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Coffee in Japan

Written by Catunambú.

Japanese people are known because of the care of their tea preparation and tasting but they are also coffee lovers. In fact, they are considered the creators of the great coffee business in South America: they were during a long time between the main importers of coffee worldwide. They have their own way to make coffee and the coffee culture has recently increased followers especially between young people.

Coffee was introduced in Japan in 1887. In 1888, the first café in the country was opened in Ueno district (Tokio) and was built like the Parisian cafés that were opened in that city around the year 1600. Soon, this café attracted people who wanted to socialize and play pool and board games. It did not last long until more cafés were opened all over Japan to attract a kind of public who wanted a place to relax.

Still, this situation has changed since those years. The imports of coffee in Japan reach nowadays more than 400 thousand of tons from more than 40 countries and the country has become the third importer all over the world.

Japanese coffees have evolved in different ways through the time, reflecting the social habits changes and preferences of the people.

In the Land of the Rising Sun, the espresso is more and more followed. In fact, Japanese people don’t consider coffee just like a way to begin the day with energy but like a gourmet product. They pay attention to how to prepare coffee; they do it in a traditional way and buy high quality coffee, that’s why they brew it slowly and carefully.

There are all over the country cafés known as “kissaten” where coffee is made from the beginning: they roast the coffee beans, ground it and arrive to the cup after being filtered through a traditional cloth filter. These cafés are built with a classic, pleasant and cozy atmosphere.

In Japanese cafés, you can have, of course, coffee, tea and juices and the most of them offer toasts, sandwiches and light meals. Some of them are remarked because they search the best coffee cup. They are purists who prefer a certain kind of bean, some kind of special roasting, their very own kind of filtering coffee or their own kind of cups. The final product can be as different as the number of the producers because they use filtered coffee using only Kilimanjaro beans or moka, or maybe any particular blend of different varieties in different proportions.

Japanese people appreciate the art of making a good coffee, not only the body of the coffee but above all its finesse and the cult of its preparation.

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