This just in from our longstanding partners at Exclusive Coffees in Costa Rica: Hidenori Izaki, a barista from noted Japanese roaster / green buyer / world travelers Maruyama Coffee has become the 2012 Japanese Barista Champion!
Mr. Izaki competed and won using a geisha coffee from the Herbazu Micromill in Naranjo, West Valley, Costa Rica – one of many such mills championed by Exclusive Coffee's “micromill revolution”. It's a place we'll likely be visiting first-hand when we travel to Costa Rica this spring with Cafe Imports and the 2012 Regional Barista Champs.
Francisco Mena, the hombre behind Exlusive Coffees, is really super stoked about Mr. Izaki winning with a coffee from Herbazu. We've received a lot of information from him over the last few hours, including:
“Hidenori was happy and celebrated with CR flag on stage!”
“Hidenori will visit CR in November, to prepare the coffee he is going to use in WBC Melbourne 2013, before harvest…..saludos!”
Huge congratulations to Mr. Izaki, Francisco Mena, Kentaro Maruyama, and the folks at the Herbazu Micromill in Naranjo, who will probably be shown this article by Francisco in the coming days. Now it's on to Melbourne for Mr. Izaki, to compete this May in the 2013 World Barista Championship.