Coffee Culture in Japan
The Japanese, famous for the tribute they pay to tea making and tasting, are also genuine coffee lovers, in fact they are considered responsible for creating the Great South American coffee potency that was for a long time among the world’s leading coffee importers. The Japanese have their particular way of preparing coffee, and in recent years the coffee culture has been gaining popularity in this country, especially among the young people.
History of coffee in Japan,
For the record, coffee was introduced to Japan in the 17th century by the Dutch. The cafés, as we know them, appeared very late in the 90s. Before that there were the “kissaten”, dark and enclosed places much less welcoming than modern coffee shops as we know them.
It quickly attracted people who wanted to socialize and use pool tables and board games. It wasn’t long before they started spreading across other parts of Japan, attracting an audience who wanted a place to relax.
The Japanese coffee market is very dynamic as Japan is one of the largest coffee importing countries in the world. In fact, coffee sales are much higher than tea sales. Surprising, right?
In the land of the Rising Sun, the espresso has more and more followers. However, the Japanese don’t see coffee as just a way to start the day off with vitality, they are also lovers of gourmet coffee and put great attention to the way of coffee preparation.
Throughout the country you can find a few cafes known as “Kissaten” which is a plece where they start the coffee preparation from the very beginning. They roast the coffee beans, grind it and brew it to the cup after it’s being filtered through the traditional filters of fabric. In these cafeterias you can usually have a classic and cozy experience.
Coffee, tea and juices are served in Japanese coffees, of course, and most offer toast, sandwich and light meals. But the main feature of the menu is almost always coffee. Some cafes stand out in the particular search for your perfect cup of coffee. They are purists who favor a certain type of coffee variety, some special method of roasting, their own technique of presentation or their exclusive type of serving cups. As for the final product, the possibilities are surprisingly numerous, as they use filtered coffee using only Kilimanjaro or Moka grind coffee, or some particular mixing of different varieties in varying proportions.
Japanese value the art of making good coffee, more than the actual body(taste) of coffee itself, they value its subtlety and the cult of its preparation.
Coffee consumption in Japan
First of all, they see coffee as a luxury product. This is why the taste is very attached to the quality of their coffee. This is due to the sensitivity of their palaces.
Many chains like Starbucks exist in the country. In fact, Japan is the first country where Starbucks has relocated outside the US. Their stores appeared in 1996 in Tokyo in the small neighborhood of Ginza. Now there are no less than 1,000 in Japan. Japanese people like to go there with friends, to work or simply to drink good coffee. But at the office it’s something else. Businessmen go to the Konbini (a small 24-hour Japanese convenience store) to buy a freshly ground coffee at only 100 yen! Then they head to their company, with a cup in hand, to drink a great coffee in the office that is still warm!
We also know that Japan is home to vending machines. They can be found on every street corner by the dozen and even in all corporate buildings. Soda, hot drinks, noodles, you name it, you’re bound to find your happiness. The most drunk coffee in Japan is coffee in a can. Yes, you’re not misreading! Hot or cold, it is convenient and transportable anywhere. One company has even developed a new concept : self-heating cans for working people. In addition, they are environmentally friendly too!
How they drink coffee in Japan
Small trendy coffee shops blossom all over the archipelago, offering exquisite roasted drinks to satisfy even the most tedious of caffeine addicts.
Japan imports about 450,000 tons of coffee a year, standing just behind the United States and Germany, and prides itself on being among the world’s top experts in coffee making art. The best barista in the archipelago says that “the fact that tea cultivation already existed as tradition in the country, helped Japan appreciate coffee as a luxury product”.
How Japanese make their coffee and how they like it
Coffee consumption in Japan is booming right now and is often referred as the “third wave of coffee” that is taking Japan by storm. Actually Japan is the 4th largest coffee consumer in the world, so it’s not surprising Japanese know how to enjoy their coffee.
The type of coffee which is very trendy nowadays in Japan is iced coffee and the countless latte variations that are seen as a form of art by some and which you can find in every coffee shop thorough the country.
Iced coffee has been a hot topic in recent years, especially in Japan, and rightly so. It’s delicious! But I bet a lot of you haven’t tried Japanese iced coffee yet.
How to make Japanese iced coffee
The biggest problem with iced coffee is the method of brewing. Cold brewing methods take a long time and simply cannot extract all the complex flavors that can be found in coffee beans. That’s where Japanese iced coffee comes in. Using this method, you can enjoy an iced coffee that is filled with flavor and is just a cut above all other cold brewing methods.
What is Japanese iced coffee?
Japanese iced coffee refers to an infusion method that first gained importance in Japan. Half the water you use during the brewing process is ice instead of hot water.
This coffee is prepared using a manual drip or pour over coffee maker or other methods of brewing and is usually made with a batch of double strength coffee. The result is a stronger iced coffee delight for the senses filled with flavor that is perfect as a drink during a hot summer afternoon.
What you will need to make it
Before we begin, we need to make sure that we have everything we need for this amazingly simple and delicious brewing method. Below you will find the tools and ingredients you will need:
- Ice cubes
- Manual drip coffee machine
- Fresh ground coffee
- Hot water
As you can see, you don’t really need a lot of equipment or ingredients to make this type of coffee, but we recommend using a suitable type of coffee maker for this work, as this is the only way to correctly reproduce this style of Japanese iced coffee.
And here is a nice and easy recipe for making your perfect Japanese iced coffee at home.
Preparation of Japanese iced coffee
Are you ready to start making your cup of Japanese iced coffee? Well, if you are, lets begin:-).
For the purposes of this tutorial, we will make a single cup of Japanese iced coffee.
Step 1: measure your ice
First, add your ice cubes to your coffee maker. For best results, make sure you use a kitchen scale. For a cup of Japanese iced coffee, add 200 grams of ice to the coffee maker, which should be about half your finished volume.
Step 2: grind your coffee
Grind your coffee of choice and measure about 30 grams of coffee for each cup of brewed coffee. For best results, try using a moderately coarse grain. If you don’t have a handy scale, each tablespoon is equal to about 5 grams of coffee.
Step 3: boil your water
Boil your water until it reaches a temperature between 90° and 96°. Once it reaches this temperature, remove immediately from heat.
Step 4: brew the coffee
Pour the hot water on the ground coffee. We will make a 400 ml cup and we already have 200 grams of ice, so add 200 ml of hot water. During this process, hot coffee pours onto the ice, melting it while releasing some of the rich and wonderful flavors of coffee.
Step 5: pour into your cup and serve
During the brewing process, much of the ice will melt. The point is to melt it all down, but if there’s any left, don’t worry. You will always have an incredible aroma of Japanese iced coffee. Pour the coffee into a glass and enjoy your refreshing iced coffee. It’s really the perfect choice for a hot summer afternoon.
Japanese iced coffee is one of the easiest methods of brewing coffee and it creates a cold coffee that is really unique thanks to the unique brewing method. The end result is a delicious cup of iced coffee that contains almost no ice, and the taste and flavors that it brings are truly authentic and special.
If you are looking for a new way to enjoy your favorite coffee, we highly recommend this method. Then try it and let us know what you think of the results. We’re sure you’ll be thrilled and since it’s easy, we bet you’ll start enjoying this iced coffee all the summer.
For inspiration look at this video on how to make iced coffee Japanese style:
In order to enjoy you favorite coffee everyday you will need the right tools, so next we are looking at some of the recommended accessories and coffee machines that would ensure you make the best cup every time.
Best coffee grinders and coffee machines to use for your Japanese style coffee
Best coffee grinder for Japanese coffee
If you like good things in coffee, it is better to grind your own beans. Freshly ground coffee plays a surprising role in the flavor of your final cup. So, you have to make sure you know what you’re doing when you buy a coffee grinder.
If you want to try any method of preparing coffee, be it the French press, Aeropress or even the simple pour over coffee maker, you need to be able to adjust your coffee grind to get the best results. You don’t want to pursue the promise of magic coffee results of the French press, that is full-bodied and tasty, and then find yourself with a mediocre infusion because you used pre-ground coffee.
However, if you are new to the game, we understand that it can be difficult to choose a good grinder. This is why we weighed the pros and cons of ceramic and stainless steel coffee grinders.
Points to consider
For many of us, cost can be a determining factor in the selection of coffee machines. The breakdown of costs between these two options is as follows:
For a quality ceramic coffee grinder, you will probably pay more higher price at the begining. However, ceramic grinders need to be replaced much less frequently than stainless steel grinders, which reduces the recurring costs for you.
On the other hand, stainless steel grinders tend to be cheaper initially, but their blades deform and wear out faster than ceramic grinders. That means your first steel grinder probably won’t be the last.
But the main thing that has an impact on the cost of a coffee grinder is whether it is automatic or manual, and not the material of the blade.
Automatic or manual
When you choose a coffee grinder, you should also decide whether it will be automatic or manual. Steel blades are generally better for automatic machines, while ceramic blades are generally better when used with manual grinders.
Either material will work well in most cases, so it won’t make a huge difference whatever option you choose.
Best electric Milk frother for making Japanese coffee
Homgeek Milk Frother
The Homgeek electric milk frother quickly produces a creamy milk foam from whole milk, skimmed milk, soy milk, etc…thanks to the high performance motor. The heating temperature is up to 65 degrees.
The unit has a removable container, which is easily detachable from the main body. The container is vacuum insulated and of high quality and can keep milk or milk foam hot or cold.
– Safe non-stick coating: cleaning the inside is quick and easy thanks to the non-stick coating that does not leave trace elements in your milk.
– Silent, safe and intelligent design: silent operation during foaming. Strix temperature controllers meet international safety standards.
– Smart Design: automatic stop function once the milk has reached an adequate temperature and a good consistency. Overheat protection and internal thermostat to monitor the foaming process. Stop at any time if you wish by pressing the button.
- Cold milk foam in about 1 minute.
- Comfortable, removable base.
- Easy to use and clean.
What is an Electric Milk Frother?
Everyone likes to wake up with a frothy cappuccino or a smooth latte. It’s one of life’s simple pleasures that gets you off to a good start of the day.
But in the past, if you wanted to enjoy this pleasure, you had to buy a special coffee machine just to make the foam. It was a very expensive little pleasure because the machines could cost more than $1000. Frankly, I don’t think anyone can justify spending so much money on milk foaming.
Fortunately this is no longer the case.
We now have electric milk frothers that create a delicious foam to complement your morning infusion. They are 20 times cheaper and concentrate on one task: good foam making.
But what you may not know is there are two types of frothy milk. Compare the two, so that you can decide which model is best for you.
The disadvantage of manual milk frothers is that you will need to heat your milk separately in a microwave oven or on a stove before you start foaming.
Automatic Milk Frother
Automatic milk frothers combine the functions of milk heating and foaming into a single product. They work by using induction coils to heat the milk in the pouring machine while simultaneously using a motorized whisk to create a tasty foam. This means you don’t have to play with your microwave and you have less to clean up.
I’m a fan of devices that makes any process easier. That’s why I prefer automatic milk frothers over the manual ones.
Important Points to Consider
Types of Milk
While all milk frothers can perfectly froth cow’s milk, some struggle with the thickness, fat and density of other types of milk.
So make sure the machine you buy is compatible to make your favorite milk foam.
Some electric milk frother machines have an integrated temperature control to meet your needs as you see fit.
They can both cool and heat up your milk and all you need is to select the order by pressing the corresponding button.
In general, milk frothers are not supplied with this feature due to their low cost and minimalist design.
If you’re ready to go crazy, then look for a foamer whose main building material is stainless steel.
Glass is another option you can consider. Although fragile, it is a material that lends itself well to milk foam.
Whatever the composition of the main body, there will certainly be plastic parts, especially on the handles and lids. Generally units offered on the market all have high quality plastic components and they do not come into contact with milk.
If you’re new to milk frothing, you’d be surprised how expensive they’ve become for the most sophisticated models. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up paying an exaggerated price for extra features you don’t even need.
Determine clearly what your needs are and decide why you need an electric frother in the first place. For example, do you only want to foam your milk or be able to heat and cool it as well?
Manual milk foams are not necessarily accompanied by a warranty. And when they are, they’re surprisingly expensive.
Electric models benefit from a limited warranty of two years on average. Be sure to check this before making a purchase.
Best siphon coffee maker
As a full-time coffee enthusiast, I am excited by the various unique coffee preparation methods, but none excites me as much as the siphon coffee maker (also called vacuum coffee machine or vacuum coffee maker).
Today, I’m going to introduce you to the best siphon coffee maker of the moment.
If you use Google to search for vacuum or siphon coffee machines, to find out more about these vintage machines, chances are the Hario Technica coffee siphon is the same funky machine you’ve seen several times.
This siphon coffee maker seems to be popping up everywhere, in traditional coffees, in trendy coffees and in many YouTube videos. And for a good reason.
Thanks to the Japanese tendency for simple and efficient design, the Hario Technica is one of the favorite coffee machines for coffee lovers.
The quality of this siphon coffee maker overshadows most of the other coffee siphon makers. Thanks to the reliability of the brand, you will not encounter any of the problems (fragility, loose construction and bad drainage) that seem to occur on some of the other brands.
The Hario Technica is a self-contained siphon coffee machine that will impress at first glance. It comes in two versions (three cups or two cups) and is equipped with its own alcohol lamp.
If you are looking for a classic siphon coffee machine with an authentic vintage design, it should be at the top of your list.
- A simple and efficient design makes the Hario Technica easy to use and clean.
- Good price/quality ratio.
- Rustic glass is less likely to break than other vacuum coffee maker models.
- It uses a fabric filter that tends to get dirty quickly.
- The alcohol lamp is slow to heat the water
And another popular option for a syphon coffee maker you may look at: