Coffee habits of the Japanese


Throughout the year, which do you drink more of? graph of japanese statistics

@nifty recently released a survey looking into coffee.

I most often drink convenience store coffee; it’s cheap and fresh and quite, quite drinkable, and with convenience stores near to the office, I quite often take a cup with me to work.

I’m quite surprised, however, in Q4 to see that Starbucks over-roasted drip coffee gets chosen as the favourite drink from there. I find it often quite undrinkable, but having said that, I was as Starbucks this morning (at last year’s Medicine Nobel winner’s hospital, Kitasato) and I have to admit that today’s blend was quite drinkable.

Here’s an old-school coffee shop that still survives despite Starbucks and friends:

Roman Coffee Shop, Matsue, Japan

Research results

Q1: What kinds of coffee do you often drink? (Sample size=3,331, multiple answer)

Instant coffee47%50%
Ground coffee42%49%
Can coffee35%12%
Single-serving drip coffee22%29%
Convenience store fresh coffee20%17%
Take-out coffee from cafe14%25%
Plastic-bottled coffee12%9%
Vending machine coffee10%6%
Tetra-pack coffee6%6%
Chilled cup coffee3%7%
Don’t drink coffee6%9%

Q2: Which convenience store chain’s coffee do you often drink? (Sample size=3,331, multiple answer)

Rank Percentage
3Family Mart13%
4Circle-K Thanks4%
6Three F1%
8Seiko Mart0%
9Daily Yamazaki0%
Don’t drink convenience store coffee59%

The sample was then asked what their favourite chain was; top was Doutor at 28%, with Starbucks close behind at 27%. Surprisingly, Doutor was most popular with the under 30s, whereas it was the over-sixties that most preferred Starbucks, even though my casual observation would suggest that it was the other way round. Third was Komeda at 14% (I’ve still not been), then both Tully’s (Starbucks clone) and Ueshima Coffee (UCC) at 11%. Saint Mark (my favourite) was next at about 8%, Kohikan at about 8% too, then Renoir, Hoshino, Veloce, Excelsior, Pronto, Cafe De Crie, and last was Cafe Veloce (don’t know the difference between this and just “Veloce”!). None in particular, however, outpaced everything else a around 45%.

Q4: What are your favourite Starbucks drinks? (Sample size=3,331, multiple answer)

1Drip coffee21%Drip coffee21%
3Cappuchino8%Caramel Macchiato11%
4Cafe Mocha6%Cappuccino9%
5Espresso6%Cafe Mocha8%
6Caramel Macchiato4%Chai Tea Latte7%
7Caramel Frappuccino2%Caramel Frappuccino7%
8Coffee Frappuccino2%Coffee Frappuccino5%
9Soy Latte2%Soy Latte2%
10Matcha Green Frappuccino1%Matcha Green Frappuccino5%

Furthermore, 56% had no particular favourite Starbucks item.

Q5: Over the course of a year, which do you drink more of, hot or ice coffee? Count latte, etc, as coffee. (Sample size=3,331)

Ice coffee only1%
Ice coffee more12%
Both about the same19%
Hot coffee more54%
Hot coffee only14%

Next, people were asked what coffee-related goods they owned. 44% had filters, 39% had a coffee maker, 25% a coffee dripper, then a coffee mill, coffee pot, coffee measuring spoon, coffee thermos, coffee kettle, coffee syphon, espresso machine, coffee pod maker, milk foamer, French press (cafetiere), and finally coffee thermometer. About 35% had no paraphernalia at all.

Q7: What are the demerits of drinking coffee? (Sample size=3,331, multiple answer)

Makes me pee23%30%
Stains my teeth15%30%
Upsets, irritates my stomach12%16%
Keeps me awake11%17%
I get addicted to caffeine6%9%
Gives me bad breath5%7%
Makes me fat2%1%
Gives me a sore head, makes me dizzy1%2%
Gives me anemia1%2%
Makes me constipated1%0%
Rots my teeth1%1%
Irritates my skin1%1%
Enhances my allergies1%0%
Gives me bloat0%1%
Nothing in particular55%36%


Between the 22nd and 28th of April 2016 3,331 members of the @nifty monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographic information was provided.

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