Yugen International

The (picto)story behind my journey through coffee.

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In 2018, I started a Coffee Import and Roasting business in Tokyo. But let's back that up a bit.

Yugen Logo

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In 2012 I Graduated from The United States Naval Academy and sent to my first duty station of Little Creek, VA.

Pops and I at graduation

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In 2014 I was shipped off to my second duty station in Japan. 

Ginza

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My house had a river in the backyard with Koi fish just kicking it on the reg. I had an herb garden in that backyard too (DM for pics).

View from the back of the crib in 東逗子

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And there was a beach within a 5 minute walk!

Zushi Beach

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I did some cool things in Japan.

Agguretsuko, my girl

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Met some cool people.

Yeah, issa me.

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But my time in the Navy was coming to a close.

Me and Momma Dukes in Kyoto

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As I prepared to say goodbye to Japan

(and Death Tequila) I realized I really didn't know what was next for me.

Yabee

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What I did know was that I loved drinking delicious, carefully cultivated, regally roasted specialty coffee.

Neighborhood Coffee Shop

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So I moved to Costa Rica.

Pura Vida Mae

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And went to a few coffee farms.

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Met a few coffee people.

Coffee Farm #2 in Tarrazu

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Went to some coffee festivals.

Coffee Festival in San Jose, Costa Rica

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And met some more coffee people.

Tarrazu Coffee Festival

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But...studying coffee didn't pay the bills.

Grade A Coffee Inspector

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So I got a job in San Jose as a manager for a specialty coffee shop.

The whole gang was there.

(From Left to Right) Nela, Jose, Me, Monica, Enrique, Cindy, Ariel.

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I pulled some espresso shots.

Con Muchisimo Gusto

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Roasted some coffee.

Cafe del Barista in San Jose, Costa Rica

You could say "I became intimate with the bean" I suppose. But... I missed Japan.

Cafeoteca in Bario Escalante

So I moved back to Tokyo and opened a Roastery in 2018.

Yugen International

The logo design was probs the most exciting part.

Yugen ALT Logo

Jk it was the apparel.

Yugen Long Sleeve Grey Alt Shirt

Or was it the roasting? (and everything else)

Does everyone salivate when they look at freshly roasted coffee?

Bancroft Blend Sketch

Bancroft Blend Gear

Yugen Coffee Promo

Bancroft Blend Design

Yugen Promo

SNS Post

One part was quite very much so not fun, the Japanese registration portion.

There's my name in the bottom right.

But as much fun as roasting coffee at Yugen was, my bills were doubly as "fun."

Apron was a lil' small

So I got a barista gig and met A LOT of really amazing people in the Tokyo coffee world.

I know...the goatee. I'm not sure.

Swiss Coffee Shop Owners

Barista in Kamakura

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The crew at The Roastary

Singer Zin (he's on spotify now)

Me acting like I know what I'm doing

during a cupping sesh.

Barista in Ebisu

Unfortunately I decided that ballin' on a budget would be rather tiresome at 30...so I cried, sold my roaster, and flew to DC for UX Design, never to touch coffee again. 

Ballin' in Koenji

For now.

One of my first attempts at Illustrator