WBC Countdown: Barista Champion of Japan Hidenori Izaki



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Barista Mag: Before coffee, did you work in a different job or industry, or what did you study in school?

Hidenori: No. I was working as a barista while studying Intercultural Communication at a university.

BMag: How did you get started in coffee?

Hidenori: My father who has been working in coffee industry recommended me.

BMag: What was your first amazing experience with coffee?

Hidenori: It was when I experienced “From Seed to Cup”.

BMag: Who has been your greatest influence in coffee? Why?

Hidenori: Kentaro Maruyama. Because he’s the “coffee world” to me.


BMag: What would you like to see change about the coffee industry/community?

Hidenori: I don’t know how the coffee industry is going, but that’s why I feel excited. I hope I keep feeling exciting.

BMag: Name a coffee luminary (famous person) you would like to meet, and why:

Hidenori: Too many to name all of them!

BMag: Name a barista you admire, and why:

Hidenori: Again, too many to name all of them!

BMag: Which coffee producing country you would like to visit, and why?

Hidenori: Costa Rica. I just like it.

BMag: What are your interests outside of coffee?

Hidenori: Anything sweet!

BMag: Is there anyone you would like to thank or who helped you prepare for the WBC?

Hidenori: First of all, Kentaro Maruyama and my team members and all coffee lovers in Japan. Also I thank my girlfriend who supports me, and my family.

About the Author


Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.