I recently had the opportunity to interview Ryoko, the creator of a coffee blog called I Love Coffee (en.ilovecoffee.jp).
Ryoko started her blog 2 years ago and since then has attracted quite a following.
Ryoko’s blog is full of interesting illustrations and articles for coffee lovers. You can find reviews, coffee animations, lots of entertaining humor, facts about coffee and creative infographics etc..
So I am sure you will enjoy the answers that she provides in our interview below.
My Interview with Ryoko from I Love Coffee
- Congratulations on the 2nd anniversary of your blog, I Love Coffee.
What was your original motivation for starting a blog all about coffee?
Thank you! These past two years have been a blast. I never imagined this blog would become this big. I started it as a place to practice designing and coding skills that I learned at school at the time. I decided to write about coffee because I live in Seattle AKA the capital of coffee, and wanted the site to be a resource for Japanese people who want to learn more about coffee and its culture. I don’t know if it’s unfortunate or fortunate, but it became popular in English speaking countries, not in Japan.
- Would you do anything differently if you were starting out as a blogger today?
I would study more about the Japanese blog culture. Like I said, I started the site for Japanese people, but the number of Japanese visitors to my site is less than 1%. As a Japanese person, it’s kind of a sad result.
What can readers expect when they come to your coffee blog?
I’m not an expert of coffee or anything like that. I just like drinking good coffee like anyone else so I’ve been writing funny facts and trivia about coffee that I learned here, and don’t focus on the “snobby” stuff. I feel like readers of my blog can learn fun stuff about coffee, and can then tell their friends over coffee chats.
Was your blog an immediate success or did it take a lot of work to get it off the ground?
It was actually really fast. I was on major news sites two months after I started the blog. Once your site is picked up by a major site, it spreads really fast, so I was really lucky. It gave me a lot of motivation to write more.
Congratulations also on your book deal. Tell us a little about your coffee book so that readers can look out for it when it is published.
Aw Thank you! Again, I didn’t really expect that at all. I was lucky. The idea is similar to my blog, but in a book format. There will be infographics highlighting fun facts about coffee and some new material too. I think it will be a good gift book for any coffee lover. It’s coming out next Spring, and I hope I’m still alive when it’s out! Ha.
What is your favorite coffee drink?
I like lattes and Americanos. I drink mochas sometimes as my afternoon treat 🙂
Which coffee maker do you prefer for making coffee at home?
I finally bought an espresso machine (Breville Barista Express) last year. (I wrote a post about it: http://en.ilovecoffee.jp/posts/view/97)
Since then, I have enjoyed making lattes every day. Before buying the espresso machine, I mostly used a Bodum French press.
On your blog, you write that you make your living from writing and illustrating blog posts. This is so impressive. Do you have other blogs or is this all from your coffee blog?
This is the only blog I run, and I’m quite lucky to make a living doing what I like.
Can readers buy your illustrations somewhere?
I turned one infographic into a poster last year, but that’s it. I might start making posters or prints in the future, but for now I don’t sell any of my work.
I love the infographics on your site. Did you create them yourself? If so, how?
Yes, I make them myself. I usually look for a topic to write about or when I learn something interesting on the news, I do additional research. Once I decide how I want to lay out the information, I use Adobe Illustrator to draw it.
What are your plans for en.ilovecoffee.jp going forward?
I just finished writing a book, and the book will come out in the spring of 2015. I haven’t updated my site much since I was focused on making new material for the book, so I will start updating the site like before. I recently started making videos, too. I made a peanut butter latte with real peanut butter and a latte with real bacon. I’d like to try to make more videos in the future.
Thank you so much Ryoko for your interesting answers. I’m sure my readers will enjoy your coffee blog and can now look forward to your book when it is published next year.