Even if you’re not an otaku, it’s undeniable that the depiction of food in anime is enough to get anyone’s taste buds tingling. From Spirited Away to Shokugemi no Souma, there’s no shortage of series and movies that feature wonderfully animated food that you can almost taste. I’ve tried my hand at a number of anime-related recipes, but my most recent food experience was much simpler. It required no cooking at all: just an eBay account and the patience to wait for canned coffee to make its way across the Pacific.
Hachiman Hikigaya, the too-smart protagonist of OreGairu, has an obsession with MAX Coffee, a brand that’s featured prominently in the series, both physically and symbolically, and which in real life is commonly found in vending machines throughout Chiba (Trivia: for the trouble she gives Hikki regarding his obsession, it’s Yukino’s brand of choice, too, when it comes to canned coffee). I ordered a couple of cans to try it out and see why Hikki is singularly focused on the drink, which falls under Coca-Cola’s “Georgia” brand.
Life is too bitter, so coffee, at least, should be sweet…
– Hachiman Hikigaya
Served chilled, MAX Coffee has a refreshing flavor common to canned Asian coffees. The aroma is subtle, but bold. It has a touch of the bitterness I’d expect with any coffee, but as Hikigaya tells us, it’s mostly sweet. I would say it’s a bit nippy, too, and it goes down really well. I typically enjoy a thicker lattes, but MAX Coffee has a runny consistency; it almost drinks like a juice. It also left nary an aftertaste in my mouth. MAX Coffee is best served cold, though, as the sweetness dissipates when it becomes warm and so, too, does the flavor.
I wouldn’t refer to myself as a canned coffee aficionado, but I do them very much. MAX Coffee now joins my list of favorites, and in fact, rises to the top. The sweetness, which hits just the right balance (it’s perhaps considered sweet for the Japanese, but only moderately so for my American taste buds), makes for a tasty treat. I encourage you to pick one up if you’re in Chiba, or consider ordering one at a nominal price off eBay.
Not that you have to take my word for it – Shiki knows best: