Exploring Japanese Coffee Culture

The Japanese coffee market is huge and sophisticated. It is one of the foremost coffee consuming countries in the world and is renowned for its association with ultra high-scoring coffees – Japanese coffee roasters often purchase the winning lots at competitions.

History of Coffee Culture in Japan

A kissaten, literally a “tea-drinking shop”, is a Japanese-style tearoom that is also a coffee shop. They developed in the early 20th century as a distinction from a café, as cafés had become places also serving alcohol with noise and celebration. A kissaten was a quiet place to drink coffee and gathering places for writers and intellectuals.

One of the most prominent was hand brewed pour over coffee, which became popular at the turn of the 21st century in many kissatens. Owners would continually develop and tweak their recipes in order to brew the best-tasting coffee, as quality was always a focus for these establishments.

Kissatens themselves have significantly influenced the global third wave coffee movement, perhaps most notably by inspiring some specialty coffee brands, such as Blue Bottle Coffee. Blue Bottle’s founder, James Freeman, first visited a kissaten in 2007, before opening locations in the US which were heavily influenced by Japanese coffee shop culture.

Coffee Trends in Japan

Why Japanese coffee? Modern Japan coffee shops, meanwhile, have become renowned for pioneering new brewing techniques. Just like Japanese-style iced drip coffee, the cold filter coffee beverage is made by extracting hot coffee over ice to highlight its acidity and brightness.

This growing demand for at-home consumption, combined with a passionate segment of specialty coffee consumers, has led Japanese coffee drinkers to become more interested in the coffee they buy.

Due to Covid-19 in 2020, home consumption in japan grew a lot and coffee subscription is becoming another key sales channels to japan coffee roasters. Kappu.io is targeting to promote local and high-quality japan coffee roasters to the international and worldwide market.

The art of Japan in-store Roasting

In the past few decades, Japanese consumers tend to prefer dark roasted coffee but it is changing in latest few years. Coffee which is lightly roasted with a bright and soft acidity is becoming more popular. More and more consumers are starting to enjoy the diversity of coffee.

Also, japan coffee shops roasting their own beans is becoming more and more prominent throughout Japan.  The number of coffee shops with roasters has increased a lot and most of the coffee shops serve specialty coffee only and sell beans to customers directly in the store.