Saturday, May 8, 2010


I DO love the coffee!

Having spent the previous five years living in the Pacific Northwest, I grew to enjoy the drive-thru coffee shops. Like mushrooms after the rain! Tiny drive-thru coffee stands are every block or half block where I lived.

Brewed Awakening, Cool Beans, Java Joe's, etcetra, etcetra.

Japan, while more of a "tea" country, seems to be embracing the coffee-ness. Hence you can find a Starbucks or a Doutor or another Starbucks almost anywhere you go.

Now, I don't dislike Starbucks...they are like McDonald's. Does McD have the BEST cheeseburger? No. But it's okay. And regardless of country, you know what that cheeseburger will have on it / in it.

Starbucks coffee is...okay. Some of the drinks are a bit better than okay. Their coffee tastes just a shade burnt though.

Doutor, I guess the Japanese Starbucks (?), is okay too. But the coffee does not taste quite as strong as I like. Their food items are better than Starbucks though...Doutor has these cool warm pita sandwiches which are yummy!

But I really miss Bellingham-area local franchise of "Cruisin' Coffee." These drive-thru slices of heaven are open 24 hours a day - for your coffee, muffin, bagel needs! daughter loves the Cool Coffee Cream (a cold coffee, ice cream drink) and I often went for the Grande Hazelnut Capuccino. Whole milk please! Two toasted sesame bagels, one for each of us, and off we go!

ps: for those with no car, you can "walk-thru!"


  1. Most of the Starbucks have closed down in Australia. They weren't popular because people preferred to go to a real coffee shop not a chain - ha, we take coffee very seriously here.

    One thing I find strange in Japan is that there seems to be no standard price for coffee. Here you pay around $3 a coffee just about anywhere. Places like Doutour as okay (a bit expensive though) but we went to one place that pretty awful coffee and, when we got the bill, it was like $15 for a cup! OMG we nearly died. Soon learnt to check prices before ordering.

  2. Oh, what a shame - high price but icky coffee! I have noticed though, here in Japan, they don't really care if you stay at the place for hours the US, after 20-30 minutes, you get glares and coughs and hints to buy more or clear out so other people can take a seat.

    I think Starbucks is realizing, during these financial times, that their "acceptable but not outstanding" coffee and atmosphere is not going to keep them on every corner of every street in the world.

  3. Do you know Komeda coffee?
    It is from Nagoya and getting popular in Tokyo as well. I sometimes go there for their sweet iced coffee, but not sure about the taste. However, Azuki Toast at komeda is something you should try at least once if you want to taste East meets West flavor:)

    I personally like Starbucks and Freshness burger for a coffee. But French restaurant called Kihachi has a decent coffee for lunch course.