It's only been very recently in Japan that I've been able to find decaf coffee, and since I've either been pregnant or nursing since the summer of 2005 (no joke), this has been a major concern of mine. Yes, if I want to spend about $4 on a cup of freshly brewed decaf at Starbucks, that's an option, but it only comes in one flavor: coffee. No adornments. No special spices. No whipped cream. No syrups. No chocolate-chip-whizbangs. Nada. Just coffee. Which is fine, if I won the lottery and was in the mood for that sort of thing anyway. (I do indulge every few months just for a mama-treat. I cannot tell a lie. But I do have a Starbucks insulated cup and that saves me a whopping 20 yen - approx. 20 cents.)
I've got this recipe for hot ginger coffee (from a magazine I no longer recall) that I've been wanting to make for ages, but I never had the candied ginger. Until now. (Thanks again, Kim!)
Akachan Honpo (a baby store similar to Babies R Us but on a much smaller scale) has started carrying UCC ready-made 97% caffeine-free coffee in plastic bottles, which costs about 298 yen for 900 ml. (If you're in Japan and looking for it, it's in the mama-section, near the nursing bras and ahem, things of that nature.)
The recipe calls for coffee grounds to be added to the filter with the spices, but all I did was use the already-brewed stuff and boiled it with the candied ginger and orange peel in a loose-tea bag, and added the cinnamon in to the pot as well.
It was really gorgeous coffee, and with a splash of our toddler's full-fat milk, even better. The picture on the recipe showed it in a clear mug, topped with whipped cream and slivers of orange peel. Whatever floats your coffee!
6 T ground coffee (not instant)
1 T grated orange peel (I used mikan peel and grated some and chopped some)
1 T chopped crystallized or candied ginger
1/2 t ground cinnamon
6 c. cold water
Combine the coffee, orange peel, ginger, and cinnamon and pour into a coffee filter. Add water to your coffeemaker and brew.
Or, if you're like me, use UCC ready-made java and boil it all in a pot on the stove! Worked fine.
OK, not just fine--it's GOOD stuff! (Just watch out for that 3% of caffeine--if you're not used to it, it'll keep you awake a bit and then make you dream of your toddler appearing next to your bed with snot dripping out of his nose, needing a big wipe.)