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Interview with Yu Yamamoto from Single-O Japan

July 13, 2018

日本語は下にあります。

Tokyo’s famous sumo suburb of Ryogoku probably isn’t the first place people would think to visit for single origin coffee. But nestled past traditional restaurants and nostalgic streets is Single O, an unassuming coffee roastery and tasting bar that’s come all the way from Sydney, Australia.

 

Single O started almost 15 years ago and has become a leader in the single origin coffee field. Its Tokyo roaster opened four years ago and its tasting bar opened last year in the same Ryogoku location. The coffee hotspot is managed by the well-loved Yu Yamamoto.

 

 

Yamamoto lived in Australia for seven years, with six of those working for Single O. He started as a dishwasher and didn’t even really drink coffee.

 

“I just drank the coffee from vending machines in Japan,”  Yu told us.

 

That changed when one of the baristas he worked with gave him an espresso to try. From there, Yamamoto learnt how to not only appreciate the tastes of coffee, but also how to make coffee.

 

After working a few years as a barista, he asked if he could open a Tokyo cafe, his boss initially said no because simply opening a cafe wasn’t enough - he had to roast coffee as well.

 

So, he learnt how to roast coffee and now dedicates most of the week at Single O Tokyo to roasting ethically-sourced coffee beans.

 

Single O’s dedication to roasting coffee is on par with one of Tokyo’s finest single origin cafes, The Roastery by Nozy Coffee and the vibe of the place resembles coffee shops like Light Up Coffee in Kichijoji, Passage Coffee in Mita and Life Size Cribe in Kokubunji.

 

 

One of the baristas, Narisawa-san is also a former Japan Aeropress Champion, which is reason in and of itself to make the trip to Single O and sample their aeropress brews.

 

2017 Japan Aeropress Champion, Narisawa-san

 

As well as offering a small drinks menu, Single O hosts regular coffee cupping events in its roasting room. They’re warmly welcomed by local and international coffee enthusiasts alike - the morning that we went, the shop was buzzing with coffee lovers sampling a variety of different brews.

 

And that is what Yamamoto wants to create with Single O in Tokyo - a place where anyone with an appreciation for a good brew can meet to enjoy high quality coffee.

 

Visit them at


ROASTERY 
Hours: TUE – FRI 9:00AM -5:00PM
(WEEKDAYS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY)

 

TASTING BAR
Hours: SAT – SUN 10:00AM – 6:00PM
MON 8:00AM – 4:00PM
PUBLIC HOLIDAY ON MON 10:00AM – 6:00PM

 

PHONE: 03 6240 4455

EMAIL: INFO@SINGLEO.JP

 

 

 

東京の相撲で有名な両国の郊外を、シングルオリジンコーヒーを飲める場所として真っ先に思い浮かべる人はあまりいないだろう。だが、ここのノスタルジックな通りの一角にある居心地が良く古風な店こそが「Single O」、オーストラリアのシドニーからやってきた気取らないコーヒーの焙煎所兼テイスティングバーだ。 ​​

 

Single Oは約15年前にオープンし、シングルオリジンコーヒーの分野では今や先駆者となっている。4年前に焙煎所として店を立ち上げ、昨年テイスティングバーを同じ両国でオープンした。

 

この人気店を経営するのは山本酉氏である。 山本氏はオーストラリアに在住していた7年間のうちの6年間、Single Oで働いていた。

当初は皿洗いからのスタートで、コーヒーを飲むことさえなかったと言う。 「日本では、自動販売機で買ったコーヒーしか飲んでませんでしたよ。」 転機は同僚のバリスタの1人に、あるエスプレッソを試飲するように勧められたことだった。

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

それ以来、山本氏はコーヒーの味わい方だけでなく淹れ方も学ぶようになった。 バリスタとして数年働いた後、彼は上司に東京でカフェをオープンしたい旨を相談した。