The Constant Coffee Conundrum

Ever since moving to Japan, I have this new problem. Coffee. You see, “conbini’s” (convenience stores) carry coffee. And when I say they carry coffee, I mean they have an overwhelming amount of options. You can choose between hot or cold, but that’s only the beginning. Coffee is also sold in vending machines all over Japan (and that’s something like 1 vending machine to every 5 people…. imagine it).

Then there are the flavors. Black coffee? No brainer. Milk? Got it. Sweetened/unsweetened? Take your pick. How about caramel? Want some coffee jelly in there? Cafe Latte? Light? Cappuccino? Almond? Honey? Banana? Cream? Hokkaido cream? Brazilian blend? I’ve got it, you want the “relaxed, evening” coffee. Wait, what does that even mean?!

So, as you can see, there is a plethora of choices. It’s an issue. I’ve learned what my favorite types are, and will skip vending machine after vending machine in search of those favorites, but there is also always a new flavor to try. When I’m feeling adventurous, I can spend quite some time staring at the coffee section.

When I first got here, with my rusty katakana ( カタカナ) reading and complete lack of kanji (漢字), I usually just stood there with a deer-in-headlights expression until I found the coffee with the most aesthetically appealing label. Not a bad tactic if you ever visit.

Who wants a coffee for a Christmas gift?!


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