PostCoffee offers a subscription service for high-quality specialty coffees that suit the taste of each individual. By going through coffee diagnosis, subscribers can enjoy meeting with the coffee that best suits them from about 150,000 combinations. We interviewed the CEO of PostCoffee Mr. Ryo Shimomura, whose mission is to evolve lifestyles.
Abundance is hidden in ordinary life.
PostCoffee can be referred to as a matching service that can match you and the coffee that suits you. Subscribers answer seven questions about their lifestyle and receive a box of their favorite coffee (three cups of three different types) in a regular monthly delivery. After drinking the coffees, subscribers can send their reviews via the app, and the delivery in the following month will be based on your reviews and the content of the delivery will get closer and closer to your detailed preference of coffee.
PostCoffee consistently offers around 30 types of single-origin coffee from 15 countries around the world and you can customize in detail such as; how to brew coffee, with or without sugar or milk, and the delivery frequency according to your individual needs. To meet the diverse needs of customers, their in-house roasters roast coffee so that they can bring out the character of coffee in a neutral way.
“The greatest value we can offer is to deliver coffee that meets the needs and preferences of customers. We would like to create a product that can meet every need in the future. ”
In addition to customized recipes and interviews for subscribers, the monthly subscription also comes with a magazine with a special feature on proposing a new lifestyle. The subscription also comes with something extra such as cookies, coasters, and other extras.
“It is my desire and our desire at PostCoffee to enrich the lifestyle of our customers. I think that people can find that the abundance is hidden in ordinary lives by setting aside the time to drip coffee in the morning. To achieve this, we needed a system where the customers can enjoy a good coffee at home, and not at cafes or co-working spaces. That’s exactly why I’m so happy when people say, “Thanks to PostCoffee, my lifestyle has changed,” or “My Quality of Life has changed in a very good way dramatically.”
I wanted to spread about good coffee.
Shimomura was a self-proclaimed “coffee lover” who drank canned coffees only. However, while surfing the internet in 2012, he came across an espresso machine that would change his life. The espresso machine, made by a Dutch craftsman, was later introduced by Blue Bottle Coffee which made it become a major brand.
“The price was about 1.5 million Japanese yen (about 13,750 USD), but I thought it was really cool, and before I knew it, I bought one. (laughs) At first, I used it for my drinking, but that was a waste of money, so I decided to open my coffee shop.”
After running a digital design company focusing on website production and graphic design, Shimomura opened a coffee shop in Shibuya, Tokyo in the summer of 2013, which was also operating as a co-working space. Soon after opening the store, baristas from famous coffee shops visited to see the machine, and Shimomura was drawn into the world of coffee and became the so-called “coffee enthusiast.”
“As I communicated with the baristas, my knowledge of coffee naturally increased, and I gradually got more and more into it. When I discovered specialty coffee, I felt like what I had been drinking all my life.”
However, Shimomura did not choose to pursue his career as a roaster; he closed his store after about three years and began to search for a new way of getting directly involve with the coffee industry.
“Rather than wanting to brew good coffee, my interest was more towards giving information about the quality of good coffee.
The greatest compliment; “You are unusual.”
He has never worked as an employee in his life, Shimomura states.
Shimomura had been creating website since he was in junior high school. When he was in high school, he began to receive a steady stream of freelance website production work. Shimomura states, “I was irresistibly excited to see comments on bulletin boards online and the topics on the websites I created in the famous Japanese information sharing platform. The experience of feeling the joy of getting unexpected praise and encouraging reactions from third parties online may have led me to have positive experience now.”
At the age of 22 years old when his business was on track, he dropped out of university and established a digital design company called HERETIC with his younger brother.
When the company was established in the beginning, most of the work they did was a one-off web production, but as time went on, they began to receive the orders of work related to clients’ digital division, from launching new businesses to digital marketing strategies. His clients included not only large corporations such as Recruit and Loft, but also the Japan Post, governmental agencies, apparel companies, and music companies.
Then, a turning point came to Shimomura. In 2012, Shimomura’s experience as the CTO of a smartphone app startup company ignited his venture spirit.
Shimomura states, “Rather than creating the clients’ businesses ourselves, we thought that it would be better to take the initiatives and launch the business itself. That also led to the launch of the coffee shop.”
“To spread good coffee, there is a limit to what a small store or a single-brand can do. The answer he came up with was to create a business that fully utilizes the experience and know-how he has cultivated over the years.”
In September 2018, Shimomura founded PostCoffee, a coffee x tech startup. After operating the beta version for about a year, the service officially launched in February 2020.
“I think the fact that the entire service is designed to give users a feel-good experience, such as a coffee journey where they can enjoy a variety of coffees and a chance to change their lifestyle, is a feature that no other coffee shops have.”
Incidentally, the word HERETIC means a person holding an opinion at odds with what is generally accepted. It is introduced on the website as, “For us at HERETIC, being called “different” is the best compliment we can have.”
“I think I’ve always wanted to be different since I was a kid. Even when I was in junior high and high school, I was the only one who listened to heavy metal, so I guess I was a bit of an amanojyaku (perverse) person, or I was conscious of choosing a path that was not the mainstream.” (laughs)
I want to narrow down the gap between consumers and coffee.
PostCoffee’s mission is to grow people’s lifestyles.
Shimomura states, “I want as many people as possible to experience how a single cup of coffee can change their lives. In my own experience, the mood of the day changes depending on whether or not I can find the time to make coffee in the morning. When I go camping, just the event of making coffee makes me feel better. That kind of peak experience is something that can’t be experienced with canned coffee or instant coffee.”
“The reason why PostCoffee offers coffee journeys with the subscription is to create an opportunity for people to understand the appeal of good coffee. It is said that there are a certain number of subscribers who gradually become unable to drink coffee that doesn’t taste good after making a special cup of specialty coffee on weekends.”
“I operated the beta version and I have felt the need for coffee was completely different depending on a person’s lifestyle and knowledge about coffee. For the time being, we are focusing on the needs of people who want to meet a variety of beans and learn about their preferences, but eventually, we would like to create a platform where people can easily get coffee beans from all over the world anytime and anywhere and shorten the distance between consumers and coffee.”
“As a first step toward this goal, we partnered with ten of Japan’s best roasters in January 2021 and added them to our lineup to provide people the coffee that is easy to recognize as good.”
“We plan to increase the number of partners not only in Japan but also in Europe in the future; so that consumers can enjoy the differences in the individuality of each roaster. To put it simply, I want to create a coffee version of ZOZOTOWN or Amazon Prime.”
When speaking about his big goal, Shimomura says that his idol is Son Goku from the Dragon Ball stating, “I’ve always had the desire to take on impossible challenges, so I’m drawn to the image of Son Goku, who always looks for opponents stronger than himself and overcomes them. I’m the type of person who wants to take on the next challenge after solving one difficult problem, so in the future, I may be doing another job where I create something from scratch. However, achieving my goal is still far away, so I am focusing on coffee for now.”
Shimomura, who is turning 39 years old, his journey through life will continue as long as he lives. He dreamed of becoming an astronaut in elementary school days because he states, “I longed for a world that was beyond my understanding.”
Shimomura states, “The excitement of the unknown is and always has been a driving force for me. I guess I haven’t outgrown the time in junior high school that I am convinced that I have a hidden knowledge and secret powers.” (laughs)
The text was originally written in Japanese by Tatsuya Nakamichi
My favorite coffee is Guatemalan coffee made by “dry bicycle pulping,” a processing method that utilizes bicycle power. The clean facilities of the production plantation are directly reflected in the clear and transparent taste. My “peak experience” is mainly to taste it in unusual places like camping. The more I learn about it, the more I experience the appeal of coffee as a delicious beverage.