【Column】Espresso, Life, and GR / Robert Adachi

2022.01.28 BLOG

This was when I was training to become a composer.

Although I was determined and apprenticed to a professional composer, the training was very difficult for a 22-year-old young adult, who had no background in classical music and could not even play the piano. I would often walk on the beach in Kamakura, where I was living at the time, crying.

Nevertheless, I continued dreaming and gradually improved what I could do and, as a result, my self-confidence meter, which had once swung significantly negative, gradually rose and little by little I began to get jobs.

At around the same time, I also got into coffee. Not to mention Beethoven's example, coffee has been loved by artists from all over the world. Its literal stimulating effect gives order to vague inspirations and converts negative thoughts into positive ones.

Having barely survived on my composing work alone, I knew I had to do something else, so I started a part-time coffee job at a café with a top-of-the-line Italian espresso machine, which at the time was rarely seen in Japan.

At that time, there was little recognition of espresso among the general Japanese public, and even if there was, it was as a condensed, bitter coffee. But a really good espresso tastes rich and sweet.

I believe that flannel drip and espresso are the twin peaks of coffee extraction methods. They both produce a rich taste, but while the flannel drip takes time to extract and reflects the accumulation of time in the taste, espresso, as the name suggests, quickly extracts the essence of the beans. I would say they are like an SLR camera and GR.

Since I am a kind of person who wants to do everything thoroughly, I was so passionate about my coffee work that I was introduced in a book by a famous author.

But it was always difficult to find a balance. If I was too passionate about coffee, I could not find time to write music, and if I had to take time off from coffee work to write a large amount of music, it made my living difficult.

It was natural that I thought about going into the coffee business many times. I knew people who have switched from the music business to the coffee business. Perhaps even now, if I walked into a bar as a barista, I know would do a good job.

But I couldn't bring myself to step in that direction. That's because, even after many thousands of brews, I could not brew that one special cup that was worthy of belief in my talent, that one cup that would bring someone to tears, that one cup that I would devote the rest of my “life” to.

You are given a limited amount of time in your life. In other words, time equals life.

What kind of work is worth spending your life on?

Even now, when I go to a café, I find myself in the time when I was brewing coffee hot. By the way, when brewing coffee, if the water is too hot, the taste will be spoiled.

Photo taken with GR III

Robert Adachi
Having always been interested in how we connect and create, Adachi studied foreign languages, programming languages and art as a teenager, studied international law and global issues at the university, began composing music at the age of 22, and self-taught photography at 32. He was in charge of the brochure/official sample photos of the GR DIGITAL III, GXR, and GR. Composed the original music for “GR Concept Movie.” Received many awards worldwide in fine art. His publications include photobook “Clarity and Precipitation” (arD).

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