Congratulations to Boston University’s very own Dr. Merry (Corky) White on winning the 2013 ASFS Book Award for her new publication, Coffee Life in Japan. The award was announced and presented at the recent ASFS/AFHVS 2013 Annual Conference held in East Lansing, MI, where numerous BU Gastronomy students and professors presented their own food-related research.
image via UC Press
Read the reviews:
“White wanders from café to café, from brewing master to coffee merchant, with nonchalant pleasure. At times the book structure seems far from linear, returning to topics and concepts already touched on before, but White’s affection for the world she describes is infectious. The narrative often reads like a memoir, and the author is able to transport us to places and situations that are not only described with the eye of the anthropologist, but shared with the passion of a true coffee lover.” — Fabio Parasecoli, “Coffee Life in Japan: The Exotic and The Apparently Familiar,” Huffington Post
“And while White’s style is certainly more academic than storycraft, or even narrative nonfiction, her open, direct approach to the combined forces behind coffee’s sway over this part of the world (and, it should be added, her willingness to explore feminist questions many other writers wouldn’t have thought to ask) should be of of keen interest to anyone who likes coffee, urban spaces, or just Japan. You’ll find your eyes opened beyond the new and storied cafes you’ve heard of and into regional corners and paradoxical tastes, and into the social understanding of coffee as a break from spaces like work and life that, though challenging to all cultures, bear their own Japanese way of being—and have brought forth their own, distinctly Japanese, places of reverent escape.” — Liz Clayton, “Coffee Reads: Coffee Life in Japan,” Serious Eats
Read and listen to interviews about the book:
“What are the Japanese beans like? They favor a medium high roast, not a super dark roast. The Starbucks invasion hasn’t done very well. Yeah, they are everywhere, but they consider those beans charred and that the service isn’t good. They ask you three questions when you go to some coffee shops in Japan. What do you want for body, what do you want for density and what method of brewing would you like? And then they make your cup. And body, koku, is the most significant. It’s a little different from density. Body means a layered taste. Where you get, like with wine, a first hit and layers of taste that follow and what they call the nodogoshi, the taste that lingers down your throat. It’s a complicated set of profiles, it’s not one.” — an excerpt from a larger interview with Dr. White by Aaron Kagan at Boston Eater in 2012
Listen to a podcast discussing Dr. White’s new book and her interview with Marco Werman on PRI, The World.
Pick up a copy, grab a cup of coffee, and get to reading! Once again, congratulations Dr. White!