Emi Fukahori  – Becoming A World Brewers Cup Champion | European Coffee Trip

Emi Fukahori – Becoming A World Brewers Cup Champion | European Coffee Trip


– [Emi] I think I’ve been very
spoiled with good coffees. I don’t… easily get this “Wow!” effect, which is a bit sad, but that’s like, good coffees are good, there are some more excellent coffees, and there are extraordinary coffees, and then I felt it without thinking. (upbeat music) Very first time for me, an encounter was a flat white. I didn’t know what it was, but it was all about milk over espresso. And I was fascinated about
the sweetness in milk, and if I wouldn’t get this
nice sweetness with this, I was wondering, “Oh, this
is not good, but why?” Memorable moment is 2014, when this barista champion
of that time, Nina, was training for awards championship. Back then, I was fascinated that cappuccino Nina served tasted like strawberry, and she said that in advance. So I got, like, really impressed. And then she explained that it’s Ethiopian coffee,
naturally processed. And back then, it didn’t
make any sense to me, because I didn’t know
anything about coffee, so it was not about
what is a tasty coffee, but it’s more like, which
one is the one that I like? The strawberry-like taste. (laughs) I was never thinking of owning my own business in Zurich. But since I got into
coffee with championship, and then my interest, or hobby, slowly overtook my
profession at that time. And then I started to work as a barista, and in the meanwhile I
also got to know Mathieu. He was also home barista,
but engineer working (laughs) And then, there was nowhere else where I wanted to persuade my coffee passion as a profession. So that was the moment
when Mathieu and I decided “Hey, let’s create a community in Zurich where we can celebrate
coffees like a championship.” So, this, the silver on the left that’s mine, from 2015. As I was in shock to be for the first time as a barista champion. And then Mathieu was jealous, because he was third and laughed at, he didn’t get any trophy. So he said he wants one too, so he competed and he got
another one next year. That’s his. (laughs) And then 2018 was something very crazy because we got two of each, one for me, one for Mathieu. Both for (unintelligible) and barista in Switzerland. Then, the same year for
barista championships in Netherlands, he got this, which is the massivest thing ever we have, or Mathieu owns, third place. And my golden kettle
is in the second shelf. (laughs) I was working in tourism industry, I was selling Switzerland, (laughs) to foreign guests
traveling in Switzerland. And back then, Switzerland was a product, to showcase, and it depends on the needs of customers. I try to arrange what they like about Switzerland. Now, coffee is my product, customers are international, and then I try to arrange
the different shapes of coffee that they wish to see. So, role hasn’t changed, product just got more tasty. (laughs) (upbeat music) So, the journey for me last year started in end of August, when Mathieu just came from Daterra farm in Brazil, because he was invited
as a finalist of WBC, which took place in Amsterdam 2018. And, he was like, secretly on a quest of a good coffee for me. – [Mathieu] And then we start having the cupping of their classic Brazil. Chocolate, sweet, and I’m like, “Why am I here?” Like, you know, because I was already thinking I need to find coffees
for Emi, and then we go, then collection, I was
like “Oh, yeah, okay… … that’s interesting.” And then finally the third day we do the masterpiece. And then, I’m like “What’s
this? This is incredible!” And the next was like
“You know, be careful because there is always
this farm effect, you know. It’s like when you go on holidays, the wine tastes amazing,
you buy the bottle and then the wine is not so good, right? But I was like, “Guys,
this is amazing coffee! And all of them are so good! I
want this, this, this, this.” – And then after the trip, he came back with some beautiful
coffees, in his work sack. So I had zero expectation,
almost no hungry motivation. It was like “I’m going on
holiday this afternoon, okay, we have to come,
okay.” So I started, and then I cupped, and I could see that my excitement inside is rise, rise rise. And now I’m like “Oh, oh, OH! Wow!” So it never got worse,
it was getting better. And I never had such a clear experience like this in the cupping. – [Mathieu] And this,
we thought immediately, “That’s the Brewer’s Cup coffee.” Because, you know, at Brewer’s Cup, you need to have your
coffee hot, warm and cold. And we said, “That coffee changed
so much with temperature.” – [Emi] And it was like “Wow, okay! I think I have my coffee.” I decided to ask for support
to my one and only Tetsu who’s the Brewer’s Cup champion 2016. – [Mathieu] So then we
called Tetsu and we say “Tetsu, I think we found the
coffee, it’s from Brazil.” And Tetsu is like “I
think you guys don’t know the Brewer’s Cup level.
I’m the World Champion, um, I’m actually gonna bring some coffees because I don’t think you
guys know what you’re doing.” I went “Okay, okay, okay.” – [Emi] For the final
selection we had 18 coffees on the table, I didn’t
say which one is what, I just ask Tetsu-san, “I have
my favorite coffee there, I would like you to reconfirm it.” – And Tetsu choose only one coffee, and that was Lorina. And he
was like, “That’s Brazil?” Yeah, that’s Brazil. It’s incredible. So, it was, you know, it was incredible. It was exactly about
changing your mindset. – [Emi] The biggest goal was to recreate my experience in cupping, onto a stage, in 10 minutes. That’s the whole vision.
And then at some point I realized that Lorina is
very reactive to temperature. And then, started to think “How can I make clear differences in brewing temperature in one brew, in 10 minutes?” (laughs) So I tried different
devices, and then one device kind of showed me a
possibility of being able to do that in one brew, which was a Jina. Because this has this
little valve that can maintain the heat when I have it closed. And when I open it it
functions like a non-immersion. And it took me 2-3 weeks to initially complete– I think this is the recipe, and then the small things we adjust. – [Emi] Quite challenging part
was after arriving in Brazil. And then I started to
train. Nothing worked. The coffee was actually
fresher than I wanted. But then, that period of the time, you just wanna have everything ready. Actually, until the day, the
morning of the first round, coffee was never good. And I’m like, “Why? It’s not bitter but it’s dry. It’s not that complex.” The coffee’s like one-dimensional. And those
things started to worry me. So I’m asking, “What do I do
wrong? What do I do wrong? Is it the grind size, or is
it the water, what is this?” Nothing worked, actually,
until the day of. Okay, in 2-3 hours I’m going on stage. – Can I have my music? (uplifting music) (applause) – The finalist is: (cheering, applause from crowd) – [Emi] Yeah, I was
success! (laughs) Lucky! I was very lucky. It’s also championship, luck plays roles, and I
got the golden ticket. (uplifting music) Couldn’t sleep because I was very happy, and next day, the Laurina tasted the best of three months of training. It was amazing. It tasted like beautiful alcohol parties, like, it tasted like sangria,
it tasted like champagne, white wine, red wine,
like bang, it was like “Whoah! What’s happening?” (laughs) And it was so happy that was the day, that was the final. And
Laurina tasted the best, like by far the best. And then, what else do you wanna do? I mean, coffee’s amazing,
it tastes like a party, I can brew again, so I was very thrilled. – [Mathieu] You have to
imagine, you are in Brazil. You’re with all the other people, cheering for us like crazy. At some point, it was known that she had the Brazilian. At the beginning it was
a surprise, but then all of a sudden all the
Brazilian, she was like “There is someone who
has a Brazilian coffee, that is in the final.” And then, so, you have the massive crowd
for you, it’s amazing, it’s like a moment where you’re like, you’re feeling you play soccer at home, you know what I mean? Like, you have the entire crowd for you. (uplifting music) – [Emi] Shocked. Like … … okay. Happened. Yeah, I still remember
just right after that announcement they gave
all of us like trophies. And everybody wanted to
keep them and get now the picture time. I
looked totally ridiculous. (laughs) And then, the photographers,
they said “Smile, smile!” Oh my goodness. And I still feel like this. (laughs) (uplifting music) It’s not about winning title, it’s about learning about coffee.
I think I keep competing because I indeed enjoy the process of training for competition. So, if you have even reward for what you’ve
achieved, it’s a bonus. So anybody, if you like
coffee, you should compete.

14 thoughts on “Emi Fukahori – Becoming A World Brewers Cup Champion | European Coffee Trip”

  1. Thank you! I visited MAME last year and as you recommended – I tasted a double espresso from Gardelli's Mzungu Project. And wow, that blown me away!!!!!
    ❤️

  2. I cried from this! Such joy of coffee, I hope one day soon to be in Zurich and perhaps attend a cupping.

  3. Great video, great content, great people! Most enjoyable 12 minutes and 03 seconds today 🙂 Please keep up the good work guys!

  4. Well, awesome video!! More, give us moreeee.
    Also, you can see what people think about brazillian coffee. We have been improving a lot towards having the best coffees in the world

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