Okinawa coffee shop owner wins coffee roasting championship

38-year-old Yoshiyuki Nakamura, the owner of “Mame Polepole” home-roast coffee shop, is the first person from Okinawa to become the Japan Coffee Roasting Champion at a contest held in Tokyo. This was the second  time Nakamura participated in the contest.

His win makes him the representative of Japan in the World Championship contest at the end of next year.

The Japan Coffee Roasting Championship contest was held for the 6th time this year. There were 50 participants in the preliminary contest held in June, and Nakamura was No.1. In the final contest, six participants vied for the championship in August, and he won. There will be an award ceremony in Tokyo on Sep. 21st.

In the final contest, all participants were given same kind of coffee beans. All had to report in advance the flavor and sourness of coffee that they were going to make, and roast the beans with a machine they used for the first time. The contest requires the competitors to understand the flavor of the coffee beans, and master the technique of roasting the beans to the result they had reported.

After graduating university, Nakamura was mesmerized with the taste of coffee and its history in Asia. He studied techniques of roasting coffee beans in his work and from books. He opened his own coffee shop seven years ago. He hopes that many people would enjoy coffee, and is planning to open a second shop on Chuo Park Avenue in Okinawa City within this year He also has plans to give lectures on how to roast and drip.

Last year, Nakamura was eliminated and couldn’t compete in the final contest. He says with a broad smile, “I was so frustrated last year, so, I was well-prepared this time. I was surprised and very happy when I won the championship,” adding, “I would like to improve my technique more to be ready for the world champsionships.”