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hazeru coffee SOGAWA BASE shop

Hazeru coffee sits in a suburb of Toyama City, central Japan. Tucked away from a major road, the specialty coffee shop has drawn a steady stream of locals despite the seemingly inconvenient location since its opening in 2016. The store has the intimacy of a household dining room, with just a large six-top table sitting in front of the counter, which doubles as a tasting space and cashier’s desk. In 2020, hazeru coffee opened its second outlet in SOGAWA BASE, a new commercial facility with an assortment of unique local establishments. Located in downtown Toyama City, SOGAWA BASE offered hazeru coffee a chance to bring its specialty coffee to more customers. The name “hazeru” comes from the Japanese roasting term “hazeru”, or “to crack”. “Just as coffee beans crack open to bring out their aromas and flavors, an outpouring of emotions led me to open hazeru coffee,” says owner Toyohisa Kubota. We’ve spoken to Kubota to find out how he came to open his own shop, his philosophy behind it and what he values most. Yearning to bring new discoveries Once you step inside hazeru coffee, a neatly arranged row of sample coffees catches your eye. Hazeru coffee offers 7 to 8 varieties of coffee beans on any given day for tasting and sale to meet a diverse range of customer needs. “I make sure to put a broad selection of tasting samples on offer at all times,” says Kubota. “People often associate coffee with being bitter, heavy and dark. Many people say the sourness particularly puts them off.” “But when they try samples, they often say ‘This is actually good.’ As the saying goes,...

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