The 2014 Specialty Coffee Association of Japan annual show concluded recently, and Sprudge contributor Hengtee Lim was on hand to capture the competitions and the show-floor experience. Here are some of his highlights.

1. Early-bird cupping at… “the bird”

SCAJ -01 - Fuglen Roastery cupping 01

Fuglen Roastery did their part to celebrate the SCAJ 2014 with early bird cupping events three mornings in a row—complete with croissants and complimentary cappuccinos to ease the pain of early rises and long commutes.

Follow Fuglen Tokyo on Twitter and Instagram.

2. Junichi Yamaguchi meets the Slayer

SCAJ -03 - Junichi Yamaguchi latte art

Junichi Yamaguchi, the ever affable and always confident winner of Tokyo’s first Coffee Fest Latte Art World Championship Open 2014, was rocking his latte art at the Slayer display with the rest of the %Arabica crew.

Follow Junichi Yamaguchi on Instagram and %Arabica Kyoto on Facebook.

3. The Allpress Linea BBQ

SCAJ -02 - Allpress BBQ 01

At their barista party, Allpress unveiled one of the La Marzocco Linea barbecues and rocked it yakitori style. The party ended with a flat-white competition, the winner taking home a very fancy La Marzocco wrist watch.

Follow Allpress Japan on Twitter.

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4. Much lever pulling, much precison, much coffee

SCAJ -05 - Blossom coffee

The crowded Blossom Coffee display was an attention grabber with it’s unique set-up, and everyone got their lever pulling fix along with some fine coffee.

5. The many faces of 2014 World Barista Champion, Hidenori Izaki

SCAJ -06 - Maruyama Izaki 01

SCAJ -06 - Maruyama Izaki and CCS

When not giving presentations or mingling with the likes of Bjornar of the Collaborative Coffee Source, Hidenori Izaki pulled espresso drinks all day at the Maruyama stand, and mugged for the camera like only a World Barista Champ can. Read more about Hidenori’s unique background in our interview here.

Follow Hidenori Izaki on Twitter.

6. Slayer meets… pretty much every specialty roaster in Japan

SCAJ -08 - Slayer meets roasters

The Slayer espresso machine was on a hectic schedule, with the likes of Onibus, Trunk, Light-Up Coffee, Woodberry Coffee Roasters, and many others on bar over three days of espresso goodness.

7. Coffee Rankan’s Terukiyo Tahara wins the (unofficial) award for best costume

SCAJ -09 - Tahara costume 02

Just hours after winning the Cup Taster’s Championship, Terukiyo Tahara from Coffee Rankan was on stage at the hand-drip championship, decked out in a traditional Ethiopian top with music to match. His Ethiopian nel drip coffee and presentation earned him third place overall.

8. Kenji Kojima and Fuglen meet… pretty much everything

SCAJ -04 - Fuglen at Kalita

Kenji Kojima and the rest of the Fuglen crew were all over the place – rocking espresso shots at the Slayer exhibition, pouring Kenya Kangunu at the Kalita display, and even dropping by the Blossom stand to get a better look at the ins and outs of lever pulled coffee.

Follow Kenji Kojima on Twitter.

9. Madness at the Roast Masters Championship

SCAJ -10 - Roast Champ 01

The Roast Masters Championships culminated in a mass-tasting, the stage floor flooded with people eager to taste – though everyone patiently waited their turn and not a coffee was spilled.

10. Issei Ogomori wins the (unofficial) award for most swagger & smoothness

SCAJ -11 - Ogomori presentation 01

Though perhaps not the tallest competitor, 2013 Hand Drip Champion Ogomori (of Saza Coffee) gave a presentation that oozed with style from the moment he said, “Sharing spectacular coffee brings me great joy.” Though his presentation was only a demonstration to fill time while the judges decided on the 2014 winner, Ogomori and his Panama Esmeralda coffee win the unofficial award for “most girls taking videos and photos during a presentation”. Must have been that neckerchief.

11. Who would have thought these make stylish lamp shades, too?

SCAJ -12 - Hario lamp shades

Is Hario exploring new product verticals?

Hengtee Lim (@Hent03) is a Sprudge contributor based in Tokyo. Read more Hengtee Lim on Sprudge.

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