Coffee from Kunigami become first “Specialty Coffee” from Japan

Category: [ News ]

Coffee beans from Yasujiro and Yuko Tokuda’s coffee farm in Ada, Kunigami Village, have been officially named as “Specialty Coffee” that is given to high quality coffee beans. This marks the first coffee grown in Japan that has earned the honor.

According to the Specialty Coffee Association of Japan, “Specialty Coffee” is defined as “one that consumers highly appreciate” and is cultivated “thoroughly” managing its cultivation and quality.

Tokuda moved to Ada 13 years ago, where he first grew papaya. About nine years ago, he received young coffee plants from an acquaintance, and he started cultivating coffee.

According to Tokuda, good quality coffee beans are said to grow only on high mountains near the equator, which would make it difficult to grow them on Okinawa with its frequent typhoons and subtropical climate.

Tokuda cultivates his coffee using organic fertilizers ideal for coffee, and has planted trees to shield his beans from the sun and wind. He now has about 900 coffee trees on his field of about 9,900 square meters.

For registering his coffee as “Specialty Coffee,” he made a petition to the “Coffee Quality Institute” that is an international examining authority of coffee. It’s impossible to get such a certificate in Japan because Japan is not known as a coffee producing country.

Tokuda’s coffee received 84.67 points from the judges, well over the required standard value of 80 points to be registered as “Specialty Coffee”.

Tokuda produces his coffee only small quantities for the moment, and does not even have a regular sales channels in Okinawa yet.

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