January 24, 2004
Single Bean

In the gourmand spirit of single malt whisky, varietal wine, and single bean coffee, Lotte launched a product called Single Beans Chocolate.

singlebeans.jpgOf course I had to try them. Who knew chocolate beans tasted so different to one another? But sure enough, they are distinctive. La Flora is sweet and fruity; Sur del Lago is piquant; El Pilar tastes like piney mould.

The chocolates come in small bars for 150 yen each or a “cacao selection” variety pack for 300 yen. It’s a bit more expensive than the average chocolate but you can buy it at the conbini, so it’s not really too luxe.

Plenty of people got used to the high life in the economic bubbles of real estate and tech. Now we can’t afford the extreme luxuries any more, but we still crave them. Lotte is cleverly profiting on the fact that our tastes and our pocketbooks don’t quite match.

Or maybe gourmet foods in the convenience store indicate an upswing in the economy in general. I never did understand the Japanese economic slump—it seems like everyone is carrying on as usual with plenty of construction, designers doing good business, new restaurants and shops springing up all over. To say that this is a slump, well, the Bubble must have been heady times, indeed.

Posted by kuri at January 24, 2004 12:59 PM


I know I know, this CHOCO! And chocolate season comes —because that Valentain Day is just around the corner.

Posted by: Mieko on January 24, 2004 05:47 PM

Hey. I’m full of beans. Single bean is/was the normal state of cikolata (chocolate), before us gaijin “fixed” it UP with milk and sugar, hee, hee.

Posted by: taro on January 25, 2004 12:36 AM

Any way to order this in the USA?

Posted by: Pete on January 25, 2004 02:46 AM

Nice website.

Posted by: Abe on January 25, 2004 01:31 PM

Hey, I am with you not quite understanding the Japanese slow economy. Most of my friends talk about hard economical conditions and at the same time they discuss about their next vacation in Malaysia and Hawaii. The government is suffering from tax money shrtages, but they are still paying a great amount of money for Iraq.
There are something called “delusion of poverty” happens to the people when they have ademonia. May be we Japanese are mentally, not economically, depressed as a nation.

Posted by: sayaka on January 25, 2004 07:31 PM
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