Coffee In Japan

Japan has a strange relationship with coffee.

The spectrum ranges from exquisite little shops housing nothing more than an espresso machine and a bonsai, both arranged in zen tranquility to filth in cups sold by franchised brands, to tins of coffee vended by the uncountable machines infesting every city, temple and park.

I am going to talk about the cans. The average can is 185g which is an unusual unit of measurement for a liquid. They come from the vending machines cold but can be bought hot from one of the many marts. They are sometimes marketed as a luxury item. This last bit I don't understand.

There are more different cans of coffee than they are ways to take it. White, black, with and without sugar and varying degrees of all of these. Without outside advice you might become paralysed by your choices; a frozen sentinel on the street watching over a vending machine.

It doesn't help that the individual product names are non-sequiturs or are in Japanese. It doesn't help when there are over 125 different cans of coffee.

So make your choice and I'll see you the bottom with my favourite. You may note that some of the cans are just the name of a colour or are differentiated by colour. This the only part of the packaging I understand.

Brand: Suntory (he's the boss of them all since 1992)

  • Premium boss
  • Boss 30th anniversary gold
  • Café au lait
  • Black
  • Rainbow (espresso)
  • Rainbow mountain blend
  • Silky Black
  • Silky boss
  • Horoniga
  • Blue and peach*
  • Ice cold
  • Ice creamy latte
  • world seven blend (blue)
  • world seven blend (red)
  • Brazil selection (world cup)
  • Kilimanjaro special blend
  • White*
  • Gran aroma
  • Colombia traditional blend
  • coffee with cream (us style)
  • fullcity roast
  • melty au lait
  • green
  • the espresso red
  • the espresso gold
  • super blend

Brand: Aromax

  • premium gold
  • premium
  • premium latte gold
  • quality black

Brand: Ucc

  • black premium dry
  • Black premium aroma
  • drink Black
  • the coffee cool break
  • the coffee
  • original
  • beans and roasters Caffè latte

Brand: Georgia

  • Emerald mountain blend (green)
  • Emerald mountain blend (black)
  • Emerald mountain blend (yellow)
  • Emerald mountain blend (azure)
  • Emerald mountain blend ( premium)
  • European bronze
  • European rufous
  • European black
  • European maroon
  • European white
  • Georgia milky cream
  • Georgia dark cream
  • Georgia café au lait
  • Extra wild taste katakuna
  • max coffee
  • classic original

Brand: Kirin

  • fire gold
  • fire antioquia
  • fire kiliman blue
  • fire great beans
  • fire Black
  • fire Black relaxing
  • fire café au lait
  • fire cafe deli milk caramel latte
  • fire cafe deli double caramel latte
  • spirit of koiwai milk and coffee
  • fire condensed milk

Brand: Dydo

  • blend Beige*
  • blend Gold and beige*
  • Blend Brown and white stripe
  • Dematasse maroon
  • Dematasse blue
  • Dematasse espresso
  • Dematasse black
  • Blend Black
  • Blend Black + espresso
  • M coffee (milk and mild)
  • Kilimanjaro blend
  • American coffee

Brand: Roots

  • Creamy cafe
  • Special blend
  • Café au lait
  • Black
  • Aroma stage and milk
  • Aroma stage and coffee
  • Aroma Black hot blend
  • Aroma gold
  • Aroma Black long smooth

Brand: Topvalu

  • Black
  • Gold
  • Café au lait

Brand: Wanda

  • Morning shot
  • Gold
  • Black
  • Black gold
  • White
  • Creamy latte ice
  • Creamy latte
  • Cafés do Brasil
  • zeromax premium
  • neo espresso
  • kessaku
  • big coffee
  • double
  • craftsmanship

Brand: Tully barista's

  • Cafe latte
  • Iced coffee
  • Dematasse
  • Blend medium body
  • Black

Brand: Nescafe

  • gold blend black
  • gold blend
  • gold blend 20%
  • gold blend red
  • excella
  • excella cafe latte
  • Blue

One off brands:

  • Weird elf creature
  • Bird and friends
  • kao green
  • kao gold
  • Luana
  • Brown and white moo cow print
  • doutor real Black
  • Meiji bj Kilimanjaro blend

Brand: Sapporo

  • Pokka milk cafe
  • pokka coffee gensen bitou
  • Pokka coffee original
  • pokka soying
  • pokka Realdrip Black
  • pokka Realdrip maroon

Brand: W coffee

  • Café au lait the Creamy
  • 90%

Brand: café drip

  • Caffe latte
  • gold

Brand: Yamazaki

  • Café au lait
  • Black

The best I've found is the Kirin fire great beans can. It's a small can though and so the Sapporo pokka Realdrip maroon is a better investment.

Weird elf creature

when: Wednesday, March 04, 2015