coffee

“Solid Sato” sneaks into Starbucks under cover of cardboard box, Metal Gear-style 【VIDEO】

Our resident oddball writer Mr. Sato loves his coffee, so much so that he finds it impossible to pass by a Starbucks without stopping in for a quick coffee break. The only problem is that he tends to favour “girly” drinks like frappuccinos, and lives in fear of being spotted by friends and acquaintances enjoying one.

The solution? Sneak into Starbucks underneath a cardboard box, Solid Snake-style, and see if the baristas will serve coffee to a cardboard box. Check out our video to see how he did!

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Starbucks comes to Tottori, local coffee chain’s poster compares it to Perry arriving in Japan

With Starbucks having won the loyalty of so many customers in so many countries, sometimes it seems like the Seattle-based coffee giant has a location in every corner of the world. There’s still at least one place that’s Starbucks-free, though, and that’s Tottori, the last prefecture in Japan without a branch of its own.

The situation is about to change, though, as Starbucks is set to open its first Tottori location this week. Local coffeehouse chain Sunaba Coffee, whose name is almost an exact copy of Starbucks’ Japanese nickname, is bracing for the impact of its new competitor by guaranteeing its product tastes just as good as Starbucks’, while making the humble request that customers get one out of every three coffee fixes at Sunaba.

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How to make the perfect cup of drip coffee

Coffee. It’s the morning drop that most of us like to wake up to. But there’s more to the beloved beverage than just beans and hot water, as there’s a science and art to making good drip coffee, and once you’ve mastered the proper brewing technique for the perfect cup, you’ll never be able to put up with a bad one again.

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Starbucks Japan to release frozen drink maker for homemade cool refreshments

Who’s ready for the hot and humid summer? We’re approaching the second half of spring here in Japan, so that means it’s almost time to get out those Cool Biz clothes and your sweat towels, because this summer is bound to be as uncomfortably muggy as always.

Starbucks has your back this year though. Later this month they’ll be releasing the “Starbucks Frozen Drink Maker” – a reusable mug that doubles as a super simple frozen coffee mixer. It’s easy, it’s cold and it’s delicious. Let’s take a look!

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Starbucks to release Almond Milk Latte and Frappuccino in Japan for a limited time

For years, fans of Starbucks have been petitioning the coffee chain for a non-dairy alternative to soy. While the company recently responded by adding coconut milk options to their U.S. menus, lovers of almond milk were left out in the cold due to concerns over nut allergens.

Now, for a limited time, Starbucks Japan will be taking the bold step out into nut allergen territory with the release of the Almond Milk Frappuccino with Honey Crunch and the Almond Milk Latte with Honey Crunch. If you’re in Japan from 18 March to 14 April, you’ll be one of the lucky few to introduce your tastebuds to a sweet treat others can only dream of!

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We follow Twitter recipe to cook “coffee rice”! 【RocketKitchen】

As many of our readers are undoubtedly aware, white rice is an essential part of the Japanese diet, a food that we Japanese treat with reverence. It so happens that we also enjoy various flavored rice dishes known as takikomi gohan, in which rice is cooked with different ingredients to give it a distinct taste. Some of the  common takikomi gohan flavors that we like to have include kuri gohan made with chestnut and  matsutake gohan made with matsutake mushrooms. But a particularly unique kind of flavored rice causing a buzz on the Japanese Internet has come to our attention recently, and as unconventional and unexpected as it sounded, we decided we had to cook and try it for ourselves. The ingredient used in this unusual flavored rice?  It’s something you would ordinarily never associate with rice: coffee!

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Tiramisu soil and a moss parfait: We dig into bonsai treats at Tokyu Hands Cafe

Tokyu Hands is known for its amazing array of goods. From bicycles to Kabuki face masks and everything in between, this is a company that’s built their brand with a focus on providing unique and innovative Japanese products to the local and international market.

Now, the cafe on the top floor of their Shibuya store is also showcasing its creative credibility, by transforming its space into a pop-up Bonsai Cafe, in collaboration with the Omiya Bonsai Museum in Saitama. With miniature trees and special goods on display, here it’s the unusual menu that’s really taking centre stage.

After seeing photos of their special matcha latte, an unusual tiramisu and a parfait served in a bonsai pot, we pulled on our gumboots and headed out on a rainy afternoon to give these treats a try. Come with us as we treat our taste buds to an enchanted walk through a delicious miniature garden.

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Have the “best coffee in Paris” in Tokyo! We visit new Coutume shop in Futakotamagawa

Paris is certainly a city with no shortage of cafes, and when the coffee you’re serving is good enough to be highly praised by discerning Parisians, you’re bound to get noticed — even half way around the world in Tokyo! That’s exactly what’s happened with the cafe Coutume, which opened its third location in Japan earlier this month. The new shop, located in Tokyo’s Futakotamagawa neighborhood, provides a slightly different service style from the first two branches in Japan that opened last year in Aoyama (also in Tokyo) and Osaka.

And of course, we were more than eager to go and check the new shop out on opening day to taste what some people are saying is Paris’ best coffee!

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DyDo’s coffee drink & Nintendo collab: We get nostalgic with limited edition 8-bit Mario figures

If, like me, you’re a tad obsessive when it comes to character goods and love the kitschy cross-promotions that often infiltrate Japanese convenience stores, here’s something that’ll perk you up: beverage company DyDo Drinco recently announced its “Super Mario Bros. Dot Figure Collection” campaign, to commemorate the anniversary of both its canned coffee drink and Nintendo’s worldwide phenomenon of a game.

Read up on the collaboration’s details after the jump and bear with me while I get a little sentimental. Also, thanks to excited YouTuber and goods enthusiast Satoshi Machida, you’ll get a close-up look at the pixelated (but not pixilated) cuties!

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Starbucks sakura series 2015: Caramel, chocolate and a flowery chiffon cake

With Valentine’s Day out of the way, and plum blossoms still in bloom, it’s time for early spring marketing to burst onto the scene in Japan. Leading the pack, as it does every year, is popular coffee chain Starbucks, with the nation’s other favourite flower, the cherry blossom, taking centre stage in their annual line-up of sakura menu items and merchandise.

This year, the humble cherry blossom meets caramel and chocolate in latte and Frappucino forms, and also finds itself in a beautiful pink and white chiffon cake. Curious to know what sakura tastes like when blended with such sweet partners? Join us as we bring you all the photos and flavours from our recent visit.

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Coffee wizard performs snack alchemy in not-so-secret lair

Last week, we gave you a recipe for the tasty caffeinated treat called coffee jelly. This week, we’d like to introduce a coffee shop that is taking that quotidian treat to the next level of taste and presentation. Behold Coffee Suzuki, where the coffee jelly forms right before your very eyes!

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Blue Bottle Coffee opens in Japan to two-hour lines; Mr. Sato gets impatient, goes somewhere else

Would you be willing to wait two hours in line just for a cup of coffee? That’s how long it’d be if you went to the grand opening of Tokyo’s Blue Bottle Coffee, a fancy cafe that prides itself on only using the freshest roast coffee which they make themselves.

For some, like RocketNews24’s own Mr. Sato, that’s just too long a wait for a glorified cup of joe, so after being impressed with how long the lines were, he just went somewhere else for coffee instead.

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7-Eleven’s self-serve coffee machine seriously insults customers’ intelligence

How complicated can a cup of self-serve coffee be? Well, it depends who’s making it. Sometimes little kids and tech-phobic older folks might benefit from a little extra guidance, but your average coffee drinker isn’t too likely to get themselves into too much trouble when using a conbini coffee machine.

So it’s understandable that some people were, quite frankly, shocked and insulted by the plethora of “helpful” stickers plastered all over this 7-Eleven coffee machine. Who knew brewing a cup of machine-made joe required so many complicated steps?

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Make your instant coffee 10 times yummier with this one simple trick

If the title of this article sounds a bit too much like one of those clickbait ads, then don’t worry – this is still RocketNews 24! But seriously, we do really have a pretty simple and easy way to make your coffee taste way yummier, and it’s straight from the wisdom of the dad of one of the writers of our sister site, Pouch. You won’t need any fancy Hello Kitty shaped coffee beans to pull this off (especially since I just made up the existence of Hello Kitty shaped coffee beans), just your regular coffee and some water. So, what’s the magic trick?

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Espresso Patronum! Artist creates awesome artwork on Starbucks’ cardboard cup sleeves

The iconic Starbucks mermaid is an instantly recognisable commercial symbol, up there with McDonald’s golden arches or Nike’s tick. But don’t you get a little bored sometimes with the same old face peering back at your from the cardboard sleeve lovingly hugging your steamy cup of joe? One artist decided to jazz up the old mermaid design using black pen, featuring everyone from Dragon Ball‘s Goku to The Legend of Zelda‘s Link, and the results are kind of awesome!

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Forget panty vending machines – BOGOF canned coffee is all the excitement we need!

If you’ve been to Japan or just watched Japanese movies and TV, you’re bound to have noticed that they have vending machines coming out the wazoo. Seriously, those things are everywhere! Head out to the deepest inaka (countryside) and you’re still bound to run across a random vending machine nestled in the greenery as though it’s been waiting its whole life just to slake your thirst. But with so many vending machines all over the place, drinks companies have had to get competitive, and reports from Twitter speak of a mythical machine that dispenses two for the price of one canned coffee! But just what sort of wizardry is this?

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Attention coffee lovers: The RocketNews24 Ultimate Café Fukuburuko Ranking 2015 is here!

It seems like we’ve been spending every spare moment we have snatching up fukubukuro, the lucky bag bundles that shoppers in Japan buy at New Year’s without knowing what’s inside. As a matter of fact, by the time we stopped and took count, we’d grabbed eight different fukubukuro from cafés near our office.

As a result, we’re pretty much stocked up on coffee for the next couple of weeks. Honestly, we’ve got so much we’d be happy to pour you a cup, if only the RocketNews24 offices had a visitors’ lounge. But since it doesn’t, instead, we’re going to give you the information you need to pick the best café lucky bag for yourself, as we present the RocketNews24 Ultimate Café Fukubukuro Ranking 2015.

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Izumo’s Starbucks, a stone’s throw away from the gathering place of Shinto’s eight million gods

Shintoism has such a large pantheon of gods that the religion even has a structured way in which they all keep in touch with each other. Every October, the deities enshrined across the nation are said to gather in Shimane Prefecture’s Izumo Taisha Shrine, where they convene for their annual divine meeting.

We imagine it’s a busy conference, considering that some eight million deities are thought to attend. So we’re sure several of them were happy to find Izumo City now has a Starbucks, with the same tasty beverages the chain serves all over Japan, but with Japanese décor that’s unique to Izumo.

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Delicious, foamy coffee art at home! We try new 3-D latte art machine “Awataccino”!

As some of our more creative and caffeine-addicted readers might recall, we recently reported that Japan is now supplying a variety of DIY latte-art related goods which will enable anyone to create awe-inspiring masterpieces at home. Of course, we were fascinated by the prospect of being able to stun friends and casual acquaintances with our barista-style foamy coffee sculpting skills. So when the opportunity to test out Takara Tomy’s Awataccino machine came around, we jumped at the chance!

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We head to Nagoya for a nice cup of joe served fresh from a stepladder to your table

They say that in Japan, the city of Nagoya is the fiercest market for cafes and as a result it also has many of the best coffee shops in the country. And in the midst of all these high quality roasts and laid-back atmospheres lies one shop in particular that literally manages to stand above the rest.

It’s called Cafe Tsuzuki and has a poster with the slogan “Coffee Guy’s shop: Night and day unique coffee research.” We sent our reporter Yuichiro Wasai down to inquire about their research, stepladder and all.

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