Coffee in Japan tastes really good. It’s not my national prejudice, because I heard the same thing from many Americans who visited Japan and had coffee there. According to a Japanese who lives in France, Japanese coffee tastes even better than French coffee.
Many individually owned coffee shops are all over Japan and many of them make a cup of coffee as a order comes in. The coffee is not actually pressed or dripped, but syphoned. I believe that this is the best method to extract rich flavor of coffee beans.
Recently I learned that a small number of American coffee shops started to use this syphone method. Meanwhile, many small coffee shops in Japan have been making coffee in this manner, since the method was introduced from Europe over 100 years ago.
As you can see in the video, coffee is actually cooked in a vessel, and the essence is literally vacuumed out from the beans. The aroma and flavor of the coffee made in this way is very intense compare to dripped coffee.
Watching the process itself is quite interesting as well. As a matter of fact, many coffee shops showcase this process to customers at the counter. The strength of Japanese coffee is somewhere between espresso and American coffee, but the flavor is more intense. Usually one cup of Japanese coffee is very satisfying, so that you wouldn’t need many cups a day.
The price for this type of individually prepared coffee doesn’t come cheap. A small cup of coffee, just like in the video, costs about $5.00, depending on the location of the coffee shop and what type of beans are used.
When you pay $5.00, coffee is not just a drink to give you caffeine boost. In Japan, no one orders coffee to go. It is meant to be slowly savored in a relaxed coffee shop. For many Japanese, Starbucks coffee is the cheap alternative.
You can buy the equipment and make your own premium coffee at home. You may need to learn the timing at the beginning, but I bet you wouldn’t mind the process, because it’s so enjoyable both to make and drink coffee in this way.
I used to own one of those, but since I broke the glass twice while washing it, I haven’t replaced it. You must be very careful when you handle this.