Posts Tagged ‘matcha’

Warm up with these winter drinks trends

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Hot Calpis

Hot beverages in cans or pet bottles are one of the best things about winter in Japan. Warming up your hands as well as your tummy, they’re a great way to beat the cold during this setsuden (power saving) winter. Sold in vending machines or heated displays in convenience stores, product lineups are ever-evolving and this year is no different. Here’s a quick look at what’s trending:

Hot Calpis: Stop sniggering. We know what the name sounds like. Unpleasant connotations aside, this sweet milky drink has been popular as a cooling beverage for years in Japan. Released on the market on Nov. 7, the heated version is milder than the summer drink and a dash of honey gives it a nice wintry touch. It’s one several products added to Calpis’ winter range of heated drinks. Another is Hot Fruits au Lait, a milky blend of sweet fruit juices.

Suntory Iemon Green Espresso

Suntory Iemon Green Espresso: Matcha in a black can for manly men; Suntory is targeting businessmen who would normally warm up with a hot can of coffee. The product has been reasonably successful, according to Nikkei Trendy: During the first month of sales after its launch in September, 600,000 cases of the stuff were sold. The espresso part refers to the fact that this is very strong, gritty green tea, just like the kind made for tea ceremonies. Containing 20 mg of caffeine in every 100 ml, it’s just the thing to give hard workers a boost.

We see some similarities to a product Georgia launched last year. X Green Tea Style Coffee does exactly what is says on the tin, i.e. blending together green tea with coffee. The product also contains sugar and cream and we reckon is the natural, if not mouthwatering, progression on from the popularity of the matcha latte.

Kirin Poppo Cha

Kirin Poppo Cha: Ginger is very much in style at the moment. According to J-Cast, hot ginger drinks have been trending, especially among women, over the past few years. Asahi Newspaper also reports that ginger is trending as a health food. Some women are even carrying around tubes of grated ginger to add to meals as the seasoning is thought to improve circulation and prevent colds.

A non-caffeinated blended tea with a dash of ginger, Kirin’s Poppo Cha is just one of many products on the market. In October, Calpis also released a hot ginger drink onto the market and this year Ginger Chai from Nagatanien has become more widely available in conveninece stores throughout the country following on from its success as a mail order product.

Coffee shots and green lattes

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Georgia Jelly CoffeeIf you thought you’d grown out of doing jelly shots then think again, coffee jelly is making waves (or should it be wobbles) on the Japanese market. This summer Coke’s coffee brand Georgia released their version of coffee jelly in a can, joining a market that has grown by 5 to 10 per cent annually since 2004. This year Starbucks rereleased its coffee jelly frappuccino which enjoyed huge success when it debuted for a short period last summer. The drink combines iced coffee with coffee jelly. While Starbucks’ version uses fresh coffee beans, Yahoo Japan have posted a recipe for home-made coffee jelly that is a little less sophisticated, using only water, sugar, gelatin powder and instant coffee.

Meg Milk Matcha

Another strange combination gaining popularity is the matcha latte, a frothy concoction of matcha green tea and milk. This drink has been popular in cafes for some time now, but recently chilled convenience store versions have started popping up. Asahi launched their Fauchon product late last month which will be followed by MegMilk’s matcha latte on Sept. 29.

Purported to have been invented by Kouta Matsuda, owner of Tully’s coffee chain, the latte was born from experiments with matcha and an expresso machine. After enjoying some years of popularity in Japan, the drink took off in the States in 2006. Matcha is prized for its health benefits which include being rich in antioxidents and high in fiber.

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