About MI CAFETO
A dedication to coffee at every level
At MI CAFETO, we do not compromise at any stage to produce and offer truly savory coffee. We are uncompromising in our efforts to deliver the best coffee to everyone. Our endeavors are not limited to the best quality coffee beans, but extend to all levels of production and supply. Simply put, we are dedicated to improving the quality of coffee all over the world.
Protecting producers, plantations and the environment
MI CAFETO's symbol is the quetzal, a bird that can live only in a pristine environment. We believe that supporting the lives of coffee farmers and protecting the environment enables us to continue producing the finest coffee.
Clear quality standards to transform the world of coffee
While both coffee and wine are harvested and made from fruit, coffee has not had the kind of quality standards seen in the wine industry. Producing the best coffee requires good soil and strict quality control processes. To expand the future horizons of coffee, MI CAFETO has created clear quality standards. We continue to explore all the possibilities and to challenge existing limitations to offer our customers truly the best coffee possible.
"Coffee Hunter" José Y. Kawashima
Born in 1956 in Shizuoka City, José Y. Kawashima studied at the El Salvador National Coffee Institute in 1975 to learn coffee agronomy and processing techniques. After starting work for a large coffee company in Japan, José developed the company's first coffee farms in Jamaica, Hawaii, and Indonesia. In Madagascar, he discovered an endangered coffee species and contributed to its protection. In Reunion, he explored the entire island to identify a supposedly extinct coffee species, which paved the way to the island's rebuilding of its coffee industry. In 2008, José established Mi Cafeto Co., Ltd., dedicated to building a new coffee culture. In 2017, José was awarded the Foreign Minister’s Commendations in Japan.
José Y. Kawashima also serves as:
- Board Chairman, Sustainable Coffee Association of Japan
- Coffee Director, JAL Japan Airlines
- Coffee Business Advisor, Mae Fah Luang Foundation under Royal Patronage, Thailand
- Advisory Board Member: UC Davis University of California Coffee Center
Our criteria in coffee-producing regions
MI CAFETO's coffee selection starts with identifying the best coffee plantations blessed with the best conditions, including soil, temperature, precipitation, sunlight and wind direction. While the harvesting season for coffee generally extends over three months, MI CAFETO's coffee cherries are harvested exactly at their fully-ripened peak. This precise timing provides the clear, sweet characteristics of high-quality coffee with less bitterness.
After harvesting, coffee beans are removed from the coffee cherries, and are dried in darkness for 60 days with strict temperature and humidity control. Our rigorous selection process for coffee beans follows, choosing only the best of the harvest. We then use a special plastic liner in our coffee sacks to store green beans, and transport them using temperature-controlled reefer containers to maintain freshness. This extra care prevents coffee beans from being tainted by the smell of the coffee sacks as well as heat damage in conventional containers. Our top brand, Grand Cru Café, is strictly transported by the air.
Our criteria in consuming countries
After arriving at the Japanese port, MI CAFETO's coffee beans are separated into small portions for a deoxygenation process to avoid degradation in quality and freshness. They are then allowed to rest at a fixed temperature of 18 degrees Celsius until roasting. Roasting is adjusted according to the brand and harvest year of the coffee to assure the best flavor.
In order to preserve the freshness and aroma of the roasted coffee, we have developed a packaging method using pressure resistance bottles. The gas that develops inside the bottle effectively becomes a pressure shield to seal in the aroma. A special "high-barrier PET bottle", developed by Mitsubishi Plastics, was chosen for our coffee. This container incorporates diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating technology, making it about ten times more impermeable to oxygen than conventional PET bottles. This results in about a 150% improvement in the preservation of the coffee aroma compared to conventional PET bottles (results by Research and Development Office, S. Ishimitsu & Co. Ltd.)
And then the final stage: the trained staff at our shops prepare our fresh coffees by the hand-dripping method, assuring consistent flavor at each of our locations.
Creating Shared Value
Coffee is consumed all over the world, giving rise to unique coffee cultures everywhere. A total of about 125 million people work in the coffee industry worldwide. While the majority of coffee is harvested in developing countries, it is mostly consumed in developed nations. Thus coffee can be a changing force for the world. We believe transforming the coffee industry can eventually lead us to answers for social and environmental problems around the globe.
Doi Tung Development Project (DTDP), Thailand
DTDP is a project supported by Mae Fah Luang Foundation Under Royal Patronage in Thailand. The project aims to overcome poverty, which is an underlying cause for a vicious cycle in Doi Tung: a lack of knowledge, cultivation of opium, prostitution, and proliferation of HIVs. MI CAFETO have been providing technical assistance to DTDP for converting former opium poppy fields into coffee plantations, and to improve the quality of the coffee from Doi Tung to the highest Southeast Asian standards.
Coffee from the DTDP project has been sold as an official coffee at The University of Tokyo as well as at the MUJI Blend Coffee served at all the Cafe & Meal MUJI outlets.
FEDAR Farm, Colombia
FEDAR Farm is run by the FEDAR Foundation, a private organization in Colombia that provides educational programs for people with cognitive disabilities. More than 100 people are currently working at FEDAR Farm. Inspired by FEDAR's mission to produce "truly tasty coffee to entice coffee buyers", MI CAFETO started to provide technical assistance for coffee cultivation a few years ago. As a result, the quality of the coffee has been improving steadily and it is now served at all Cafe & Meal MUJI outlets.
Technical Assistance in Rwanda (JICA Project)
Despite the tragic genocide of 1994 which cost the country millions of lives, Rwanda has recovered with admirable economic development in recent years. Since 2013, based on an official request from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), MI CAFETO has served as an advisor for coffee production in Rwanda. José Y. Kawashima emphasizes the importance of improving the quality of Rwandan coffee in partnership with local coffee farmers, stating "It is essential that Rwandan coffee becomes famous for its quality, not because of its sorrowful history".
Grand Cru Café
MI CAFETO first launched its top brand “Grand Cru Café” in order to introduce the top of the coffee quality pyramid to the world. This prestige brand is awarded to only the best of the best coffee beans meeting rigorous quality criteria through the entire production process: the selection of coffee farms, lots and trees; the harvest of only fully ripened beans, traditional bean selection techniques, sun drying and hand sorting, air transport, fixed-temperature deoxygenation storage, and special packaging.
*The description “best of the best coffee” is applied within MI CAFETO’s coffee quality standards.
This series is a gem of a brand produced with limited artificial and modern techniques from cultivation to processing. We offer it in a special rouge bottle signifying the value of “red gems”, the name used for coffee during the Age of Exploration.
Blessed by fertile land and wide-open skies, each coffee bean expresses its condensed potential by providing vigorous, amber-colored energy from the first sip.
This coffee series features an extremely high sophistication as ranked by Coffee Hunter José Y. Kawashima. This brand is awarded only to coffee having gone through a lengthy review, lasting a few years, of its entire production system, including harvesting, processing and roasting.
Premier Cru Café
The finest coffee harvested from only the premier lots of the best plantations. The Premier Cru brand is given to only coffee beans meeting all superior quality standards: selection of coffee farms, cultivation and harvesting methods, selection of beans, transport and storage. These White Label coffees offer a luxury that can be enjoyed every day.
The special Coffee Hunters brand has been given to a series of exclusive coffees that have not yet been introduced to the market. The Coffee Hunters series showcases the special efforts of their coffee farms to raise quality through the use of rare varieties and unique cultivation and selection processes. These are the perfect coffees to make the most of any daily occasion.
High-barrier PET bottle
We have chosen to use a "high-barrier PET bottle", developed by Mitsubishi Plastics, Inc., as used for many fermented liquor products including sake and wine. The bottle incorporates a diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating technology for about a 150% improvement in the preservation of the coffee aroma compared to conventional PET bottles (results by Research and Development Office, S. Ishimitsu & Co. Ltd.).
Café Puente, a drip bag coffee, makes it easy to enjoy single cups of coffee at your convenience. Packaged immediately after the roasting process, these individual servings offer a surprisingly fresh, brilliant aroma.
Liquid Iced Coffee
Our Liquid Iced Coffee uses 100% Rainforest Alliance certified coffee beans adhering to environmental and social standards. MI CAFETO transports its coffee using temperature-controlled reefer containers or air transport to maintain the freshness of green beans, including the beans for Liquid Iced Coffee. Our Liquid Iced Coffee is served on all domestic and international flights of Japan Airlines.
Partner companies offering MI CAFETO’s coffee
Cafés and shops
|GRAND CRU CAFÉ GINZA||Phone: 03-6274-6841|
MI CAFETO's flagship Café is located at the top 13th floor of “GINXA SIX”, the new landmark building in Ginza. Beginning with the welcome from the first-class barista in the elaborately designed space it mainly serves “Grand Cru Café”, the masterpiece developed by the “COFFEE HUNTER” José Y. Kawashima, while offering a sophisticated and luxurious gathering location for adults. GRAND CRU CAFÉ GINZA is a saloon dedicated to true coffee lovers, embodying the sophistication, tradition and formality of Ginza.
* GRAND CRU CAFÉ GINZA is mainly dedicated to members who subscribe to MI CAFETO’s Coffee Cellars. It is currently also open for visitors.
|10-1, Ginza 6-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0061|
|Hours: 11:00～23:00 everyday|
|BARNEYS CAFE BY MI CAFETO||Phone: 03-6263-8480|
|6-8-7 Kojun Bldg.3F Ginza Chuo-Ku Tokyo JAPAN 104-0061|
|Hours: 11:00 – 20:00 Monday ～Thursday and Sunday / 11:00-20:30 Friday and Saturday|
|BARNEYS CAFE by MI CAFETO Premier||Phone: 070-4308-0951|
|7-7-7 Roppongi Barney's New York Roppongi Shop 2F, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032|
|Hours: 11:00 – 20:00 Monday ～ Thursday and Sunday / 11:00-20:30 Friday and Saturday|
|MI CAFETO Hitotsubashi||Phone: 03-6261-5434|
|2-3-1 Shogakukan Building 1F, Hitotsubashi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0003|
|Hours: 8:00 – 20:30 Monday ～ Friday / 11:00 – 19:30 Saturday||Closed: Every Sunday and National Holiday|
|Atre Kichijoji Shop||Phone: 0422-22-1487|
|1-1-24 Atre Kichijoji 1F, Kichijoji Minamicho, Musashino, Tokyo 180-0003|
|Hours: 7:30 - 22:00 everyday||Closed: Atre Kichijoji's holidays|
|Yokohama Motomachi Shop||Phone: 045-319-6667|
|2-93 ZALETTA Motomachi Ⅱ 1・2F, Motomachi, Naka-ku, Yokohama Kanagawa Prefecture, 231-0861|
|Hours: 9:00 - 19:00 Tuesday ～ Friday / 10:00 – 18:00 Saturday,
Sunday and National Holidays
|Closed: Every Monday (or Tuesday when Monday is a national holiday)|
|Ropponmatsu Shop||Phone: 092-406-7441|
|4-2-2 Ropponmatsu 421 1F, Ropponmatsu, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture 810-0044|
|Hours: 11:00 – 19:00||Closed: Every Wednesday|
|Morioka Shop||Phone: 019-656-8325|
|2-19-27 Moriokaeki-Nishitori, Morioka, Iwate Prefecture 020-0045|
|Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 11:00～18:30,
Sunday 11:00 - 18:00
|Closed: Every Monday (or Tuesday when Monday is a national holiday)|
|【Restaurant】Terres et Saveurs||Phone: 03-6427-6519|
|6-2-2.Minamiaoyama-Homes.108B Minamiaoyama.Minato-ku.Tokyo JAPAN.107-0062|
|Hours: 18:00 − (reservation required)|
|Company name||MI CAFETO Co., Ltd.|
Chief Executive Officer
Vice President and Director
|Senior Managing Director||Atsushi Yamasaki|
|Head Office and
|1-14-3 MT-O Jimbocho. 8F, Kandajimbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Japan 101-0051|
|Established||June 16, 2008|
|Capital||50 million Japanese yen|
|Net sales||1.3 billion Japanese yen (estimate for year ending September 2018)|
|Main business partners||Japan Airlines, S. Ishimitsu & Co. Ltd., Ryohin Keikaku Co., Ltd., Cafe Company, Inc., JR East Food Business Co. Ltd., Prince Hotels, Inc., Royal Holdings Co., Ltd., Swing Co., Ltd., Tokyu Hands Inc., Tokyu Corporation, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd.|