green beans alone.

"In the specialty coffee industry, it's said that the most important thing is to get good quality raw beans. But I don't think it's right to focus solely on that. Producers put in a lot of effort every day researching varieties and refining, but I always ask myself, are we roasters really putting in as much effort?"

In a sense, it is only natural to make the effort to check the condition of the beans while they are roasting and make optimal adjustments. What I always try to do is to use my five senses as much as possible to gather information and use it in my roasting.

"You can't create something that isn't present in raw beans through roasting, and each bean has its own strengths, so it's important to bring out the best in each. Since coffee is something you drink every day, the ideal coffee is one that you'll want to drink every day. I think that achieving both sweetness and a clean cup is the first step in making something you'll want to drink every day."

Lowering the barrier to specialty coffee

While Hagiwara is in pursuit of the perfect coffee, he also wants to lower the barrier to entry for coffee drinkers.

"I think there are probably very few Japanese people who have never tried coffee, including coffee milk or coffee-flavored snacks. But when it comes to the specialty coffee we serve at a shop like ours, people tend to think it's hard to understand or difficult. On the other hand, it's sometimes just treated as a drink to get caffeine, which I think is a bit of a waste."

One of the hurdles associated with specialty coffee is how to brew and extract it. Many customers have trouble brewing the coffee properly, even after purchasing delicious coffee beans. That's why Hagiwara is giving a lecture on how to brew it easily so that anyone can do it.

"For people who want to grind and brew coffee at home for the first time, I recommend the Hario Switch dripper. Anyone can brew coffee of the same quality if they know how to measure the amount of grounds, hot water, and time."

The standard recipe is to grind 18g of beans, pour in 250ml of hot water, and press the switch after 2 minutes to extract. He also taught us some tips on how to use the machine, such as grinding lightly roasted beans finely or stirring the dripper.

A cup of coffee for a relaxing moment

Hagiwara 's career as a roaster is not that long, but he believes he is second to none in terms of the experience he has with the types of coffee he roasts and cups.

"We offer four new single-origin coffees every month, and we roast and cup several times as many samples as we sell."

The most fundamental way to enjoy CROWD ROASTER CROWD ROASTER to see how Hagiwara roasts the beans you encounter for the first time.

"I aim to roast in a way that brings out the individuality of each type of coffee bean, so I'd like you to experience with me what I think are the best parts of each type of coffee bean and what I want you to taste."

If you're interested, be sure to make a roasting request to Hagiwara at CROWD ROASTER .

2-22-12 Tomigaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Business hours: 10:00-SUNSET (open all year round)