A new book on Japanese coffee culture is now available from ethnographic anthropologist Merry White, and has earned positive acclaim from some of our favorite coffee bloggers. Titled “Coffee Life In Japan” and available in paperback or hardcover, White's book sounds pretty gosh darn fascinating, as Liz Clayton over at Serious Eats concurs:
While White's style is certainly more academic than storycraft, or even narrative nonfiction, her open, direct approach to the combined forces behind coffee's sway over this part of the world (and, it should be added, her willingness to explore feminist questions many other writers wouldn't have thought to ask) should be of of keen interest to anyone who likes coffee, urban spaces, or just Japan.
I had no idea of the breadth of coffee influence of Japan – it made me interested in going further into aspects of the history of coffee in Japan. On the brewing/barista side of things, the term kodawari was appealing and compelling. I will avoid trying to explain as Corky does a much better job than I!
Perhaps this isn’t really a review, more a recommendation – all I can really say is that I enjoyed it, and if you want to read something well researched and well written then you’ll probably enjoy this too.
You can pick up a copy for yourself via Powell's, the world's best bookstore for 41 years and counting.