Founder of the Koop Roaster & Cafe Bali : Yukiko Onishi
We all have coffee cravings. But little do we know the work behind every brewed cup. The farming, the farmers, the trading. I was introduced to Yukiko Onishi through a common friend who assures a sustainable, pesticide free, fair trade cuppa.
Made with love and passion for the people, Yukiko is one of those people I call game changers. Doing what she believes in, using her power. Size doesn’t matter in life, and I do believe that you the people have the power to make the changes you wish to see in the world. I am thrilled to share this heart to hear with you about Bali Coffee made Sustainably by The Koop.
Can you introduce yourself, where you’re from, where you are now?
I am Yukiko Onishi. I was born and raised in Japan and have lived, worked, and continued my education in a number of countries in the East and West. Growing up in Osaka, an appreciation for good food, hard work, and fine craftsmanship is essentially built into my life from an early age. For the past seven years, I have been able to apply all of my experiences, with my Osakan roots, to the businesses in Bali. Through what I do, I hope to be an useful human being, to make small changes in other people’s life, and to make this world a better place for our children.
What is the main focus of your work?
I organise a non profit body where we assist coffee farmers improve the quality of their coffee and to develop farming for original/ancient varieties of Arabica coffee. All for a goal to increase the farmers’ income, create consciousness and pride in their own work and to give a birth to the first original variety Arabica from Bali to the world. There are so many hats that I wear, my ‘job’ could be different on any given day.
I oversee all aspects of my non profit organisation and the business itself to ensure that it can remain solvent. The jobs involved range from attending the village ceremonies with fellow farmers, inspecting the coffee fruit growing on the farm, designing methods for processing the harvest, coming up with roasting profiles that best suite our beans, refining the methods for coffee brewing, designing and building interiors and structures, meetings with solicitors and the village priest, painting and decorating The Koop Roaster & Cafe…. you get the idea.
I also help other amazing souls in Bali who inspire me for their devotion to make Bali a better place. One of the projects I assist was founded by my Swiss friend to provide employment opportunities to less blessed people of Muntigunung village. I started a retail brand called Munti Bali to showcase their beautiful products to the world.
What sparks your energy for change?
I am driven to do something that makes a difference to people at a local and human level. If I can give you a cup of coffee you have never had before, with a story that involves people you can relate to, this is something special for you. By working with the coffee artisans and farmers in Bali, I have a chance to bring the people that create the coffee closer to those that appreciate this coffee. These relationships continually spark new ideas for me and keep me excited about the work I am doing.
What are the biggest challenges you face(d)?
The challenges are endless in this business especially in this part of the world. You are dealing with people and local issues, environmental conditions, and the logistics of Bali. On any given day the challenges could be wildly different, weather changes the day you need to dry a new batch of processed beans, getting the perfect roast for a new batch of beans, or keeping the staff excited about the coffee you are making, navigating the vague regulations and licensing systems in Bali, to just getting something delivered from one place to another.
If you want challenges, Bali will provide an endless amount! That being said, the satisfaction and contentment that come from overcoming each of these challenges is what makes all the effort so worthwhile. Through many big challenges in my life, I have learnt to believe that there is no challenge too difficult to overcome.
What are your current projects?
My passion for the coffee and Bali has now taken me directly into the growing and processing of coffee beans. I have taken on a farm and we are working on our first harvest right now. The farm project gives us all kinds of new opportunities, not just in the control of our own harvest and processing, but to become more involved and supportive of the Balinese farmers. To fully expand on this idea, we are working to promote cultural tourism, based on coffee farming and production, to encourage visitors to understand how the coffee is farmed, processed, roasted and brewed. We are starting to produce our own organic fertilizer as well as 100% organic yeasts used for fermentation of coffee. I have a high hope to produce enough to export to Europe and Japan in the next few years.
Where can one support your mission and buy your coffee?
The Koop Roster & Cafe in Bali is the place to start! Firstly, this is where you can buy our coffee, but it is also the place to begin if you want to learn more about who we are and how the coffee business, from the farm to the cup, works in Bali. By purchasing our products at/from The Koop, you are directly helping the project.
Orders from Japan are currently only taken by emails and messages to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Munti Bali products, please visit their website and place your orders there.