Coffee, Tea, or a Shot of Hot Red Beans?

It’s the season when warm drinks reappear in vending machines all over Japan, offering morning jolts of coffee, black tea, cocoa, green tea and…red bean soup? Yes, it’s time for shiruko, that wintertime favorite made from crushed sweet red beans, thinned so it can be slurped from a can in an alleyway on the way to work. I poured mine out into a cup, just to see what was in it. Sure enough, “one lump or two” doesn’t quite cover the number of actual beans still lurking around, uncrushed at the bottom of the can.

A cup of steaming shiruko to start your morning out right.

Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series, now out for the first time in paperback

More Nightshade book goodness here, in case you think you might want to, you know, read it or something

A young woman is found dead in an abandoned car, with a pair of strangers old enough to be her parents. Their suicide note apologizes for a disaster that hasn’t yet happened. And someone is stalking the…read more

…or watch the book trailer (0:52)