Speedy NEWS

The story of Kyuzo Ando, a 104-year-old coffee bean artisan: It’s never too late to start something new.

It’s never too late to start something new. A story about this.
This photo was taken 6 years ago, on February 1, 2015.


This is a commemorative photo with Toshihiro Kawada, taken at the shop run by Mr. Kyuzo Ando, a 104-year-old active coffee bean artisan! (Thanks for taking me there, Mr. Kawada!)
Born in 1911 (Meiji 44), Mr. Ando has even had tea with the famous novelist Osamu Dazai!! That’s incredible.

Even today, he says he delivers beans by bicycle, carrying them from Nishi-Ogikubo to Sangenjaya.
What’s more, he began his coffee business at age 85. His story is so deep.

It’s safe to say that Mr. Ando deserves the title of “adventurer.” Until age 50, he was a whaler in the Antarctic. “Bigger fish meant more money,” he said… Whales, to him, are fish!!!

When he was 52 (1963), he climbed mountains around the world, including Mt. Kenya, Mt. Colombia, the Andes, and Mt. Kilimanjaro. He even conquered a climb leading a team of 100 locals. From these local relationships, he began to import coffee beans. As the beans were used in financial speculation such as futures trading, the cost of labor for the locals was not even 1/500 of the selling price. Roused by this, Mr. Ando began to help the locals by dealing with them directly (today, this is called “fair trade”). That was in 1996 when he was 85 years old!

Wow. I can do about three more new things in my lifetime.