Caffeine Nation

Whilst the Japanese still value their traditional tea quite highly, there is one beverage that has seemed to have taken the world by storm… I am quite obviously talking about coffee. Starbucks are taking over the world and they have penetrated Tokyo – it’s just as bad as London, everywhere you go you will see a Starbucks. I actually don’t care if there are a million Starbucks branches over here, just what annoys me is how they totally rip people off (ok so I have bought some frappucinos from ’em but in the future I’m going elsewhere!!) Anyway, what I wanted to focus on is one market in particular. Japan has gained quite a reputation for its vending machines, and one of the biggest sellers in the various vending machines scattered around Tokyo is coffee – iced coffee has seemed to become immensely popular with a variety of flavours/blends being available. I sampled the various blends on offer from Suntory – they’re the cheapest available coming in at only 100 Yen for each can. Overall I’d say that they tasted marginally better than anything I have tried in the west, although it still doesn’t beat a frappucino (damn Starbucks and their prices though!!). Another reason that actually attracted me to the Suntory range in the first place was the advertising! In true Japanese tradition, we get a washed up has-been American actor (Tommy Lee Jones in this case) and put him in a rather bizarre/entertaining set of TV commercials. Coffee drinkers rejoice, you’ll feel right at home in Tokyo!

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