We desperately want to go on a coffee crawl in Japan, and on the top of that list is Bear Pond Espresso. We also want to do a sake crawl, a sushi crawl, an old-man-carving-knives crawl, a Kyoto crawl, a cherry blossom crawl, a Shinto shrine crawl, a handmade noodle crawl, a ramen crawl, a snowy Mount Fiji crawl, and a drunken “Company Man catharsis” karaoke crawl… but damn, a coffee crawl would be amazing.
(Editorial note: The List continues with Hiroshi Sawada’s Streamer Espresso, and their jaw-dropping co-branded line of gear from Espresso Parts, then continues with wherever Bear Pond and Streamer direct us next.)
Katsuyuki Tanaka, owner of Bear Pond Espresso, is a bonafide legend in the Japanese coffee scene. New York Times writer Oliver Strand calls him “a trip”, and there’s no reason to doubt him. Katsuyuki is profiled in Mr. Strand’s latest Ristretto post, which is well-worth your slideshow flip-through. Is there any doubt that Mr. Strand is the World’s Greatest Living Mainstream Coffee Journalist? This is a rhetorical question, and the “Living” part is a joke, because nobody in journalism gave a damn about any of this amazing stuff until like 10 years ago, and even then, it’s taken a while.
Other Japanese crawls of interest to Sprudge.com include a yakitori crawl, a takoyaki crawl, a high-end Japanese whiskey crawl (which tastes more like a Scotch crawl, but who’s counting?), every last imaginable fashion and design crawl, a big long pointless trip on one of those bullet trains crawl, a mochi crawl, a Japanese baseball crawl, an ancient monastery crawl, a loose-leaf tea crawl, a powdered matcha crawl (which, according the Japanese government, we should be spelling “maccha” – but again, who’s counting?) a Tokugawa-era age of enlightenment crawl, an amazing Japanese video arcade crawl, a “holy crap I can’t believe this is sold in a vending machine” crawl, an anime crawl (it’s not that we care, it’s just that there’s people we know who would be disappointed if we didn’t consume at least a little bit of anime while we were there), a Japanese TV game-show crawl, an indoor ski slope crawl, and then, since we’re already over there, a trip down to Seoul crawl, which would be its own crawl entirely…