In my Jan. 17 column in The Japan Times, I addressed one of those little mysteries about life in Japan, which is why coffee is so often served with the cup handle turned to the left. This seems counter-intuitive when you consider that most coffee-drinkers are right-handed and will have to turn the cup around to pick it up.
As I explained in my column, there is a reason, which has to do with how people drink their coffee. (Follow the link to find out.) But as an aside, there seems to be the impression that serving coffee with the handle on the left is “English style” (イギリス式), as expressed in the chart below, or as I found in other Japanese-language websites, “European style” (ヨーロッパ式）.
Yet the German reader who posed the original question reported that in Germany coffee is always served with the handle to the right. (And the spoon in back, whereas in Japan the spoon is usually in the front.)
Orienting the handle on the right, these same sources will tell you, is “American-style” （アメリカ式）, which comes as news to this Yankee Doodle Dandy.
So what say you, readers? Do you buy any of this? Is there a particular way to serve coffee in your country?