Coffee to go in Japan!

machi_cafe

Yo, it’s Mr. Wada on duty. Right now I’m in a hurry to grab some coffee (dying from thirst). On the way I’m sharing some info where you can get coffee instantly in situations like mine right now (shhhh, don’t ask for details!).

 

Places for coffee to go in Japan!

After reading Mrs. Wada’s report here, instant coffee isn’t bad after all hah? Coffee to go in Japan, which used to be just cheap & low quality, is not only cheap but actually good nowadays. I’ve listed up some of them to compare. Check it out.

Note: Stars for evaluation are all based on my opinion. Nothing serious.

1. Convenience stores

Lawson: Machi cafe

machi_cafe

Seven Eleven: SEVEN cafe

SEVEN cafe
Any of the convenience store coffee today is fairly good (enough). With coffee machines installed, fresh coffee are now served (do I sound like from a TV commercial?). As you press the start button, it goes through the whole process of brewing from grinding coffee beans to dripping . It’s reasonable as well from a price of 100 yen. Grab & go!

SPEED
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PRICE
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QUALITY
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2. Fast food

McDonald’s
McCafe_Coffee

(Photo credit: MIKI Yoshihito)

The world-famous American franchise has improved its coffee. I suppose it isn’t bad, though I wouldn’t feel comfortable to get only a cup of coffee there. Less points given (personally).

SPEED
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PRICE
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3. Vending machines (canned coffee)

As TV commercials say “canned coffee has improved its taste, now as good as regular dripped coffee”.

vending_machine_01
vending_machine_02

It is not so bad and that it’s available in every vending machine (there are millions of them in Japan) which adds up extra points!

SPEED
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PRICE
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4. Cafes

Drive through is available at some cafes.

starbucks_drive_thru

(Photo credit: Brad Reeser)

Unfortunately cafes tend to be busy. Less points given.
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SPEED
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PRICE
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QUALITY
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My opinion

What do you think?  For me, convenience store coffee seem good in total because it’s available mostly anywhere, reasonable, and I don’t encounter long lineup that often. You might want to compare and taste the differences yourself.

Ok, I think I’ve found a place to quench my thirst. I will be in touch in a week. See you around.


How to make your instant coffee taste better

Better Taste Instant Coffee: Instant coffee powder-closeup

Hi! I’m Mrs. Wada reporting on duty.

Better Taste Instant Coffee: Mrs. Wada's regular instant coffee powder
My regular instant coffee powder.

Do you drink coffee? I hope you do, because as the title suggests, it will be all about coffee. I’ll be talking specifically about black coffee using an instant coffee powder. Last year, I learned something from one of my favorite Japanese TV shows “Tameshite Gatten” — how to make instant coffee taste better. Not by adding any thing like milk, creamer or something similar but by the way of preparing it. So, if you regularly drink coffee at home, I bet you have all the stuff we need to try this method I’m going to share.

But first, let me ask you, how do you usually prepare your coffee?

I think most of us do almost exactly the same way. Put some coffee powder to the cup, pour hot water, mix and viola!, ready to drink. Or add some sugar, milk or creamer to make it easy to drink. What if you can drink it even without adding any thing extra? Here’s the method I learned:

Preparing a good coffee with “Gatten-style”

1. Put your regular amount of coffee powder into your mug and add 1 tablespoon of water.
2. Mix well until no lumps are left.
3. Then, add hot water.

Isn’t it simple? It might take an extra time to melt the powder but to level up your usual black coffee, why not right?

Why mix coffee powder with small amount of water first?

According to the show, coffee powder contains starch just like cornstarch. Remember when using cornstarch to make your sauce thicker when cooking? We usually mix it with water first before pouring it to the soup to avoid lumps, right? It’s the same concept with coffee. Without mixing it first with a small amount of water, there might be some lumps of coffee powder left. And when you drink it, then you’ll taste the bitterness. This also applies to corn soup powder and cocoa powder.

Still not convinced? I wasn’t also at first, so I did the same experiment I saw on the show.

Regular coffee preparation versus the Gatten-style

So, I prepared two the same mugs. I prepared coffee in a usual way while on the other mug, I followed the Gatten-style.

Better taste instant coffee: Put your regular amount of instant coffee to your mug
Instant coffee powder first…
Better taste instant coffee: Mix with small amount of water first
Next, a small amount of water.

Here’s how it looks like after mixing well.
Tip: I figured out it’s a lot easier and faster to mix using a plastic spoon.

Better taste instant coffee: After mixing well
Mix, mix, mix!
Better taste instant coffee: Clear bubbles
Ta dah! Your Gatten-style instant black coffee.

See that clear bubbles? Compared to the regular preparation of instant coffee below, pictured before mixing up.

Better Taste Instant Coffee: Finished shot; regular style
Regular preparation of instant coffee

So how’s the taste then? Indeed, there really is difference. The one by Gatten-style is mild and easy to drink. There is no bitter after-taste unlike the regular one. Ever since I tried this, I’m already alright drinking coffee without adding any sugar, milk or creamer. It’s nice to enjoy coffee without extra calorie.

Try it yourself, compare the two different methods and let me know how it turned out. Enjoy your black instant coffee.

That’s it for now guys.