A Few Words on Beer & Coffee in Japan

Sake & Green Tea aren’t the only drinks on offer in Japan. In fact, beer and coffee are super common and come in a brilliant array of flavors and classes.

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Beer & Coffee in Japan

When you think of Japanese people you often think of sake and green tea. And you’d be right to a degree, Japanese people do love those traditional drinks, but you also might be surprised how much Japanese people drink beer and coffee. Yes, these western drinks make up a big portion of what Japanese people consume on a daily basis.

Coffee in a can? Yes Please!

You can find a cafe on almost every corner in any major city in Japan. They have Kissa-ten cafes for the older crowds where they can chat with old friends and smoke a cigarette (unfortunately you can still smoke in the older cafes). You also have Starbucks catering to the younger crowds with their milkshake type of lattes and Japanese-specific drinks.

You also have several specialty shops that focus on different types of coffee brewing processes. You have the Holland-style of coffee brewing where water is slowly dripped into coffee mash and aerated through a funnel  for a unique flavor profile.

Most companies offer free coffee to their employees just like any other major western company would. You can also find freshly brewed coffee at any major convenience store where you have the option to drink ice coffee or hot coffee.

Funny enough,  you can also get hot coffee from vending machines in a ready sealed can. So if you’re a coffee lover, like I am, then you’ll be right at home in Japan.

First & Third Beers?

Beer has been in Japan since the late eighteen hundreds when William Copeland arrived in Kanagawa and established the first brewery. Ever since then beer became a major recreational drink,  several famous breweries sprouted in Japan as a response to  public demand. These breweries are Asahi, Kirin, Suntory, and Ebisu!

But the story doesn’t end there, craft beer has also made its mark with the Japanese people. There are so many microbreweries popping up  in several different rural locations in Japan.

And let’s not forget about the beer gardens which is a big thing here during the hot summer months. You can also find delicious beer right alongside coffee in all the major convenience stores in Japan.

Beer is taxed more than any other drink in Japan, so this has given rise to a whole new class of the third level beers called Happoshu. They get around the beer tax laws by adding in new ingredients that circumvent the need to pay the beer tax.

So a regular can of beer might cost you around 300 yen but Happoshu might run around the 190 yen mark.

Drink Up!

If you decide to make Japan your home or you want to visit, rest assured that your favorite drinks are readily available here. You won’t be alone drinking beer at the bar or drinking coffee in a cafe.