Wow. Who knew that finding decaf coffee in Japan could be so difficult? I mean, I guess I should have had some inkling what with this being a place where tea ceremonies are valued cultural experiences. I love tea, don't get me wrong. But it's coffee that I crave. I spent 8 years living in Seattle and I think I may actually have some coffee in my bloodstream.
The wrinkle is this - while breastfeeding, I've been trying to limit the amount of caffeine I ingest. On at least one occasion, I had an espresso beverage when Peanut was younger and we had 3 very long nights. I'm not positive it was the coffee, but I figured it can't hurt to switch to decaf and keep the potential factors for long nights to a minimum. Mothering is challenging enough without the sleep deprivation. And in the U.S. (especially Seattle) it's easy to find all kinds of delicious decaf alternatives. In October we arrived in Japan and I was merrily thinking life would continue on the same path we've been following, at least with regard to my warm beverage consumption. Only it turns out that Japan IS drinking coffee but it's a lot of "regular" coffee and almost no decaf coffee.
I love this bit from the UCC brand website about their future in coffee production in Japan: "Moving forward, we are committed to anticipating consumer wants and needs, devising new ideas for more pleasurable lifestyles accented with coffee, and promoting the further spread of "Good Coffee Smile". I would like some Good Coffee Smile please! But my good coffee smile should be slightly less caffeinated.
We've tried every grocery store and big name department store we can think of to no avail. Hence, every few weeks, someone in our family has been trekking to Tennoji or Namba to find a Starbucks which thankfully(!!) sells decaf coffee.
It's only now as I sit here writing this that it occurs to me to try the Foreign Buyer's Club. Why didn't I think of this before?!
I may have to check out the UCC Coffee Museum one of these days...