Coffee Enthusiasts in Japan, Have You Tried Juan Valdez Coffee Yet?
Jose (ホセ) Torres (トレス), CEO and co-founder of Conexion Asia Pacifico, is originally from Colombia but has been living around the world for the past decade. After spending time in the French capital, Jose moved to Japan and is now the official importer of Juan Valdez Coffee, the emblematic coffee brand from his home country.
With a background in digital marketing and software engineering, Jose turns his attentions to seducing the Japanese with the smooth flavors of Colombian coffee.
Q: What businesses are you actively engaged in at present? What are you working on that you’re excited about?
Our company, Conexion Asia Pacifico, runs a diverse operation of restaurants, hospitality, and food import businesses.
After a long process of negotiating terms and conditions with the headquarters of the brand in Colombia, we are excited to finally be able to offer in Japan the premium flavors of Juan Valdez coffee.
For us, it is a strong motivator to keep working hard to connect the coffee lovers in Japan with premium Colombian coffee.
Q: Tell us more about that! What has the import journey been like up to now? Ups, downs, challenges, lessons?
Although our company had experience in imports to Japan, this was the first time we were dealing with food products, where regulations are stricter and there are many additional steps in the customs process.
TokyoMate was an incredible help for me throughout the whole process. I can confidently say that having a TokyoMate assistant was one of the key elements that contributed to the success of the import.
Since I was dealing with different agencies and stakeholders throughout the process, the VA helped me to stay on top of all communications and most importantly to be able to interact with top-notch Japanese manners and professionalism.
Q: Such kind words! Thank you. Do you have any lessons or insights from your years of doing business in Japan that you feel would help other foreign business owners?
Starting a business in Japan can be a very demanding task and can easily take over your life, mostly during the first years.
I would advise anyone starting a business in Japan to find the right partners to take care of your operational tasks so you can focus most of your time working on what makes you different from your competitors.
The right accountant or the right personal assistant could save you precious time so you can really focus on growing your business.
Keep those things in mind when budgeting and save costs elsewhere.
Q: Where do you see your business in 10 years? Any long-term business plans that are OK for you to share with readers?
Our goal is to make the Juan Valdez brand known across Japan and eventually across the APAC region.
We are taking it one step at a time and, hopefully, we will reach that goal eventually. Currently, the Juan Valdez Coffee is available via Amazon and via our Webshop. However, we are already working with specialty coffee shops and retailers to expand the number of places where people can experience the quality of our Colombian coffee!
Q: What are your morning coffee rituals? Any particular blends you drink? Tips you can give budding coffee aficionados?
I want to have a fresh cup of coffee as soon as I wake up, so the freeze-dried coffee is my go-to cup first thing in the morning.
During the day, I like to take a break from the screen and brew a pour-over coffee. I stick to a 600 ml of water to 45 gram of coffee recipe, which makes up to 4 cups. I brew it directly on my Hario heat-insulating coffee server, so whenever someone visits my office there is always a warm cup of delicious Colombian coffee to share.
Q: Any tips on how to improve one’s daily coffee experience that you’d like to recommend to our readers?
Now that people are spending more time at home, there is a growing interest in learning more about coffee and how to brew a great cup.
Being in Japan, we have access to the best coffee-making tools in the world from Hario, Kalita, and Kono, among many other artisanal makers. Therefore it is really within easy reach to include a great coffee experience into your daily life.
Having the right equipment and following a recipe can make a big difference in your coffee life. And we all can agree that a good cup of coffee can make your day a little happier.
Note: Jose Torres has offered TokyoMate readers a special discount code! Enter TOKYOMATE at checkout and get 10% off any coffee order on the official Juan Valdez Japan site.
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