Getting to know Yozo - Founder and CEO of Kurasu.
How did the journey of Kurasu begin?
Kurasu was founded in 2013 in Sydney, Australia, when I noticed a gap in the market for Japanese hand-drip coffee equipment. Initially, Kurasu operated as an online store and gradually expanded until we launched our first physical shop in Kyoto in 2016. Currently, we have seven outlets worldwide, including in Kyoto, Singapore, and Bangkok. We remain committed to offering top-quality coffee products and have partnered with Morning Machine as their exclusive distributor in Japan.
Can you share more about Kurasu’s approach to sourcing and roasting coffee?
Japan has a rich history of green importers pioneering partnerships in coffee-producing origins to cultivate specialty-grade coffee. We are fortunate to have established strong relationships with many of these companies, giving us exclusive access to new crops each year, which we carefully cup. Furthermore, we are increasingly focused on building direct relationships with coffee origins. In terms of roasting, our main emphasis is on light roasts, which showcase the unique characteristics and potential of each coffee. Our offerings are tailored towards daily consumption.
What was the inspiration for Kurasu to decide to put coffees into the convenient capsule format?
In recent years, we have observed that specialty coffee roasters overseas have been working with capsules. However, Japan lacks OEM capsule manufacturers, which has limited the market for specialty-grade capsules. As innovators, we aimed to introduce high-quality capsules to the Japanese market. Therefore, in addition to launching the Morning Machine, we hope that other coffee roasters will follow suit and introduce their own capsule offerings, enabling more coffee enthusiasts to enjoy top-quality capsules at home.
Coffee is fuel to get us moving throughout the day, especially in the morning. What is your morning ritual like?
Usually, I begin my coffee ritual with a pour-over using my V60. I am fortunate to have access to a wide variety of coffee options, including Kurasu's own offerings and those received as gifts or exchanged with other roasters. I am eagerly looking forward to having the Morning Machine + Kurasu capsules on my countertop soon!
What are you most excited about right now and for the future of Kurasu as a brand/business?
There is always a lot happening at Kurasu, but I am particularly excited about the upcoming physical shops outside Japan this year, including another outlet in Singapore, as well as new locations in Hong Kong and Jakarta. I enjoy building new things, and the chance to visit and meet new people in different environments helps both me and Kurasu thrive.