Because coffee is life! How to buy coffee at the Conbini?

Jun 21, 2017


How to buy coffee at Japanese convenience stores

Convenience stores in Japan are full of magical and wonderful goods that everyone can devour in an instant. These on-the-go stuffs are so convenient that it competes well with so many fast food chains.

When you go to Seven Eleven, Lawson or Family Mart for example, you can easily spot the coffee machines right next to the cashiers. With these pretty little machines, you can order freshly-brewed but inexpensive drip coffee in an instant. In fact, you don’t have to wait long to get your coffee. Did you know that this was originally influenced to compete with fast food chains like that of McDonalds. Establishments notices the increasing demand of coffee from daily consumers thus many coffee shops are now sprouting. So obviously, convenience stores also took this strategy. Nowadays, people can buy brewed coffee for quite a reasonable price. If you’re the kind of person who prefers to drink hot and fresh coffee as opposed to the canned coffees also available in all conbinis. Although the quality of canned and ready to drink coffees on their shelves are not at all bad.

Here’s a little help on how you can order fresh-brewed coffee the next time you go to the nearest convenience store:

 

How to buy coffee at Japanese convenience stores

1.  Coffee @ Seven Eleven

 

<Feature>

□ Drip Coffee Type
□ Hot Lattes
□ There are 4 different kinds of coffee beans. There are 2 types of light roast with special flavor

□ The other 2 is deeply roasted with strong taste (double roast espresso). Deeply roasted for other 2 types with characteristic taste, so what we call double roast.

<Taste>

□Sweet and mild taste. Overwhelming but refreshing taste.
□Still tastes good even when the coffee gets cold.
□Good for people who likes light and refreshing taste rather than the strong enhanced coffee taste.

<Major Menu>

□ Hot & Ice Coffee (Regular or Large size)

<Price Range>

□100 yen~180 yen

<How to Order>

First, you can ask the cashier that you want to order brewed coffee (please specify hot or cold). They will then give you the paper cup to fill for yourself as you pay for your order. Go to the coffee machine next to the cashier. Open the plastic transparent lid of the machine and slid your paper cup close to the nozzle and close the lid. You can choose from the Hot or Iced buttons as well as the size “Regular” or “Large” as you each press the button. The coffee will automatically be poured and you will have your own preference on what goes with it. Eg milk, brown or white sugar, artificial sweeteners, etc which is just right next to the machine which you can conveniently choose from.

 

How to buy coffee at Japanese convenience stores

2. Coffee @ Lawson

 

<Feature>

□ Espresso Type
□ They use the espresso coffee machine made from Carimari in Italy.
□ Blended coffee beans from 5 different farms.
□ Using only certified beans from Rainforest Alliance.

<Taste>

□ Little spicy but not too acidic  with a light smell and taste.
□ Bitter but rich flavor with calm taste.
□ For people who likes deep roasted beans and bitter taste, this coffee goes great with milk as well.

<Major Menu>

□ Hot & Ice Coffee (Small, Medium, Large)
□ Hot & Ice Cafe Latte (Medium, Large)

<Price Range>

□100 yen~210 yen

<How to Order>

First you ask the clerk for ordering coffee. You can say something like this in Nihongo: [iretatte kohi kudasai]. After you pay, they pour the drip coffee from the coffee machine and  give it to you so no need to make it by yourself. If you prefer milk and sugar, you can tell the sales clerk when you order your coffee.

PS:

1. There are standby area in some Lawson stores (not every Lawson has)
2. There also have exclusive tumbler only for Lawson customers. Initial payment is a little expensive that cost 2,037 yen for 350ml  however, you can have 10 yen off discount from the original price everytime you purchase coffee.

 How to buy coffee at Japanese convenience stores

 

3.Coffee @ FamilyMart

 

<Feature>

□ Espresso Type
□ Blended with Brazilian, Ethiopian (Mocha) and Columbian coffee beans.
□ Using Espresso coffee machines made in Germany.
□ Using water filter for pure and distilled water.

<Taste>

□ Well balanced and calm taste. Mild taste with almost no bitterness.
□ For people who likes the sweet luscious taste.

<Major Menu>

□  Hot & Iced Coffee (Small, Medium)
□  Hot & Iced Cafe Latte (Small, Medium)

 

<Price Range>

□100 yen~180 yen

<How to Order>

It depends on whether you order hot or iced coffee. If you want to order hot coffee, you can ask the sales clerk for ordering drip coffee. After you pay, they give you the paper cup so you can bring it to coffee machine next to the cashier and set the coffee for yourself. However, if you prefer iced coffee, you must first take the plastic cup with ice included from the beverage fridge in the store by yourselves and order as usual.

 

How to buy coffee at Japanese convenience stores

 

4. Coffee @ Circle K Sunkus

 

<Feature>

□ Drip Coffee Type
□ They use fragrance machine so customers can smell both the roast coffee beans and poured coffee when it drips.

<Taste>

□ Quite strong bitter taste from deeply roasted coffee beans.
□ No acid taste at all so it’s easy to drink.
□ For people who likes deep roasted and bitter taste.

<Major Menu>

□ Hot & Iced Coffee (Small, Medium, Large)
□ Hot & Iced Cafe Latte (Medium, Large)

<Price Range>

□100 yen~180 yen

<How to Order>

First you must bring the card which shows the coffee and price which is placed next to the coffee machine in the store.
There are several kinds of coffee and price on each card and you need to choose the one you want to order.
Next you have to give that card to the cashier and pay for the coffee. They will then give you the coffee cup so you can set the cup on the coffee machine. Lastly, press the menu button you have ordered and the drip coffee will pour automatically.

 

How to buy coffee at Japanese convenience stores

5. Coffee @ Ministop

 

 

<Feature>

□ Drip Coffee Type
□ 5 blends of different kinds of coffee beans. They use different coffee beans, roasting procedures and process for either hot/iced coffee.

<Taste>

□ Quite sweet flavor but easy to drink.
□ No heavy acidic taste.
□ For the people who likes neither light nor strong taste-  it’s actually in the middle.

<Major Menu>

□ Hot & Iced Coffee (Small, Regular)
□ Americano Coffee (Small, Regular)
□ Soft Iced Coffee (One size only)

<Price Range>

□100 yen~230 yen

<How to Order>

First you ask sales clerk that you want to order. They give you the paper cup for coffee and you pay for the order.
Go to the coffee machine next the cashier. Open the transparent lid and put your paper cup and close the lid after.
It’s the same kind of system like that of 7-11. Press the menu button you have ordered. And voila, coffee on-the-go!

 

Do you now see the difference of taste, price and the way to order for each stores? One great advantage is that you can buy drip or brewed coffee for only 100 yen or more  and besides,  trying out different flavors from each stores may be interesting. Don’t you think?!

 

How about starting your day with a fresh cup of coffee from any of the convenience store near you?
YAE/ Japan

 

 

 

 

 

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