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Canned Coffee in Japan


Hiroyuki
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I'm no fan of canned coffee. Sweetened (kato (加糖)) types are too sweet for me while less sweetened (bito (微糖)) and unsweetened (muto (無糖)) types taste just awful.

Do you like canned coffee?

What do you think of it?

For your reference, here are some canned coffee reviews in English:

http://www.chinmusicpress.com/books/kuhaku...erature/coffee/

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the ones that are shown <a href="http://www.chinmusicpress.com/books/kuhaku/literature/coffee/">in the link</a> that hiroyuki provides are usually the smaller 190-250 g drinks. they are typically sold for usd$1.75 - $1.99 here. which is a lot considering larger PET drinks like (my favorite) <a href="http://www.gabunomi.jp/">gabunomi</a> and steel canned ucc kona. the gabunomi is 500 mls for usd $2 and the ucc kona (maybe sold only in u.s.a.?) is 337 ml (11 oz) for $1.

i like em cheap, kind of milky and probably too sweet for most tastes. but when i buy canned or pet drinks i am often looking for a sugar fix.

"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo
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I'm no fan of canned coffee.  Sweetened (kato (加糖)) types are too sweet for me while less sweetened (bito (微糖)) and unsweetened (muto (無糖)) types taste just awful.

Do you like canned coffee?

What do you think of it?

For your reference, here are some canned coffee reviews in English:

http://www.chinmusicpress.com/books/kuhaku...erature/coffee/

I heart my UCC coffee that came in a can!!!!

Leave the gun, take the canoli

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On my first couple trips to Japan, I loved the canned coffee especially the cold ones. Now I can't think of the last time I drank one, for a while I would try new ones whenever I saw them but have come to the conclusion they are all quite nasty.

There is one that is drinkable and for the life of me can't remember the name of it now, it has a nice taste of cinnamon that covers up the bad coffee taste... :unsure: I will try to get the name and report back!

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I drink bottled/canned coffee and tea in Japan only because of the distinct lack of water fountains. Of course I alternate with juices, Gokuri and so on.

At least based on what kinds of coffee were being served and consumed, Japan used to have higher standards for coffee than most of the U.S. But the U.S., or at least Seattle, has increasingly demanded more from coffee, whereas the expectations in Japan are fairly stable.

In Seattle area, I have access to some truly stellar options for coffee, although we have our share of the mediocre as well. The pricing is quite reasonable. In fact, opposite of more normal pricing customs, the better shops often actually charge a little less than Starbucks.

It's a little more challenging in Japan. Excellent coffee is still quite expensive, with prices in the 600-1200 yen range, and the price is no guarantee that you'll get good coffee... And the better versions of U.S.-style coffee shops, like Macchinesti in Tokyo (Akabanebashi, I think... anyway, Azabu area), are a bit more extravagant than the chain equivalents; I think the menu ran mostly 350-600 yen for most drinks there.

http://www.bento.com/rev/1896.html

When I need a bit of a caffeine fix but don't really want to spend a lot of money, I might buy a bottled coffee. But the stale taste is kind of offensive. I liked the idea of being able to buy a hot bottle of coffee or tea, but I am usually not very impressed by the actual flavor. It's a lot harder to enjoy than when the first few times I went to Japan. I think I tend to drink more C.C. Lemon and Gokuri, because even if they aren't pure juice, they do seem somewhat refreshing.

I usually think I want an unsweetened bottled/canned coffee, but when I taste them again, I remember that milk and sugar help obscure the worst notes in bad coffee, and start buying the sugary stuff for the rest of the trip.

I was really incredibly surprised when I was in Mashiko, Japan and drank vacuum-drawn coffee in a little coffee shop associated with a gallery that I rely upon, and got some beautiful brewed coffee. One of my ceramics artists came to meet me and when I talked about the coffee he felt inclined to sit down and order a cup before we headed to his workshop.

My girlfriend complains that she can't readily find "good coffee" in Japan. (Starbucks doesn't quite qualify, but she'll take it in a pinch). The frequent obsessiveness with getting food right in Japan seems not as common with coffee.

Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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Great topic, Hiroyuki. I can't believe we don't already have a canned coffee threed.

I like the idea of canned coffee more than the coffee itself.

I love the warming effect of the hot cans on a cold winter day. Although the number of coffee chains has exploded in recent years and it is now possible to buy a fairly cheap cup of take-out coffee nearly everywhere, this coffee will never replace canned coffee. Sure, it may taste much better, but you can't put a cup of coffee in your pocket to keep warm, can you?

The sudden jolt of caffeine is also useful before a lesson or workout or while waiting for a train (that you don't want to fall asleep on and miss your stop again).

As for the flavour, well, it's almost always disappointing. Kind of a gamble, choosing canned coffee, since the descriptions on the can never really match the contents. And with convenience stores/vending machines changing their line-ups so often it's a good bet that each can you try will be a new one. If you like it (I've found a few good ones) good luck trying to find it again.

By the way, I read Kuhaku and I loved the canned coffee reviews. It says on the link Hiroyuki provided that they are accepting canned coffee reviews and will post the best ones. Anyone up for writing a review?

My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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Thanks everyone for their replies.

I think that Gabunomi falls into the category formerly called 'Coffee Gyunyu'. It's not a coffee drink but a coffee-flavored, skimmed milk-based, sweetened drink. Gyunyu means milk, but manufacturers are now prohibited from using the term 'Coffee Gyunyu' for their products unless they contain raw milk. Manufacturers now use such terms as Coffee Milk, Milk Coffee, Caffe Latte, Coffee au Lait, and Cafe au Lait instead.

I have fond memories of Coffee Gyunyu; I used to like it a lot when I was small. :biggrin:

There is a wide selection of Gabunomi type drinks, as you can see from here:

http://www.ne.jp/asahi/aocky/kite/coffee/coffee.html

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I think that Gabunomi falls into the category formerly called 'Coffee Gyunyu'.  It's not a coffee drink but a coffee-flavored, skimmed milk-based, sweetened drink.  Gyunyu means milk, but manufacturers are now prohibited from using the term 'Coffee Gyunyu' for their products unless they contain raw milk.  Manufacturers now use such terms as Coffee Milk, Milk Coffee, Caffe Latte, Coffee au Lait, and Cafe au Lait instead.
i wish milk coffee was more popular in america... i would certainly drink more.

for some reason i dont like any of the starbucks bottled drinks. i havent had any in a couple years so i dont remember why...

i know that in certain parts of the u.s. coffee milk is popular enough that grocery stores stock coffee syrup to mix with your milk. i think this might be new england area, but im not sure. i only read about it. coffee syrup sounds sooo good...

for now though, coffee gyunyu will do for me!

"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo
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i know that in certain parts of the u.s. coffee milk is popular enough that grocery stores stock coffee syrup to mix with your milk.  i think this might be new england area, but im not sure.  i only read about it.  coffee syrup sounds sooo good...

I remember having read the Coffee Milk thread before. Very interesting.

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i had a question about the cold canned coffee. my japanese teacher told me that there are no less than 8 teaspoons of sugar in a can of cold coffee. does anyone know if this is true, and if it is...what is the reason behind it?

smallworld, i too like warming my hands on a hot can of coffee in the winter! sometimes i buy two and put them in my pockets :raz:

Edited by easternsun (log)

"Thy food shall be thy medicine" -Hippocrates

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i had a question about the cold canned coffee.  my japanese teacher told me that there are no less than 8 teaspoons of sugar in a can of cold coffee.  does anyone know if this is true, and if it is...what is the reason behind it?

That's true. A 250-ml can is said to contain about 20-30 grams of sugar. 8 teaspoons of sugar translates into 3 x 8 = 24 grams.

The reason?? The sweetness obscures the nasty taste of low-quality coffee?

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The reason?? The sweetness obscures the nasty taste of low-quality coffee?

It's probably one reason.

But I always thought it was perhaps to make the coffee more similar to soft drinks and therefore maybe get more people to drink it who would otherwise be buying some type of soda instead.

After all, doesn't the same size can of soda have around six teaspoons of sugar? So add a couple more teaspoons to cover up any bitter flavor that the coffee brings, and it ends up tasting kind of similar to soda in its sweetness. (Maybe?)

I must confess to liking cold UNSWEETENED canned coffee when it's the middle of summer. However, I do wish that the unsweetened canned coffee didn't usually come in smaller cans than the sweet ones (not fair :angry: ), and that more cold unsweetened canned coffee also came with milk, instead of just black. With milk and without sugar is sometimes available, but not so often, in my experiene.

Are people who don't want sugar in their canned coffee all meant to be some kind of hard-core coffee freaks who don't want to pollute their coffee with any other foreign substance either, such as milk? :unsure:

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  • 2 years later...

I usually have a very, very low opinion of canned coffee, especially muto (non sugar) and bito (low sugar) types, but I can say this particular one is by far better than others.

gallery_16375_5796_60813.jpg

Dotour Super Black, 136 yen

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I usually have a very, very low opinion of canned coffee, especially muto (non sugar) and bito (low sugar) types, but I can say this particular one is by far better than others.

Doutor...natsukashii.

Without Doutor iced coffee, I wouldn't have survived my first outside sales job in Japan (sweltering heat).

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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