coffee

Kissable coffee cup lids in South Korea bring extra love and awkwardness to every cup

Do you love coffee? Like, really love it? Are you running short on ways to express your true feelings to your latte every morning? Have you ever wanted to make out with your hot beverage friend?

Well now thanks to “Take Kiss Out” coffee lids, you can! Whether you need a pick-me-up peck in the morning, a mid-afternoon make out session, or a snogging at sunset, just snap one on to your coffee and enjoy a hot wet kiss anytime.

Will Take Kiss Out lids be the next big thing, or will we all be friend-zoned by our frappucinos? Read on to find out!

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The cafe with a kabuki twist  — we visit Tully’s Coffee at the Kabukiza Theater

Kabuki is a traditional Japanese performing art that has been enjoyed by the masses since the 17th century  and is known for its unique make-up as well as its distinct, exaggerated poses and expressions. Kabuki is performed exclusively by male actors, and some of the more famous ones enjoy celebrity status in Japan, appearing in movies, TV dramas and commercials.

So, while it’s not nearly as big an attraction in this day of 4-D movies and theme parks as it used to be in the Edo Period, kabuki is still an established entertainment genre. And the Kabukiza Theater in Tokyo’s Ginza district, which was newly rebuilt in 2013, is still a mecca for kabuki fans. Today, one of the reporters from our Japanese sister site Pouch introduces the Tully’s Coffee shop located in the Kabukiza Theater for a look at a modern cafe that serves a menu item with a kabuki twist!

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Starbucks Japan rolls out chestnut lattes and frappuccinos to get us in the mood for autumn

Okay, who else is already sick of summer? Bugs, humidity, sweat, and pongy passengers on public transportation. Bring on the autumn, with its fresh, crisp air, cosy and stylish fall fashion, and seasonal flavours like pumpkin, cinnamon, and hot roasted chestnuts!

Luckily, it seems that Starbucks in Japan is feeling us and has decided to give us a treat to really get us in the mood for autumn with their new range of chestnut flavour lattes and frappuccinos which are due to go on sale next month!

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Starbucks Coffee Korea celebrates 16 years with color-changing tumbler

Who doesn’t love a birthday? And while usually the best thing about birthdays is all the cool stuff you get, Starbucks Coffee is instead celebrating 16 years in Korea by giving things away.

To mark this special occasion, the coffee house chain has released a special range of merchandise including an anniversary mug, thermos and, very cool glass tumbler which changes colour as the temperature drops. The color-changing tumbler takes us back to when we were kids and Hypercolor T-shirts were all the rage.

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Perfect Disney princess discovered in ice-cube by Japanese Twitter user

Whenever someone claims to have found the face of Jesus in their toast or sees the Virgin Mary in the bark of a tree, cynic that I am, my brain immediately jumps back to my old psychology textbook’s section on pareidolia, or the phenomenon of seeing familiar patterns or objects in unlikely places.

But on this occasion I’m willing to put my cynicism on hold for a moment and just believe. For I have just been shown a perfect, miniature Disney princess in an ice-cube.

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New Tokyo cafe pairs men and women at random, provides coffee, cake & iPads to spark conversation

Remember that time you spotted that cute guy/girl at the cafe? Remember how badly you wanted to go over to them, make a witty comment, sit down and have them laugh and gaze into your eyes? And remember how they left before you actually did anything?

Well no longer! Aiseki Cafe in Ginza has the answer. When you come in you’re shown to a table with only two seats: one for a man and one for a woman. You chat, flirt, sip coffee and eat cakes, and then after 30 minutes you get rotated to the next person to repeat the process until you’ve found someone to make the sacred connection with: sharing your cell number.

Oh, and if you’re a woman, great news! You get unlimited coffee and cake for only 500 yen, one-fifth of the price for men. Cha-ching!

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Australia’s Muzz Buzz coffee shop to open Japan’s first drive-through outlet in Tottori

If you were to overlay a map of Japan with the locations of major restaurant and retail chains both domestic and international, the Chugoku region would look like a meteor hit it and Tottori Prefecture would be ground zero.

Tottori was the last prefecture in Japan to have a Starbuck’s open within its borders and still doesn’t have a 7-Eleven or Circle K anywhere. However, their fortunes appear to be changing, because the Australian coffee chain Muzz Buzz will be opening their first drive-through store in Tottori this autumn.

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Beat the heat with Japanese somen noodles dipped in Starbucks noodle sauce?!

For many Japanese, somen is the go to food of choice for keeping the summer heat exhaustion blues away. These thin, white Japanese noodles that resemble vermicelli are traditionally made from wheat flour and served chilled.

But what do you do if a somen craving hits and you don’t have a full serving of mentsuyu, or noodle dipping sauce, on hand to eat them with? What if you’re tired or eating somen the traditional way?  Or what if you’re in need of a little caffeine kick with your meal?

If you answered mix your noodle sauce with Starbucks coffee, congratulations! We’re stumped as to how our Japanese staff arrived at this weird food combination, but apparently it tastes much better than it sounds.

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Going, going … gone! Starbucks x Alice+Olivia mugs sell out across most of Japan in a single day!

If you’re into fashion, coffee, or both, you may remember the collaborative items that Starbucks and New York-based fashion brand Alice + Olivia came up with, the first of which were released in North America about a year and a half ago. Not surprisingly, the items apparently caused a bit of a craze among fashionistas at the time (seriously, who thinks of something like a tumbler dressed up with a tutu?), with everyone clamoring to get their hands on the limited edition goods.

Well, it turns out the collaboration recently made its way to Japan, but one of the reporters from our Japanese sister site Pouch ended up finding out the hard way that the goods were in just as much demand here in Japan as they were in the U.S.!

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7-Eleven ups its coffee game, introduces new iced cafe latte with the help of magic white beads

Up until fairly recently, convenience stores may have not been your first thought when it came to procuring a cup of hot coffee. But in the past year or so in Japan, the likes of 7-Eleven and Lawson have begun offering some really great tasting and affordable fresh coffee options with the help of nifty self-service machines positioned near the register. Sure, there are plenty of bottled and canned coffee options in the back, but there’s something about holding a steaming cup of joe in your hands and being able to smell that coffee aroma that makes it hard to resist.

Now, a mysterious new black cup has made an appearance alongside the regular clear iced coffee cups sold in 7-Eleven stores. Get ready for a classic coffee flavor with 7-Eleven’s new iced cafe latte.

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Starbucks conquers Japan with first location in Tottori, now has a branch in every prefecture

Tottori: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starbucks (coffee) enterprise. Their continuing mission: to serve strange new Frappuccinos, to open new stores and new locations, to boldly go where no Starbucks has gone before.

For anyone playing Starbucks Japan bingo, you can now cross off Tottori from your sheet. May 23 officially marks the first day that there is a Starbucks Coffee shop in every single prefecture in Japan. Tons of people showed up for the grand opening of the Tottori Starbucks, but was this a great triumph or another situation of the little guy being pushed aside by a huge mega-corp?

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“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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