BEYOND COFFEE ROASTERS Bridging  Coffee and Cocktails.
- Part 1 -


BEYOND COFFEE ROASTERS Bridging Coffee and Cocktails.
- Part 1 -

#Pick up


Coffee Roastery imports and sells "Fernet Hunter," a botanical liqueur from Austria and Hong Kong? This month, we will find out who BEYOND COFFEE ROASTERS is in Kobe, Japan!

writer:Ryoko Kuraishi

BEYOND COFFEE ROASTERS is in the spotlight.

BEYOND COFFEE ROASTERS is a coffee roastery with a unique presence in Kansai's coffee battleground.

Founded in 2014 in Chuo-ku, Kobe, the store specializes in high-quality coffee beans, and Bunn, who has a career in the coffee industry, sells in-store and wholesale coffee beans roasted in-house according to the individual characteristics of the beans, from shallow roast to deep roast.

The reason I say "own" is because, despite being a roastery, they have obtained a liquor license and a mail order liquor retailer license, etc., and import and sell "Fernet Hunter".

Fernet Hunter is a botanical liqueur created in 2016 and made according to the bitters process.

The maker is Rafael Holzer, who is based in Hong Kong.

Rafael was involved with Yardbird, a Michelin-starred yakitori tavern in Hong Kong, and its grocery division Sunday's Grocery (now Sunday's Sprits). BEYOND COFFEE ROASTERS supplied coffee beans for their original coffee liqueur "Sunday's COFFEE SHOCHU".

This was the beginning of a deepening friendship.

The second store sells in-store and offers drinks. It is located diagonally across the street from the first store, which has a Showa-era atmosphere and a roasting machine.

The development of Sunday's COFFEE SHOCHU was a project I was involved in right after the company was founded.

We were approached by chance and offered coffee beans with different degrees of roasting.

When we manufactured the prototype at a sake brewery in Himeji, I met Rafael, who was in charge of development on the "Yardbird" side, for the first time.

Since then, we have developed a relationship of trust as business partners.

As the name implies, Bunn was trying to develop a business that was not limited to a typical roasting store.

Although this was his first time being involved in the liquor industry, he greatly enjoyed creating something with a completely different perspective and way of thinking from the coffee industry.

The deeper you delve into coffee, the more you end up in a geeky world that is out of touch with consumers, so I was looking for another way to express myself.

It was at this point that the "Sunday's COFFEE SHOCHU" collaboration came about, and I was able to get involved in the new genre of coffee x sake.

This is the starting point of what we are doing now."

Fernet Hunter Granit cocktail with coffee-infused Unicum, mandarin orange liqueur, and Ikusei's original lavender herb water. No name yet. Coffee beans are often named directly after their farm's specifications, so I don't have much experience in naming them.

The prototype of Sunday's COFFEE SHOCHU was made with two types of beans and aged for one month in Hong Kong.

The prototype made with shallow-roasted Indonesian beans turned out well, and the decision was made to make this one. It is now offered at Yardbird as a representative product of the Sunday's brand.

Sales in Japan began in 2017. In addition to the manufacturer, Tsubosaka Shuzo K.K., it is also handled by BEYOND COFFEE ROASTERS, which has obtained a liquor sales retailer license.

Since "Sunday's COFFEE SHOCHU," frequent communication with "Yardbird" has continued, and during that time, Rafael started producing his own product, "Fernet Hunter.

He asked us if we would be interested in selling it in Japan, and we introduced him to wine importers in the Kansai area, but things did not go well.

On the other hand, the regulars at Beyond Coffee Roasters, who had been offered a bottle sent to them for their own use, had all become fans of Fernet Hunter.

I did my research and found that there were no further licenses required regarding importation." Knowing better than anyone that it was a good product, I contacted Rafael to see if I could take charge of it.

It took quite a bit of time to go through the various procedures because it was a completely new liqueur, but we started selling it in November of last year.

This year, I started to get serious about peddling it to bars that sell herbal liqueurs.

The "Hard Peach Tea" is available at Beyond Coffee Roasters. It is a tea cocktail using Fernet Hunter Granit, and is made with only Tieguanyin Oolong tea, peaches, Fernet Hunter Granit, and carbonated soda. The refreshing peach flavor is best matched with the lingering aftertaste of the tea with a hint of bitterness. $900

Pounding pavement with "Fernet Hunter" going bar to bar.

I was told that they were all famous places like "Ikusei" and "Bar Benfiddich". Isn't it very courageous to peddle without an appointment?

I'm not that knowledgeable about the bar scene, so maybe that's why I was able to go there so quickly (laughs).

(Laughs.) Mr. Oda of Ikusei liked it so much that he said, "I'll buy it! This experience gave me the confidence to go in.

At "Bar Benfiddich," I was sitting at the counter looking for the right moment to talk to Mr. Kayama, and to my surprise, the bartender of "Jigger & Pony" was sitting next to me.

It seems that Mr. Kayama had tasted "Fernet Hunter" at "Jigger & Pony," and I have fond memories of the unexpected connection that was born here.

It was at a bar where he was peddling that he learned of the existence of a liquor store specializing in bars, and he also obtained a license to sell imported liquor wholesale.

This year, while peddling, I visited various bars and began to study cocktails made with herbal drinks and coffee cocktails.

It's all new to me, so it's a lot of fun and I'm getting a lot out of it.

We now offer several cocktails in our stores that use 'Fernet Hunter' and coffee."

The original cocktail "5th class river" that has been stored away. It looks bad but tastes great. It would be a shame to put it in storage!

Botanical liqueur and coffee are unexpected but perfect match.

Bunn, who humbly states, "I don't have a lot of cocktails yet," was treated to a cocktail full of originality, thanks to his skill and knowledge of brewing the best coffee plus his taste in blending (and the endorsement of a top bartender).

We started with a flight of "Fernet Hunter. We tasted the "Fernet Hunter," the "Fernet Hunter Granit," a dry, ultra-fine sugar blend, and the "Homemade COFFEE Infused Fernet Hunter," which was made by soaking coffee beans roasted by Bunn in the "Fernet Hunter.

Rafael liked the "Homemade COFFEE Infused Fernet Hunter" so much that he decided to officially release it using Bunn's beans.

It is currently being test-aged and will hopefully be launched next year.

Fernet Hunter" twisted gin fizz coming through. The Fernet Hunter, Scarlet, Remy Martin, and the 5th Class River, a Coppsilver twisted with Kusei herbal water, are all unique cocktails.

The "5th Class River" is a very clever name.

In coffee, you can focus on the aroma and taste, but in cocktails, the visual, or color, is also important.

Coffee is all coffee colors. ...... I have never been aware of this before, so I am having a hard time with it.

The "5th Class River" has a nice flavor and aroma, but the color is more like an urban river, so a regular customer gave it this name.

In the second half of the interview, Bunn introduces the Hong Kong bar trip she took with Rafael in November.

He reports on the bar scene in Hong Kong from his perspective as a coffee professional and liqueur importer.

We also ask him about Beyond Coffee Roasters' vision of alcohol and coffee.

To be continued in Part 2.