Coffee

Interview: Barista Kan “The Barista Ninja” Hasegawa (Cafe Abir)

By | January 16, 2009 5 comments
Interview: Barista Kan “The Barista Ninja” Hasegawa (Cafe Abir)
1300 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
415 567 7654
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From January 23-25, top baristas from California and Hawaii will converge on Los Angeles to compete at the Western Regional Barista Competition. The winner scores a coveted slot in the Semi-Finals of the 2009 United States Barista Championship. Here’s one of the baristas you’ll find competing at downtown L.A.’s Spring Arts Tower:

Name: Kan “The Barista Ninja” Hasegawa
Coffeehouse: Café Abir
Location: San Francisco, CA

1. Why did you decide to compete in the WRBC?
Basically, I wanted to improve my coffee making skills. So, by participating such a great competition, I hope I can push myself little higher. And also it’s exciting to meet great other baristas.
Besides coffee; Well, you know, Ninja don’t talk too much. We hide, we sneak, and we are quiet in public. So, it is biggest challenge for me “barista ninja” to be in the stage.

2. How did you become interested in coffee?
My mom… she always treats me with Coffee. Every snack time since I was in elementary school, I had a piece of chocolate and straight black coffee, while my friends had coke and popcorns everyday. My body was caffeinated since I was a kid.

3. What’s your first coffee memory?
“nmggg!!!?! Mom! can I put some sugar?”
“NO!”

4. Do you have an espresso mentor? If so, who are they and what did they teach you?
No, nobody. Unfortunately, everything is “Self-taught.”
But, Bruce Lee and sho Kosugi are always my great mentor in any category. Everything, I learn from them. So I’m not ashamed to say they are my espresso mentor as well.

5. What did you do to prepare for the competition?
Work at café as usual.
Read rule manual.
Watch Bruce lee’s masterpiece DVD “Enter the Dragon”
A lot of Meditation.
Try not to stress out…

6. Outside of your coffeehouse, what’s your favorite coffeehouse in the U.S., and what do you like about it?
I like Ritual, blue bottle, and new place, four barrel. I like the coffee and also their mood.

7. Other than yourself, who do you think has a good shot at becoming WRBC champ?
I’m not familiar with anyone yet, so I don’t know. I guess anybody who comes back from the previous competitions would have better potential. Luckily Bruce Lee was not in the competition. So chances are to anybody. I’m not too worried about.

8. If you didn’t work in the coffee industry, what would you do for a living?
Either, a chess player, graphic artist, or Landscape architecture. It’s fascinating!

Related Categories: Coffee, Coffee Pros

Comments

  1. cute nun says:

    I love ur latte! I’d have to say it’s probably one of the best latte I’ve had lately.
    Good luck & Have fun!

  2. Vickie says:

    Good luck Ninja! have fun =D

  3. frisconinja says:

    Hahahahahahha bakaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa barista! anyways….u must win!

  4. Mom says:

    All I know is that you make the best, most interesting coffee.
    Good luck.

  5. Mom says:

    How fun. I hope you win, but if you don’t because of lack of experience you will know more for the next time. I can’t find any information about where it is being held. Can you help me. If it is at all possible we will be there.

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