Japanese Canned Coffee – Everything You Need To Know!

Canned coffee is celebrated in Japan. In addition to the taste, it also provides the convenience that the Japanese love. With a coffee vending machine in every corner, it is now easier than ever to get your hands on a Japanese canned coffee.

If you are someone who loves brewing your coffee, you would be shocked at how popular canned coffee is. Can it really taste that good? Do the Japanese really like their coffee or take it as a punishment? Why would you sell coffee in a can? We answer all these burning questions and more below.

Japanese Canned Coffee – A History

Canned coffee came into existence thanks to the effort of Tadao Ueshima who is known as the ‘Father of Coffee’ in Japan.

Tadao Ueshima started his coffee company under the name, ‘Ueshima Tadao Shoten’ in 1933. In 1951, the company rebrands to ‘Ueshima Coffee Co. Ltd’ which is popularly known to the Japanese as UCC.

The first canned coffee was introduced by UCC in the year 1969 when it debuted its ‘UCC Coffee with Milk’ coffee can. This was a huge hit and also marks the historical event of canned coffee in Japan.

Is Canned Coffee Popular in Japan?

Are you wondering if canned coffee is a thing in Japan? Well, here’s our answer.

Canned coffee is very popular in Japan. Canned coffee is readily available in vending machines and people love the convenience it provides. For this very reason, canned coffee is a part of the daily routine of many Japanese. You can also get many flavors which makes it more desirable and less boring.

If you are new to Japan, the moment you set out, you can see vending machines full of canned coffee. Once you see these coffee vending machines, it is clear that canned coffee is more than just a beverage to the locals.

Japan loves its canned coffee. Period.

In addition to vending machines, you will also be able to get canned coffee in a coffee shop or even in a convenience store or Kombini, as the Japanese call them.

Here’s a fun compilation of commercials for BOSS canned coffee.

Is Japanese Canned Coffee Good?

Japanese canned coffee is not very different from brewed coffee. Depending on the brand and product, your coffee can be strong, rich, bitter, and even sweet. There is a flavor for every kind of taste bud, so there is no one good coffee. If you have an idea of what you want, you will find that flavor in a Japanese coffee can.

Let’s discuss this in more detail.

If you are a coffee lover, the idea of coffee in a can might have disturbed you a bit. 

We are taught to make coffee fresh. The fresher your coffee beans are, the fresher your cup of coffee. Whether it is a cold brew or hot black coffee or iced coffee, freshness is crucial. 

But canned coffee doesn’t seem to adhere to these rules. It is coffee in a can that sits for more hours than you can imagine. How well does it taste?

The answer is: Japanese canned coffee is pretty good.

Although the coffee comes in a can, you will enjoy the taste of what is inside.

Yes, it might not be better than a freshly brewed pot of coffee, but it has the same flavor and you will be fine with it 99 out of 100 times.

Another good thing about canned coffee is that you can get both hot and cold drinks. So if you’re in the mood for something hot, there is something in the vending machine for you. The same is true for cold coffee as well.

More than anywhere in the world, you will also find many flavors in Japanese canned coffee. The coffee brands try out a ton of different stuff and even though the experiments last on the shelves for a limited time, some of them taste very good.

Why Does Japan Have Canned Coffee?

Japan’s coffee culture started way back in the 1930s. Even then, you would find thousands of coffee shops in Tokyo alone. 

The difference in the coffee culture is that coffee evolved here better than in other countries and paved the way for something like Canned Coffee.

The people of Japan also love canned coffee for several reasons.

It is easy. Brewing a cup of coffee might not be for everyone. It takes time and you also need to perfect the technique to get a good cup every time. 

Whether you are looking for a latte or a black coffee or an espresso, Japan’s canned coffee has it covered. There is no need for fancy equipment (like a french press or espresso machine) that you can’t afford. Go to a vending machine and get your coffee. Simple as that.

Timesaver. The Japanese are very serious about their time. Their trains are on time, every time. Not being punctual is a serious crime, morally of course.

Getting a canned coffee in a nearby vending machine saves you a lot of time. This means you won’t be late because you were brewing your cuppa joe.

Healthier Alternative. With canned coffee, you also don’t have to resort to options like soft drinks. A soft drink might be loaded with sugar and doesn’t do any good. 

A can of instant coffee can give you all the caffeine you need and will also promote several health benefits. 

Japanese Canned Coffee Brands

There are several canned coffee brands in Japan.

We know that UCC is the brand that started the whole canned coffee movement. 

In addition to UCC, you will also find brands like

  • BOSS Coffee by Suntory
  • Fire by Kirin Beverage
  • Wonda by Asahi
  • Georgia by Coca Cola
  • Roots by Suntory
  • DyDo Blend Coffee
  • Nescafe Canned Coffee

While there are a lot of options, people in Japan love Boss coffee products. Fire and Wonda are also received well but Boss offers the most flavors.

Can You Get Japanese Canned Coffee in the US?

You can get the famous Japanese canned coffee right here in the US through Amazon.

The options are quite limited, but you can get a taste of what’s going on in Japan.

Here are some options.

BOSS Coffee By Suntory – Moutain Coffee Blend

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This is the sweetest coffee of the bunch and packs a lot of flavors. If you’re looking for a coffee with milk and sugar, then this might be the right choice for you.

BOSS by Suntory – Original Black Coffee

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A great choice for all black coffee lovers. This is prepared to be consumed as a cold drink so if you’re looking for a chill coffee beverage, this is it.

BOSS by Suntory – Cafe Au Lait

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Touted as an alternative to nitro cold brew coffee, this one will surely grab your attention. Its rich taste will linger in your mouth even hours after you taste the last drop.

UCC Canned Coffee – Original Blend

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A great product from UCC but it might be a bit too sweet for your taste buds. Nevertheless, a very good buy if you’re wanting to dive into the world of canned coffee.

UCC Canned Coffee – Hawaii Kona Coffee Blend

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The Kona blend is super rich and you’ll love the aroma once you pop it open. This beverage is also a milk-based one, so you will have to get used to the calories in it.

That’s all we have about Japanese canned coffee. 

If you have any more questions, do let us know and we’ll get back with all the right answers. 

Till then, carry on with your caffeine journey dear coffee lovers!

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