Earlier, I published an article about the major Japanese tea manufacturers and their best sellers on Japanese Green Tea Co. Blog. The article became very popular so it was only a matter of time before I decided to do the same from a coffee standpoint.
Towards the end of the 1960s there was a major change in the way the Japanese purchased drinks and that was because vending machines were installed in various places throughout the country.
In fact, I’ve already posted an article about how the vending machine changed Japan’s coffee culture where I also talk about a few popular canned coffee brands. Today I want to present to you these brands and their best sellers.
- UCC (Ueshima Coffee Co.)
- BOSS Coffee (made by Suntory)
- Fire by Kirin
- DyDo Drinco
- Wonda by Asahi
With so many to choose from, you are guaranteed to find one you like!Back To Top
UCC (Ueshima Coffee Co.)
In 1933, Tadao Ueshima - "the father of coffee in Japan" founded UCC (Ueshima Coffee Co.) and established the industry's first roasting plants, production facilities, coffee shops, plantations and global networks through cooperation and thus established itself as the driving force of coffee culture worldwide.
UCC introduced the world to the very first canned coffee in 1969 and it was such a big success, other companies started producing their own canned coffee soon after. (I have written a whole article about UCC here if you are interested in learning about the company)
Their line of coffee beverages includes both canned and bottled coffees:Back To Top
UCC Milk Coffee was launched in 1969 as the world's first canned coffee beverage. This is a sweetened coffee drink that you can enjoy both hot and cold. A true classic!Back To Top
UCC Black Unsweetened is the company’s pioneering black coffee drink. It contains ready-to-drink unsweetened black coffee that has a bold flavour and smooth finish. You can find the Black series in cans, paper cartons and plastic bottles plus they also offer a cold brew option.Back To Top
Kona coffee is the name for the coffee that has been cultivated on the island of Hawaii. UCC has its own Hawaiian Coffee Farm where they grow their coffee for their famous Hawaii Kona Blend. The coffee is sweetened and you can enjoy it hot or cold.Back To Top
BOSS Coffee (made by Suntory)
BOSS Coffee is owned by Suntory, a Japanese multinational distilling company. BOSS is currently the No.1 canned coffee brand in Japan. The coffee beans are sourced from the best Colombian and Brazilian farms, then they are brewed and canned in Japan and exported in many countries around the world including the U.S.A.
They have launched the famous Flash Brew range, meaning the temperature is high when they brew the coffee, then they chill it rapidly to create an authentic 'flash brew'. This allows for a bolder flavor with a smoother aftertaste without negative bitterness. The Flash Brew range includes:
BOSS’s Cold Black Coffee has zero sugar, only 10 calories, and the equivalent of a doubleshot of espresso! It’s basically perfect for your early morning or mid-afternoon boost.Back To Top
For their Café Au Lait, UCC uses coffee beans primarily from Brazilian farms. The coffee has a full body with a delicious balance of milk and sugar and a silky smooth finish. Perfect for those who love milk in their coffee!Back To Top
The Rainbow Mountain Blend is a different category altogether when it comes to canned coffee! UCC uses a blend of beans only from Guatemala, a country well-known for its aromatic and unique coffee. The result is a well-balanced aromatic coffee with milk and sugar that has a rich flavour and an extra caffeine kick! Also a favourite of Alien Jones!Back To Top
Georgia Coffee is one of Coca-Cola Japan's brands and since its launch in 1975, Georgia has been a favourite of many people. Its range includes the famous and long-selling Georgia Emerald Mountain Blend, while the rest of the Georgia lineup comprises a variety of rich flavours.
The company is known for its dedication to quality beans and production methods. The brand name is derived from the state of Georgia, U.S.A., the birthplace of Coca-Cola. Some of its most famous coffee drinks include”
Emerald Mountain Blend is Georgia’s #1 beverage in Japan. The coffee beans have its origin in Colombia and every can of Georgia Emerald Mountain coffee has an explanation about the origin and coffee bean picking process.
The blend of fragrant Colombian beans in combination with the richness of whole milk result in a creamy mouthfeel, a well balanced flavour and a lingering velvety aftertaste.
The Classic Original is a unique coffee by Georgia as it uses milk exclusively from Hokkaido, a region famous for its dairy. This popular coffee blend has been around since 1975 and it is sweeter and milkier than most other Georgia Coffee lines. It also features 35% more content. You can drink the Classic Original hot or cold.Back To Top
Georgia has collaborated with the specialty coffee shop “Sarutahiko Coffee”, for its the newest series that is aimed at young people who prefer black coffee.. With the Roastery Black, Georgia introduces us to a simple and yet delicious coffee. This is a perfect coffee can to give you a bit of a caffeine boost without the sugar or milk. The deep roasted coffee beans result in an intense coffee aroma and a clean aftertaste.Back To Top
Based in Osaka, Sangaria is one of Japan's most famous and established Japanese beverage companies. Their slogan, "Ichi, Ni, Sangaria" (いち、に、サングリア！) which translates to "one, two, sangaria!" is a very well-known slogan amongst the Japanese. Sangaria has reached a high status in Japanese popular culture with classic beverages like ramune and green tea but they also offer coffee options.Back To Top
Sangaria Crown Coffee Cafe Au Lait is a top quality café au lait coffee with a mild coffee aroma and mellow flavour, made from carefully selected coffee beans and whole milk. A perfect coffee for those who prefer subtle and mild flavours but do not want to compromise quality.Back To Top
Fire by Kirin
Kirin is actually a brewing company most known in Japan and the world for its two famous beers: Kirin Lager and Kirin Ichiban. Although the company primarily focuses on brewing, it has tapped into production of other goods such as soft drinks, hard liquor, food and coffee. Their coffee series is called Fire and it’s quite popular in Japan.
What’s also noteworthy is that Kirin recognises the public’s need for a more sustainable coffee product and so they have been helping coffee farms to obtain sustainable coffee certifications. Actions like conserving water and protecting rivers from pollution are helping the coffee farmers and thus ensuring Kirin has a better quality coffee product too.Back To Top
Drinking black coffee is an essential in everyday life in Japan and Kirin knows this. This is why its Fire Smoked Black canned coffee is of great quality. This coffee has a deep, rich authentic black coffee flavour with smokey notes and a smooth aftertaste.
Anyone can tell that Kirin is using the best quality beans and ingredients to achieve this result. Fire Smoked Black is a great option to drink at any stage of the day. Its subtle cocoa notes make it ideal for breakfast while it's also idea for a lunch break or pairing with a dessert.
This milk-based coffee is the perfect combination of the famous aromatic Kirin coffee beans, a splash of milk and some sweet cream. Unlike other milk-based coffees, this one is only slightly sweetened, perfect as an afternoon delight for those in need of that caffeine hit. Plus you can enjoy this hot or cold so it’s an all-year rounder!Back To Top
Dydo is another major company in the beverage sector in Japan. Its most popular product is coffee, although they also produce other goods like tea, carbonated drinks, mineral water and juice-based drinks.
Regarding their coffee, Dydo takes great pride in the quality of their beans and the fact that they use no artificial flavours so that the buyer can taste the true flavour of the coffee bean. Their series includes a wide range of coffee drinks with the most famous being their Blend Demitasse series.Back To Top
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The Dydo Blend Demitasse series is the company’s number one best-selling series and for a good reason. One of the products from the series is the Dydo Blend Demitasse Fine Sugar canned coffee, which is the perfect blend of quality coffee beans, extracted coffee oil and Hokkaido butter and mlk. This makes for a rich coffee drink with a lingering aftertaste. The perfect balance of creamy milk and delicious coffee.
Dydo Milk Coffee
For their milk coffee, Dydo uses dark roasted coffee beans, Hokkaido fresh cream and milk. This combination results in a full-bodied coffee drink with intense coffee flavour that is balanced by the sweetness of the Hokkaido cream. A great coffee drink for those who love their coffee bold and strong but also milky and creamy.Back To Top
Dydo Black Barista Blend
Dydo is really stepping up their game with this bend and show that they are a company who recognises recent trends in coffee and offer their consumers top quality products. The Black Barista Blend by Dydo is a coffee that has been supervised by Pete Licata the 2013 barista world champion.
There are 20 types of roasted coffee beans used to create this drink, which give it its famous sharp and full coffee flavour, without any artificial flavourings or sugar. By bringing a barista champion on board, Dydo manages to offer yet another innovative coffee drink which showcases why Dydo coffee is so popular in Japan.
Wonda by Asahi
Asahi is primarily a soft drinks company, however they also sell canned coffee, tea and flavoured water. Their coffee series is called Wonda and includes products such as the
Wonda Morning Shot, the Wonda Gold Quality and the Wonda Kiwami Black
The brand name is derived from the English word “wonderful”. The brand was Asahi’s wish to create a new type of canned coffee that is refreshing and makes you feel good once you taste it. The unique brand name is an effort to reach out to people who wish to make their life more wonderful.
The Wonda Morning Shot canned coffee drink is the company’s number one seller and just as the name describes, it’s the perfect coffee to have first thing in the morning. As the Wonda slogan goes, this is "the coffee with perfect taste and feeling to greet every morning". With sugar and cream already added in, this is for many Japanese people the number one choice for their first caffeine intake for the day.Back To Top
Wonda Gold Quality
Asahi is using 100% Arabica top quality beans for its Gold Quality blend. This is a coffee drink with a deep and rich aroma, full-bodied flavour and less sugar than the usual blends. The additional cream and sugar offer the perfect balance in flavour. You can enjoy this coffee at any time of the day, either hot or cold.Back To Top
Kiwami is the Japanese word for extreme and yes this coffee is extremely black in flavour. Asahi’s focus here is to offer a deep dark roasted flavour of their coffee beans so that the consumer will be able to experience the authentic flavour of their coffee. With no sugar added, this is the perfect choice for those who love their coffee black, sharp and bold.
So, here we are! And I can already guess what you are thinking: there are so many canned coffee drinks to choose from, where do I start? Well, you can definitely see this as an adventure into the world of canned coffee.
The truth is you can have a lot of fun trying different ones and figuring out which one is your favorite. I hope that this article will help get you started and that now you understand a bit more about Japan’s canned coffee culture. Enjoy!
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*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.
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