KINTO’s POUR OVER KETTLE has been used by Single O Japan, and we were excited to collaborate with them on our latest product, the drip bag. The first lot of coffee beans is a single origin from Costa Rica, “El Conquistador”. It features fruity notes of peach and apricot, combined with a gentle, long-lasting sweetness like syrup. We asked Yu about Single O’s passion for single origin, about their take on coffee regions and roasting process.
For us at Single O, it’s not so much about the brand of the region or the value ascribed to it by our competitors. Our focus is on the coffee itself, and bringing what we think are the best beans from the best farms to our customers around the world. So our specialized green bean buyers spend most of the year on the road visiting all the different coffee regions and source our beans directly from individual farms. We encourage farmers to share our commitment to quality, and for this reason we check and sample each lot before making the actual purchase. This is a rule we follow even with our longest-standing suppliers. We are also serious about supporting farms through our trade, and are involved in various efforts to increase the coffee producing population as well.
We use the same machinery as Single O Sydney, a vintage roaster of a German make that we have restored. The most important thing in roasting single origin beans is to bring out the unique flavors of each farm. Of the ten minutes it takes to roast, the art is in the final minute. Flavors develop in stages: first comes acidity, then sweetness, and finally the body which determines the smoothness and aftertaste. Acidity is important, but at Single O we focus on the sweetness. By stopping the roasting process exactly when the sweetness hits its peak, Single O coffee achieves the ultimate balance – fruity yet full-bodied. The peak varies not just from farm to farm, but from year to year. The first roast is always challenging, and it takes a few tries to get it just right.
I liked the simple, utilitarian design, and the matte black goes well with the rest of our interior. I also like the fact that I can not only pour but refill with one hand. It is fuss-free and easy to handle even at the busiest of times, which is a great feature for a business like ours.
For a good cup of coffee, the roast is obviously key but the grinding process makes a big difference too. With a drip bag you can keep coffee that is ground evenly fresh for almost one year, and it doesn’t require any special gear to brew. In this sense, I think single serve drip bags are an ideal form of delivering coffee. I enjoyed working with KINTO on this project because I believe developing new ways for people to enjoy high quality coffee on a daily basis is essential to enrich and nurture the coffee culture here in Japan.