The (picto)story behind my journey through coffee.
In 2018, I started a Coffee Import and Roasting business in Tokyo. But let's back that up a bit.
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
In 2014 I was shipped off to my second duty station in Japan.
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
And there was a beach within a 5 minute walk!
I did some cool things in Japan.
Agguretsuko, my girl
Met some cool people.
Yeah, issa me.
But my time in the Navy was coming to a close.
Me and Momma Dukes in Kyoto
As I prepared to say goodbye to Japan
(and Death Tequila) I realized I really didn't know what was next for me.
What I did know was that I loved drinking delicious, carefully cultivated, regally roasted specialty coffee.
Neighborhood Coffee Shop
So I moved to Costa Rica.
Pura Vida Mae
And went to a few coffee farms.
Met a few coffee people.
Coffee Farm #2 in Tarrazu
Went to some coffee festivals.
Coffee Festival in San Jose, Costa Rica
And met some more coffee people.
Tarrazu Coffee Festival
But...studying coffee didn't pay the bills.
Grade A Coffee Inspector
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.
I pulled some espresso shots.
Con Muchisimo Gusto
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.
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
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
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
One of my first attempts at Illustrator