I love coffee. No, seriously, I LOVE coffee. My day officially starts after my first cup of coffee. Now there are dark, medium and light blends of coffee, and I personally like dark blends for their robust flavors. In America, you can find a Starbucks coffee chain on every block, so you would never worry about not having coffee. While contemplating going to Japan, I obviously had to research the coffee game in Japan to ensure that my caffeine addiction could be accommodated.
To my delight, I found that coffee shops are extremely prominent in Japan. In fact, the Starbuck in Ginza, which opened in 1996, was the first Starbucks that was outside of the US, which led the way for Starbucks to expand across the world. Despite only being popularized in the last hundred years or so, coffee has caught on in Japan like wildfire. A year after Starbucks debuted in Japan, Dotour opened the Excelsior Cafe coffee chain, which is spread all across Japan.
The popularity of coffee was so incredibly overwhelming that as a result, Japan has become the third largest importer of coffee beans in the world, with thousands of coffee shops embedded across the country. This is an example of how western culture can have such a great impact in east asian countries.
Like many imported goods and consumables, the market has influenced the creation of unique drink flavors more palatable to the Japanese public, such as the incorportation of Matcha into their drinks. Slowly, these flavors found their way back to America, which are now widely available at most Starbucks locations.
Since then, coffee has found its way into the Japanese consumer market in canned form, as well as the formation of independent coffee shops throughout Japan.
I think it is safe to say that when I eventually make my trip to Japan, I won’t have to undergo caffeine withdrawal, and will still be able to function as a human being.