Drinking Coffee

We have never been big coffee drinkers. But lately we have been casual coffee shop visitors and then on a trip to Austria I got to really like espresso.

So we decided to start drinking coffee at home. I would like to be making espresso, but since we try to live simply during this, the travel phase of our lives, we bought a moka pot and a hand operated grinder. Espresso machines are big and expensive. I was expecting the result to be similar to espresso. Its not! But once I got over that, I really started to like the coffee we were making. At least for the time being its completely killed off our Chinese tea drinking habit.

We grind our coffee every time we drink it. So just after breakfast and lunch each day we grind coffee for 2 or 3 minutes before making it. Interestingly, the coffee varies quite a bit from time to time and we are still exploring the parameters. We think that a finer grind of coffee makes for better coffee. I think that gently boiling the water over low heat, so the water passes through the coffee more slowly, makes for better coffee. Cassandra likes to completely fill the reservoir and says that makes a tastier cup. Certainly the kind of beans you buy makes a huge difference. I think the best coffee so far was some Sumatra coffee we got in Bali. Just the right amount of bitterness and sourness in it.

For now Cassandra and I are always on the lookout for different coffee beans to try. I think Japanese coffee is a bit smooth for my tastes.



Hi David,
I started to read your blog and was intrigued, particularly since we're (my husband and I) coming to Japan to be volunteers at ARI (Asian Rural Institute) near Shiobara from Canada. Some of your information has been very helpful.

I see that you also take marvelous pictures and they have been a pleasure to see.

We are just in the process of trying to plan a week long trip around some part of Japan in July and as you can imagine not knowing enough about the country, it's quite a challange. It looks like a country that you could loose yourself in for years.

You got me thinking that we should start a blog, so I'm making a poor attempt.

Perhaps you would like to drop by ARI?



coming to Japan

Hi Maria,
Sorry, I'm slow. I only just noticed your comment (off to find and turn off the notify on comment function in a sec). Strangely I was in Canada when you sent the post.

I guess if your week long trip is to prepare for moving to Japan. I'm thinking ARI would help you to locate, but I can show you the realestate office (no English spoken there). I could show you around Nasushiobara a bit. But the only thing I really know a lot about is recreational activities here and for a recon trip before moving that might not be your main focus.

One thing: July is rainy season. And it will rain. Every day probably. But its better than August which is very, very hot and humid. After that it gets lovely again.

Let me know your dates as soon as you know. July is a slightly busy month for me.

You can email me at at