Our guest is Merry White who is the author of Coffee Life in Japan, an absolutely insightful and fascinating book about Japanese coffee as well as unique Japanese culture and society.  Merry also teaches courses on various topics including Japan, food anthropology, and urban anthropology at Boston University.

Japanese people started drinking coffee fairly recently compared to their centuries-old custom of tea drinking, but Japan is the number five importer of coffee beans as of 2021.  Also, over the last century Japan has developed a remarkably unique coffee shop culture.  For example, you may have heard the word Kissaten, which is a distinctive style of coffee shop.  

In this episode, we will discuss why Merry got into Japanese coffee culture, how Japanese coffee culture differs from the rest of the world, what functions coffee shops perform uniquely in Japanese society, the concept of Kissaten and much, much more! 

Image courtesy of Standart Magazine.

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