Addicted to Coffee

Posted August 28th, 2011 in Food | 5 Comments »

I’ve been drinking lots of coffee… again. I love coffee, and always had at least one cup a day – since I was a teenager. It may be because of my dad. He loves coffee too, and drinks few cups a day. He goes to a cafe very often, and if he can’t got o a cafe, he gets a can of black coffee from a vending machine which is in front of my house. Vending machines can be found everywhere in Japan, so he is always in the environment where he can get coffee easily.
Oh, he makes instant coffee by himself at home too, sometimes. But I don’t remember seeing him drinking instant coffee as much as seeing him drinking a can if black coffee

I love black coffee (I mentioned about this long time ago on this blog). No sugar nor milk. I love drinking black coffee in the morning, after each meal, with some sweet, and before bed time.

Strangely my passion for coffee stopped while I was pregnant with Hiro. I could drink decaf if I wanted, but I didn’t even want to smell coffee. I was surprised about it because I remember how much I loved the smell of coffee every time I walked pass a cafe.

Now, however, I’m addicted to coffee again.  Just want to say it’s decaf coffee I drink now… because I’m still breastfeeding.  It’s strange, isn’t it? Usually, people can’t stop drinking coffee because they need caffeine fix, or are addicted to it. Decaf coffee doesn’t contain caffeine, but I can’t stop drinking it. Caffeine is not the thing my body is after? Maybe I just like black colored water? :p

Ummm, It will be hard in Japan because they don’t have “decaf” coffee at normal cafes or available from vending machines. They sell only standard coffee with caffeine. I guess I can drink a cup a day, or get non-caffeine coffee or tea from special shops.  I want to try “tampopo (dandelion) coffee” – this is non caffeine drink made from roots of dandelion.  It’s called “coffee”, but it’s not made from coffee beans.  Pregnant women, breastfeeding mums, and people who are into healthy stuff drink this, and I’m curious how it tastes like.  I’m looking at photos on google, but it really looks like coffee.

Talking about coffee – it’s only 6am but I already had a cup of black… with pancakes.

Eating sweets like this makes me long for hot black coffee.  To me, black coffee is the best accompaniment to sweets!


Yamashiro Onsen Trip 2

Posted March 20th, 2010 in Eat Out in Perth - Japanese Food -, Japan | 2 Comments »

Dinner was crab full-course (>v<).

Started with beer, we had crab sashimi, crab steamed board, crab chawan-mushi, frame-grilled crab, crab sushi, crab tempura, crab salad, crab soup, and crab flavored rice with crab meat.  You gotta be crab-lover to eat this dinner…

Crab season is winter, and the areas near Japan Sea, like Ishikawa prefecture, is famous for crabbing.  My family used to come to Fukui prefecture (next to Ishikawa) every winter to enjoy crab when I was a kid.

The food was delish!  We were so full and couldn’t move our bodies after eating these crabs…

In the morning, we were woken up with these breakfast.

A typical Japanese breakfast – rice, miso soup, some condiments and grilled fish…

We grilled our fish on charcoals..  There was squid sashimi, some cooked vegetables with dashi broth, pickles and Onsen Tamago.  Onsen Tamago is half-cooked egg by been immersed in natural, hot Onsen water.  It’s eaten with soy sauce and mirin based sauce.  Those 6 condiments are mentaiko, nori (seaweed paste), grilled salmon flakes, chirimen-jako (seasoned tiny fishes), walnut miso, and seasoned dry shellfish meat.

My dad and I finished the meal with Onsen coffee (brewed with Onsen water).

You can imagine how full we were!  So many seafood in 2 days….  I wonder how come Australian people don’t eat seafood as much as we (Japanese) do, we both live in island county.

Tea During Pregnancy

Posted December 13th, 2010 in Ume's Pregnancy | No Comments »

I used to be a heavy coffee consumer before I got pregnant.  I loved having a cup of strong black coffee in the morning, after each meal, and before going to bed.  Drinking coffee was part of my lifestyle, and there’s not even one day that I didn’t have coffee as far back as I can remember.  My dad also loves black coffee and I think that’s the reason why I love coffee so much.  Going to cafes is our thing when I’m in Japan.

Now, since I’m pregnant, I don’t drink coffee anymore.  I could still drink few cups a day, or decaffeinated ones, but I actually don’t feel like coffee at the moment.  I like the smell of coffee, but when I imagine drinking it I know I will have strong heartburn.  It actually stops me drinking coffee.

I still feel like drinking something besides water, soda and juice, and in that case tea is another option for me.  Western tea (e.g. English breakfast, earl grey tea) wasn’t really my drink, but I grew up with lots and lots of Japanese tea since I was a kid.  I searched about teas in Japan and I found that some Japanese tea contain very little caffein, and there are few non-caffein teas too.

Teas made from cereals, such as barley tea (mugi cha) and black bean tea (kuromame cha), contain no caffein.  Barley tea is the most common drink consumed in Japan during summer.  After making the tea we chill it and keep one or two bottles in the fridge.   Black bean tea (kuromame cha) has such distinct aroma and I love the flavor of roasted bean.  Very delicious and healthy.  I’ve never seen kuromame cha in Perth, do you know if any shop sells this tea?

According to “Standard Tables of Food Composition in Japan Fifth Revised and Enlarged Edition”, Gyokuro (玉露) contains the highest level of caffein.

There are quite big differences between each kind of tea!  I never cared about the quantity of caffein in a drink, as drinking black coffee didn’t affect my sleep at all, and my blood pressure is normally low so drinking coffee actually helped me to focus on something every day.

You can also drink herb tea while pregnant.  Rosehip and nettle are the good ones.  Rosehip helps absorbing iron, vitamin and mineral to the body, and nettle helps to prevent anemia.  If you have strong morning sickness, lemon balm tea may calm you down.  Sage and lavender are not recommended for early pregnancy as they actually have an effect of shrinking the womb.
Until I feel like drinking coffee I will be drinking lots of mugi-cha, I think.  This is a perfect season to drink mugi-cha and you can buy the tea leaves / tea bags at Asian grocery shops. (look for a Japanese food section) 🙂