Ten things you never knew about coffee in Japan

Japan is a country – much like Britain – renowned for its love of tea. But in fact, it is one of the largest importers of coffee in the world. There, particularly in less travelled parts, many people would be amazed to hear that coffee was as revered in other countries as in Japan. But the people of Japan have loved coffee for longer than you might have known.

This blog post shares ten things you might not know about coffee in Japan.

Ten facts about coffee in Japan

  1. Coffee was first introduced to Japan in the early 1800s by Dutch merchants. Coffee quickly soared in popularity. In fact, in 2015, coffee consumption overtook tea drinking in Japan consumed.

  2. Japanese coffee culture has its own unique characteristics. For example, did you know that it is customary to pour for your superior or elders as it is a sign of respect.

  3. Japanese emigrants helped develop the Brazilian coffee industry. Many found work on Brazilian coffee plantations and later went on to run their own.

  4. Japan has contributed to significant innovations in coffee, having developed and popularised many brewing techniques and equipment, such as pour-over, siphons, and flannel dripped coffee.

  5. Within Japan, a coffee shop is called a Kissaten, which directly translates to ‘tea-drinking shop’ but is a traditional Japanese style of coffee shop.

  6. In 1940, just as coffee had begun to cement itself as part of the Japanese lifestyle, Japan entered the Second World War, and promptly banned imports of coffee. Thankfully, the ban was lifted in 1950, and coffee consumption accelerated, particularly in at-home coffee drinking.

  7. The first canned coffee was first invented in Japan in the 1960s by our own Father of Coffee, Tadao Ueshima - a pivotal moment Japan’s coffee culture evolution. We even hold a Guinness World Record for the longest-selling ready-to-drink canned coffee.

  8. Coffee is usually enjoyed black; traditionally they believe in enjoying the coffee in its most natural state to taste and experience its full flavour.

  9. Do you know how to order a coffee in Japanese?
    “Hello, can I order a small black coffee, please” in Japanese is “Kon'nichiwa, chīsana small burakkukōhī o chūmon dekimasu ka itadakemasu ka?”

  10. In Japan, the number one coffee brand is Ueshima Coffee Company or better known as UCC, a global coffee business started by Tadao Ueshima in 1933. So, for almost 200 years, Ueshima Coffee Company has been an essential part of Japanese coffee culture,

For tips to help you in your own pursuit of coffee perfection, visit our coffee blog.