Emi Fukahori has been completely involved in coffee for the last few years. Professionally and in private life as well. She enjoys tasting different flavors in a cup and sharing that experience with her friends and customers at my cafe MAME in Zurich. And guess what? Emi is one of the finalists of the World Brewers Cup in Belo Horizonte, Brasil!
(We borrowed this interview from the official WBRC webpage https://www.worldcoffeeevents.org)
📷: Rodrigo Torii (World Brewers Cup Facebook)
How did you get started in coffee?
I was lucky to serve cappuccino in 2014, as Nina Rimpl (2014 Swiss Barista Champion) was preparing herself for Rimini. That tasted like strawberry, as she described, and I got goosebumps. I wanted to understand why coffee can taste like this. Her coach then asked me if I want to compete too (so that I can understand much more about coffee), I took that opportunity. Since then I got into championships, gave up my previous work (tourism), and started working in coffee full-time in 2016.
Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place and your results.
2015 Swiss Barista Championship – 1st Place
2015 World Barista Championship Seattle, 36th Place – Round One
2016 Swiss Barista Championship – 3rd Place
2017 Swiss Brewers Cup 2017 – 3rd Place
2018 Swiss Brewers Cup 2018 – 1st Place
What are you excited to do while you are in Brazil?
I would love to see what other competitors present and learn from them. Besides that, I am happy to be in Brazil! (It’s my first time in South America).
What was your first amazing experience with coffee?:
An Ethiopian natural coffee as cappuccino, which tasted like strawberry. That was my first time to grasp such a vivid note in a cup, it did not take like coffee.
What is your favorite coffee brewing method and why?:
I enjoy brewing coffees as pour-over, as characteristics in coffee appear most clean and honest this way I think. Enjoying the cup at different temperatures is also an extra sensation for me.
What coffee-producing country most interests or excites you?:
Bolivia, for recent beautiful coffee discovery (I used Bolivian Caturra at the national championship this year). Costa Rica, for applying more and more innovative processes to many coffees.
What are your interests outside of coffee?:
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?:
Helping coffee professionals compete/develop their coffee careers in Zurich.
Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the competition?:
My work and life partner Mathieu Theis (who placed 3rd at WBC 2018), who has been helping me through my coffee journey. My coffee icon and dearest friend Nina Rimpl, who lead me to this coffee world (She was the one making me the unforgettable cappuccino, 2014 Swiss Barista Champion).