Kohiraifu 珈琲生活, a Japanese word that means coffee life.
The Netherlands is a place that offers a relaxed, complimentary lifestyle for our everyday life. As musicians though, we are often occupied with practices, rehearsals, lessons and concerts. To enjoy our leisure time, we like to explore and learn about new things, which is how we discover our love for coffee. Coffee has, since then, become our daily happiness and inspiration.
We have found pure bliss and joy in our journey of coffee tasting. Brewing a nice cup of coffee has also created a space for us to meditate and contemplate. We find this experience crucial for our musical development as it often spark joy and creativity. Therefore, no matter how stressful or busy, spending time to brew a nice cup of coffee has then been a significant part of our everyday lives.
In 2018, we came across a Japanese food programme which introduced Chatei Hatou, an antique coffee shop in Tokyo. We were mesmerized by the aesthetically pleasing coffee brewing process that the barista displayed. At Chatei Hatou, the relationship between the customer and the owner are fostered through their common love and interest in coffee. Their coffee brewing process has inspired us so tremendously that we had drip coffee lingering our minds since then.
To relive the intimate feelings, we began collecting Japanese brewing equipment and learning about the art of drip coffee. Much to our surprise, we also discovered interesting stories one after another between the Netherlands and Japan.
In 1637, the Tokugawa shogunate 江戸幕府, with the support of the Netherlands, ceased the Shimabara Rebellion 島原の乱 . Since then, diplomatic relations with Japan was established and the Netherlands and Japan have remained on good terms ever since.
Even during “Sakoku 鎖国", the isolationist foreign policy that limited diplomacy in Japan between the seventeenth century and nineteenth century, the Netherlands was the only country legally allowed to trade with Japan.
During these times, the Japanese loved the westernisation introduced by the Netherlands, including, but not limited to, culture, technology, politics, and medicine. A body of knowledge was developed based on the Dutch culture, which was known as Rangaku 蘭学, which translates directly as “Dutch learning”.
On the other hand, Dutch merchants exported Japanese ceramics, such as Arita ware and tea to Europe in large quantities. The Dutch, along with other Europeans, were fascinated by the Japanese culture.
Around 1700, coffee was introduced to Dejima in Nagasaki via the Dutch.
In 1817, Udagawa Yōan 宇田川榕菴, a Japanese Rangaku scholar which also happened to be a coffee lover, gave coffee its name, derived from the Dutch word "koffie".
In 1992, as a highly modernised city, Nagasaki established a Holland Village. One of the highlights in the village was a Dutch cafe, which was built as a remembrance of the Dutch people who contributed to the fabulous beverage.
In the pursuit of Japanese coffee history and culture, we realized that there is a special chemistry between Holland and Japan concerning coffee.
Today, as we bring this top tier Japanese coffee culture back to Holland, it is interesting to understand how history has paved its way so that we could reflect on these seemingly forgotten stories and relationships.
Join us to pursue the “Ikigai” in our daily lives!
As we come to the understand of the art of coffee drinking, we are able to appreciate the Japanese innovation, delicacy and persistence towards their passion. These mindset has led to the significant development and improvement of the Japanese coffee culture within the past few decades, making Japan world-renowned for their coffee culture today. In pursuit of a nice cup of coffee, we would not only want to share their intricate craftmanship, we would also like to share their art of living through coffee.
“Ikigai” describes a way of living through pursuing happiness and satisfaction in daily lives. Through coffee, we can have a glimpse into “Ikigai” whenever we want, even in the midst of a busy and hectic schedule. As long as we seize the moment and capture each and every short period of happiness, we can enjoy moments of blissfulness in life, much to the likeliness of the beautiful Japanese blossom image that lingers in our heart.
Life is short, live in the moment.
Through our experience with Japanese drip coffee, we realize that the various colours of life connect perfectly with the abundant flavours of coffee. At first, we were so attracted to the excitement that coffee has brought to us. Over time, we are simply amazed and fascinated by the abundance and richness of specialty coffee. We realised that each and every cup of coffee we brew can taste quite differently as it somehow reflects our thoughts and feelings, making brewing coffee a very meaningful self-discovery journey.
Who would have thought that life can turn out so surprisingly? Today, on top of the authentic experience that lights up our everyday lives, we would also like to offer you these premium equipment. Let the aroma and taste of coffee brighten up your regular routines, and bring the unexpected happiness into your lives.