SCAJ Event Recap: Tokyo A Go-Go
The Specialty Coffee Association of Japan event has come and gone, a whirlwind 3 days of white gloves, siphons, and heated competition in Tokyo. There’s not a ton of English language info available through the SCAJ itself, so Sprudge is here to offer our non-Japanese fluent readers some recap of the event.
Top honors for this year’s Barista Competition went to Miki Suzuki, of the Marayama Coffee Company. Look for Miki to rep Japan at WBC 2011 in Bogota, Colombia.
International Coffee Starlet and Sprudge pal Emily Oak was in attendance, and somewhere between coffee crawls and a trip to Tokyo Disney she found time enough to sit down with us and share her thoughts and Flickr Photo stream. An excerpt from her take on the event:
There were a lot of green coffee and roasted products on the show floor but surprisingly not a lot of new products at this year’s event. The show was quite small (compared to SCAA, for instance) but was nice and compact. Lots of filter coffee, some nice latte art etc the usual. This was my second SCAJ – I was here in 2007 for the WBC. The coffee is definitely getting way way better, but in terms of innovation, I was really blown away the combined toilet/bidet and the banana protector for your bag (so your banana doesn’t get squashed.)
We’d like to purchase one of those banana protectors.
Perhaps the best place for English-language SCAJ coverage is over at the Espresso Parts blog. Terry Ziniewicz took a break from designing kick ass La Marzocco custom machines in his Olympia, Washington skunkworks studio to travel to Japan, and his posts at the EP blog make for great vicarious travel reading. Peter Giuliano in white gloves? Check. Recap of the Strada debut in Japan? It’s there. Best of all is Terry’s exclusive write up of Hiroshi Sawada’s brand new cafe, Streamer Coffee Company, a shop with tremendous international buzz potential. Here’s what Terry had to say:
The shop is very well designed with a clean modern look. Walking into the shop, you might have thought we were in NYC, or Seattle, as the design is very well thought out and the design is very cool. Hiroshi started out his day and ours with three amazing pours, resulting in great tasting lattes. All three of these drinks were the first drinks poured! Amazing!
Everything we’ve heard and read suggests that Streamer is one of the most exciting new spaces opened anywhere in the world this year, though apparently the blend they’re serving (sourced by UCC) is a closely guarded secret known only to Hirsoshi and select insiders. It just makes us want to visit even more. You can check out Hirsoshi’s shop here.
Last but not least, Nuova Simonelli has a ton of great photos up on their Facebook photo album. Check them out here.
If in fact you speak Japanese, visit SCAJ.org for more event and membership info.